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The winners of the 2015 Seafood Excellence Awards, presented at Seafood Expo North America on Sunday, March 15, are Yihe Corp.'s Alaskan Jack's keta salmon product line for Best New Retail Product and High Liner Foods' Pulled BBQ Salmon for Best New Foodservice Product.
The awards annually recognize exhibitors’ innovative items, which are evaluated based their uniqueness and appropriateness to the market, taste profile, packaging, market potential, convenience, nutritional value and originality. This year’s panel of three judges consisted of Kelly Werner, Schwan's Home Service; Olivia Waszkiewicz, Sam's Club; and Jeff Meagher, Performance Foodservice.
Yihe and High Liner were two of 12 finalists chosen from more than 70 entries in the expo’s New Product Showcase. Other finalist companies included Bumble Bee Seafoods, for its Bumble Bee Superfresh Seared Ahi Tuna with Garlic Peppercorn Rub; King & Prince Seafood, for its Sensations blend of real crab, cold-water bay shrimp and imitation King Crab meat; and Marine Harvest USA, for its Rebel Fish Salmon with Sauce. All of the award program entries can be viewed online.
In an interview on the show floor with PG, Mike Klein, VP of integrated services at Creve Coeur, Mo.-based Resource 1, the sales and marketing arm of Yihe, a Chinese company with U.S. headquarters in Pasadena, Calif., explained how Alaskan Jack’s was born from a decision to move beyond offering portioned unflavored salmon to a full line of flavored salmon as a way to boost consumption and repeat purchase among consumers. Currently consisting of eight wild-caught keta salmon SKUs in on-trend flavors (four dry rubs, four marinades), the line will grow this year to include two cod and a sockeye salmon variety, added Klein.
Co-located with Seafood Processing North America in Boston, Seafood Expo North America is North America’s largest seafood trade event, drawing more than 20,000 buyers and sellers from more than 100 countries and more 1,200 exhibiting companies. The show is produced by Portland, Maine-based Diversified Communications.