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The Seafood Excellence Global Awards finalists were judged on taste and overall eating experience, packaging, marketability, convenience, nutritional

Vičiūnai Group and Unima Distributing Take Top Honors at 2023 Seafood Excellence Global Awards

  (SPAIN, 4/26/2023)

Barcelona – Unima Distribution of France and Vičiūnai Group of Spain won the top prizes in the 2023 Seafood Excellence Global Awards at Seafood Expo Global, the world’s largest seafood trade event. The winners were selected from a field of 39 finalists and were announced this evening at a special Seafood Excellence Global awards reception. The competition recognizes the best products exhibited at Seafood Expo Global.

The top award for Best Retail Product was presented to Vičiūnai Group for its entry, Black Sepia Dumplings with Shrimp and Thai Broth Filling. This product wraps shrimp, spinach, and a delicately spiced coconut broth in a stunning black dumpling wrapper that is colored and flavored with squid ink. The dumplings provide retailers with an exclusive offering that will attract consumers looking for a new seafood experience. The judges noted high quality of the shrimp and the flavor of the broth, as well as the uniqueness of the product, and the attractive package design.

Unima Distribution won the grand prize for Best HORECA (hotel/restaurant/catering) Product for its Organic Body-Peeled Madagascar Shrimp. These shrimps are carefully selected during growth and raised in a low-density eco-model ensuring animal well-being, environmental protection and community development in Mahajama Bay in northwest Madagascar. The winning variety is presented head- and tail-on with the body peeled. The judges noted the high quality of this shrimp, its excellent texture and complex, intense delicately iodized flavor.

In addition to the grand prizes, the judges also gave five special awards:

Clearwater Seafoods & Macduff Shellfish of the United Kingdom were presented the Seafood Excellence Global special award for Health & Nutrition for their Wild-caught Whole Hebridean Langoustines. Caught in one- to two-day trips in the pristine waters of the Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland, these langoustines offer a rich, vibrant orange color, firm texture, and a sweet, delicate flavor. Aimed at top chefs around the world, they provide numerous nutrients including high quality protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and a host of vitamins and minerals including iodine, phosphorus, copper and vitamin B12.

Unima Distribution was also awarded the Seafood Excellence Global special prize for Convenience for its Organic Body-Peeled Madagascar Shrimp. A recipient of the French “Label Rouge” designation, this shrimp provides the chef with added convenience by peeling the body but leaving the head and tail intact. The result is a beautiful presentation of head-on shrimp without much work.  

Vega Salmon A/S of Denmark was presented the Seafood Excellence Global special award for Retail Packaging for its Cold-smoked Salmon in Sustainable Packaging. This premium cold-smoked salmon can help retailers and consumers meet their goals to reduce waste and recycle. The package is made with 50% less plastic and offers a clear and concise waste separation guide on the pack to ensure proper recycling.

The Seafood Excellence Global special award for Innovation was given to Hot-Smoked Salmon with Cheese and Pine Nuts “Kinziukas” also from Vičiūnai Group. Based on one of Lithuania’s best-known traditional smoked foods, this winning product substitutes salmon for meat and combines it with hard cheese and pine nuts before shaping and smoking it. The product is wrapped with twine and packaged in an attractive retail box. It can be enjoyed as a snack and also used as an ingredient in other dishes.

A line of mussel soups from Vilsund Blue of Denmark won the Seafood Excellence Global special prize for Seafood Product Line. Created to increase the consumption of mussels among Danish consumers, the line features three flavors, Thai Green Curry, Spicy Paprika and Moules Frites. This line was recognized by the judges for the overall quality of the product, the consumer appeal of the flavors, and the recyclable, shelf-stable packaging.  

The winners of the 2023 Seafood Excellence Global Awards were chosen from a field of 39 finalists representing 16 countries around the globe. The winners and finalists are on display in the Galleria, stand GA201-GB201 at Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global, which runs now through April 27. 

The judges for the 2023 Seafood Excellence Global competition were Debby Verheyen, Retail Business Partner for Seafood and Frozen Food for Ahold Delhaize in Belgium; Daniel Diaz, Seafood Purchasing Manager for La Sirena stores in Spain; Nicholas Baroux, Seafood Director for Supermarché Match in France; Brian Legg, Senior Director of Procurement for HelloFresh International in Germany; and Paula Merrigan, Head of Purchasing for Snowfox Group in the United Kingdom. Ms. Verheyen served as chair of the jury. 

The Seafood Excellence Global Awards finalists were judged on taste and overall eating experience, packaging, marketability, convenience, nutritional value, and innovation. The judges’ scores were verified by the accounting firm of Price Waterhouse Coopers.

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