The 2023 Seafood Excellence Awards were presented on the first day of Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America (SENA), taking place March 12-14 in Boston, with Sandpoint, Idaho-based Thunder’s Catch receiving the Best New Retail Product award for its Wild Salmon Chowder, and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Netuno USA garnering the Best New Foodservice Product award for its Tambaqui Ribs.
Winners were chosen from a group of finalists during a live judging held the morning of March 12 by a panel of seafood buyers and industry experts from the retail and foodservice industries. This year’s judges were Jeff Meagher, business development manager at Richmond, Va.-based Performance Foodservice; Al Baroudi, VP, QA and food safety, The Cheesecake Factory, based in Calabasas, Calif.; and Douglas Varanai, meat and seafood category manager at Sprouts Farmers Market.
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Finalists were earlier selected through a screening of products in the Seafood Expo North America New Product Showcase. The showcase features seafood products, condiments and culinary dishes introduced in the past year by exhibiting companies. The new products are judged based on such criteria as uniqueness and appropriateness to the market, taste profile, market potential, convenience, nutritional value, and originality.
Produced by Portland, Maine-based Diversified Communications, SENA is North America’s largest seafood trade event, this year drawing 1,141 exhibiting companies from 49 countries.
Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market, employing approximately 31,000 associates and operating about 380 stores in 23 states, is No. 53 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.