The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) has announced the 2023 Alaska Symphony of Seafood, including the Call for Product. The deadline for entry into this year’s competition is Friday, October 21, 2022, and the Call for Product can be downloaded here.
This year, the Symphony will feature six separate special awards – Grand Prize, Salmon, Whitefish, Seattle People’s Choice, Juneau People’s Choice and the Bristol Bay Choice – in addition to the categories of Retail, Food Service and Beyond the Plate.
The new categories will allow more opportunities for promotion and recognition, including increased exposure for value-added products out of Bristol Bay, states the AFDF. The Bristol Bay Choice was awarded for the first time in 2022 to the outstanding value-added product from Bristol Bay Sockeye, helping to raise awareness of high- quality products from the Bristol Bay region.
The first-place winners from each category, plus the Bristol Bay Choice, will receive booth space at the distinguished Seafood Expo North America in Boston and entry into their national new-product competition, the Seafood Excellence Awards, as well as airfare to and from the show (provided by Symphony sponsor Alaska Air Cargo).
Since 1994, AFDF has organized the “Symphony,” a competition for commercial-ready value‐added products made from Alaska seafood. The Symphony encourages companies to invest in value-added product development, helps promote those new products and serves to competitively position Alaska seafood in national and global markets.
“Product development is critically important to the entire industry and the fishing communities that depend on it,” notes the AFDF. “Innovative new products position the industry to remain competitive and relevant to consumers.”
Previous winners and entrants have leveraged the Symphony platform and continue to see increased sales and market exposure of their products. Last year, Ocean Beauty Seafoods’ Echo Falls Wild Alaska Sockeye Salmon Tapas Slice – Mediterranean was a double winner in the Retail and Salmon Categories, and then moved on to be a finalist in the Seafood Excellence Awards during SENA in Boston. All of the 2022 Symphony winners can be viewed here.
The first of this year’s events, the Seattle Open House, will be held November 16, 2022, co-hosted with the Northwest Fisheries Association, at Bell Harbor International Conference Center. All products will be prepared and displayed by professional culinary staff. Following the judging, an Open House will be held for all entrants, seafood industry invitees, sponsors, the press and the judges. The next event will be an awards ceremony in Juneau on February 23, 2023, co-hosted by United Fishermen of Alaska, allowing the display and sampling of products by the Alaska Legislature and other special guests.
Visit the AFDF website for more information on the Symphony, including sponsorship opportunities and upcoming dates.