Winners of the 2015 Seafood Excellence Awards were announced during Seafood Expo North America, which ran from March 15-17 in Boston, Massachusetts. Yihe International Corp. was presented the Best Retail Product prize for its line of Alaskan Jack’s wild-caught salmon fillets, while High Liner Foods received Best Foodservice Product accolades for Pulled BBQ Salmon.
“Mission accomplished. This award is a game-changer for Yihe and the Alaskan Jack’s brand,” said Michael Klein, vice president of integrated services for Resource One, which handles sales, marketing and logistics for the company. “Our goal coming into 2015 was to launch a new innovative product that would capture the attention of the seafood industry. This recognition provides even more confirmation that Alaskan Jack’s is a new product that will have success in the market and will resonate with consumers’ taste preferences.”
The product line features keta salmon fillets flavored in four different marinades (Honey Teriyaki with Toasted Sesame, Lime Chipotle, Sweet Chili and Sweet-Spicy Asian BBQ) and four dry rub seasoning combinations (Blackened Heat, Citrus Pepper, Tuscan Garden and Louisiana Style) packaged in two, individually wrapped six-ounce portions.
“We are bringing creativity and fusion flavorings to drive salmon consumption and repeat purchases,” said Steven Chen, president and ceo of Pasadena, California-based Yihe International Corp. “Consumers are seeking ways to add more innovative flavors to their food, and the Alaskan Jack’s line delivers with a wide variety of delicious flavor offerings.”
High Liner Pulls Down Two in a Row
High Liner Foods scored its second victory in the Best Foodservice Product competition in as many years – this time for its Pulled BBQ Salmon entry, which is sold under the FPI brand. In 2014 the Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, Canada-headquartered company was toasted for its award-winning Guinness-glazed Salmon, accented with the Irish stout.
“With barbecue more popular than ever, Pulled BBQ Salmon gives restaurant operators a chance to move away from the sea of sameness and stand out from the herd of traditional pulled pork,” commented Jim Papadakis, brand manager.
Made with premium Atlantic Salmon, the product leverages two of today’s most popular trends in foodservice: savory barbecue sauces and healthy-eating salmon options. Pulled BBQ Salmon contains no preservatives and is a source of protein and Omega 3s.
The fully cooked, heat-and-eat treat is positioned as an alternative to pulled pork and is easy to prepare by boiling or steaming in the pre-portioned, 2.5 lb. vacuum packs used for distribution. In addition to livening up sandwich menus, the product serves nicely as filling for burritos, tacos, wraps and creative appetizers, as well as a salad topper and in creative appetizers.
Two offerings of Pulled BBQ Salmon are available. First there’s the Traditional flavor, featuring a tangy, tomato-based barbecue sauce balanced with sweetness and natural smokiness. The second, Sriracha, delivers a sweet-heat taste of hot and sassy barbecue.
The Seafood Excellence Awards winners were selected from a group of 12 finalists during a live judging by a panel of seafood buyers and experts from the retail and foodservice industry sectors. Judges Kelly Werner of Schwan’s Home Service, Olivia Waszkiewicz of Sam’s Club, and Jeff Meagher of Performance Foodservice graded the products on taste, originality, convenience of preparation, packaging and nutrition value.
About Yihe International Corp.
Founded in 2004 by Steven Chen, an American citizen, Yihe’s management team has deep experience and expertise in fishing, processing and quality assurance. Chen’s career began on a commercial fishing boat, followed by time spent working in a seafood processing plant. He later served as the president of USA operations for a Chinese company that developed frozen seafood products.
In addition to wild-caught salmon, Yihe processes tilapia, Alaskan pollock, cod, flounder, swai, scallops, mahi mahi, whiting, tuna, crawfish, surimi and squid under proprietary brands Ocean Eclipse and Ocean Select, for various private label customers. The company specializes in providing comprehensive, “one-stop shop” store brand programs that meet the exacting demands of retailer clients.
About High Liner Foods
High Liner Foods’ retail branded products are sold throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico under the High Liner, Fisher Boy, Mirabel and Sea Cuisine labels, and are available in most grocery and club stores. The company also markets branded products under the High Liner, Icelandic Seafood, FPI, Viking, Mirabel, Samband of Iceland and American Pride Seafood labels to restaurants and institutions, and is a major supplier of private label value-added frozen seafood items to North American food retailers and foodservice distributors. – Reported by John Saulnier