Alaskan Leader took home the top prize in the new Bristol Bay Choice Category at the recent Symphony of Seafoods in Seattle, Washington. Their Wild Caught Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon features two, 8 ounce individually vacuum packed Bristol Bay sockeye salmon portions.
The sockeye salmon was sourced from Trident Seafoods.
This was the first year of competition in the new Bristol Bay Choice category, which was developed in partnership with the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association. The three-year partnership with AFDF on the new category is designed to inspire innovation in consumer products, with the overall goal of creating more channels for Bristol Bay sockeye to reach consumers in the marketplace — both on the retail shelves and beyond.
“The Symphony of Seafoods is the perfect springboard for innovative products that are new or close to being on the market,” said BBRSDA Marketing Director Lilani Dunn. “After judging this year I realized there is room for nontraditional uses of sockeye as well as collaboration with the ever growing category of kelp.”
Other entrants in the Bristol Bay Choice category included Ocean Beauty’s Echo Falls Wild Alaskan Smoked Salmon and Tai Foong’s Sockeye Salmon with Miso Glaze. The first-place winner of the Bristol Bay Choice will receive booth space at the Seafood Expo North America in Boston in 2022 and entry into their national new product competition, the Seafood Excellence Awards.
“The more chances consumers have to buy Bristol Bay sockeye salmon, the more opportunity exists to increase the value of the fishery for our members,” Andy Wink, Executive Director of the BBRSDA said. “Given the quality improvements our fleet continues to make — with over 94 percent of the drift catch chilled in 2020 — the efforts by the processing community, and another huge run forecasted for 2022, now is the perfect time to invest in looking ahead at expanding the market presence of Bristol Bay sockeye salmon.”
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has forecast a return of over 75 million sockeye salmon to Bristol Bay in 2022, following the record-setting run of 2021 with over 66 million sockeye.
The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association is a fishermen-funded group with the mission to increase the value of the Bristol Bay fishery through education, quality outreach, and marketing.