Road to Boston: New products set to impress

The 2010 International Boston Seafood Show New Product Showcase next month will feature 78 entries vying for Seafood Excellence Awards. The judging will take place on the show floor in the New Product Showcase area on Sunday, 14 March, where two winners will be selected out of 10 finalists and presented with the Best New Foodservice Product and Best New Retail Product Awards.

Finalists will display their products in both raw and prepared states to be judged by a panel of top buyers. Products will be judged on the following criteria: taste profile, packaging, market potential, convenience for end user and consumer, nutritional value and originality.

Last year, MacKnight Smoked Food's Smoked Salmon Bagel Slice took home the best new retail product award, while Azuma Foods International’s Shrimp Sheet won the best new foodservice award.

Stephen Nicholson, MacKnight’s VP of sales, said Smoked Salmon Bagel Slice sales boomed after the product’s debut at the 2009 show, reaching USD 1 million (EUR 709,000) in December alone.

“The response has been tremendous. From a user-friendly point of view, it's an easy product, straight on the bagel in the morning," said Nicholson.

Azuma has introduced 10 new products to the seafood market since developing the Shrimp Sheet, including Crawfish Salad, which will make its debut at this year’s competition.

“The Shrimp Sheet is an absolutely unique and rare product in the seafood industry. We have innovated the technology of making sheets,” said Migumi Suzuki, sales representative for Azuma Foods. “Most customers are looking for new and unique products. Striving to develop new products is very important and necessary to appeal to those customers and to survive this economic crisis.”

This year will also mark the first year that New Product Showcase participants will have the opportunity to sample their products for buyers and attendees. International Marketing Specialists, Scotch Hands Butter Co., American Pride Seafoods, Atlantis Foods Ltd., Fishery Products International and Ceviche Pesca Fina have secured five of the eight spots available for product sampling. 

Vancouver, British Columbia-based newcomer Atlantis Foods will be sampling its hand-cut, hand-dusted Atlantis calamari, while New York’s Scotch Hands Butter Co. will offer samples of its Gourmet Compound Butters, used for steaming shellfish or broiling, sautéing or steaming fish.

International Marketing Specialists will sample its Refrigerated Crabmeat and Cooked Salad Shrimp, while American Pride Seafoods will debut its line of Pank-O-Licious seafood and Chef’s Special Collection Coconut Tilapia Tenders. High Liner Foods’ Fishery Products International will sample its Honey Chipotle Crusted Salmon and Rotisserie-Style Cod. Miami-based Ceviche Pesca Fina will offer a sampling of their Ceviche Pesca-Fina from Panama.

Sampling will take place on 14 and 15 March from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the New Product Sampling Station on the show floor.

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