Looking back: Salmon stars in 2022 Seafood Excellence Award-winning products
Two companies won big at the 2022 Seafood Excellence Awards, an industry innovation competition – held annually during Seafood Expo North America in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. – that recognizes the Best New Retail Product and Best New Foodservice Product to hit the market each year.
Last year’s winners, DOM International Limited and Bakkafrost, were selected from a group of 11 finalists by an esteemed panel of judges comprised of seafood buyers and industry experts.
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada-based DOM International Limited was awarded the Best New Retail Product for its Salmon Poke. The prize-winning poke product comes in a frozen format, the company noted, and is available in 625-gram and 200-gram packages.
“Each individual package comes pre-prepared and perfectly portioned with our classic Atlantic salmon marinated using our favorite Hawaiian-inspired sauce for your enjoyment,” DOM International said.
DOM International Owner Domenic Porporo told SeafoodSource in 2022 that the Salmon Poke product had been on the company’s development radar for several years.
“It’s gone through different variations... then we thought, the important part is the salmon,” Porporo said. “So, we decided, well, let’s just do the salmon and let everybody else fix it and eat it the way they want it. We’ve been really focusing hard on new products. We have a whole slew of ideas and now it’s just trying to get them to a position where we can just pull the trigger on them.”
The company has also launched a tuna poke product in addition to its salmon variation. Since winning the Seafood Excellence honor in 2022, Porporo said the popularity of DOM International’s poke has only increased.
“We haven’t been able to keep up with demand,” Porporo recently told SeafoodSource. However, the company has no plans yet to expand internationally as it continues to focus on domestic markets.
Faroe Islands-based salmon producer Bakkafrost was recognized for its Native Hebridean Smoked Scottish Salmon Side, which won Best New Foodservice Product at the 2022 Seafood Excellence Awards.
“It’s totally unique because it’s salmon that smoked from our native Hebridean fish, which are originally from wild broodstock from the Hebridean Islands, right on the northwest of Scotland,” Bakkafrost Scotland Communications and New Business Development Director Su Cox said in 2022, fresh off of the win.
The Native Hebridean Salmon is cured and smoked using a traditional island recipe. Bakkafrost uses pebble-lined kilns and wood shavings from aged whisky barrels in its preparation process to add a unique taste of the Scottish Hebridean Islands, Cox said.
“We now farm-raise these and process and smoke them locally. And the smoking process is also very special. The Hebridean salmon smokes beautifully because it’s firm, not oily, and you get good consistent colors,” she said.
2022 Seafood Excellence Awards finalists in the foodservice category included Bakkafrost, Handy Seafood, Netuno USA, and Seagrove Kelp Co. The finalists for the retail category were DOM International Limited, Neptune Snacks, Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Pacific Seafood, Pescanova USA, and Kitchens Seafood Inc. The finalists were selected from a group of more than 40 products.
This year’s Seafood Excellence Awards will be announced on Sunday, 12 March, 2023 at the Demonstration Theater in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The 11 finalists for this year's awards were announced on 6 March. All finalists’ and winners’ products will be on display in the New Product Showcase for the three-day duration of Seafood Expo North America/ Seafood Processing North America.
Photo courtesy of Cliff White/SeafoodSource