Road to Brussels: First time a charm?

Two newcomers to the European Seafood Exposition’s Seafood Prix d’Elite new products competition are confident that they have the winning combination.

Butler’s Choice is entering the competition for the first time this year with its Nordic BBQ Composition. Jacob Stokkebye, the Danish company’s managing director, said the idea originated at home where he and his family grill seafood during the summer. Northern European supermarkets are teeming with sausages and other kinds of grill-friendly meats, and seafood is missing out on an opportunity to develop more products in this burgeoning category, said Stokkebye.

“The launch of this Nordic BBQ package could bring something new to the table,” said Stokkebye. “And since ‘meat’ is the main grill item in Scandinavia, it was also a good opportunity to promote Nordic seafood for the grill. At the same time, the Nordic kitchen is very trendy now, so we believe it was the right time to try and enter the [competition].” 

Nordic BBQ Composition is initially launching in Scandinavian and German supermarkets, and feedback on the product has been positive so far, said Stokkebye.

Simo Fishprocessing’s Salmon Cube (pictured) is also a first time finalist as well as a first time entrant.

Like Butler’s Choice, the German company decided to enter Seafood Prix d’Elite because it feels it has an innovative, unique product in a relatively untapped category. Each 180-gram package of 20 salmon cubes come with four different toppings. The appetizer can be enjoyed just 30 minutes after beeing pulled out of the freezer, with no further preparation.

“This year we took the challenge to develop a completely new range and a completely new production technology based upon our long time experience in smoking to re-enter the European market with a completely new concept,” said Eric Chorzepa, sales manager for Simo Fishprocessing. “We wanted to enlarge our scope and bring in our know-how and all our experience and innovation.

“The first reactions are quite positive, and we are looking at good results in short time,” said Chorzepa, adding that the line lends itself to expansion.

Both Stokkebye and Chorzepa agree that the publicity from being a Seafood Prix d’Elite finalist — let alone potentially winning one, or more, of the seven awards  — will help boost sales of their products, both of which are entered in the competition’s retail category.

The Seafood Prix d’Elite ceremony and reception will be held immediately after Day 1 of the European Seafood Exposition on 24 April in Auditorium 2000 of the Brussels Exhibition Centre. Click here for a list of the 37 finalists.


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