The call is out for new Alaska products to be showcased at the annual Symphony of Seafood.
“It’s our 26th year and that’s exciting. We’re really looking forward to seeing what new products are out there this year because I’ve been hearing some rumors about some really fun stuff.”
Julie Decker is director of the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation which hosts the seafood event. It provides a level playing field for small ‘mom and pops,’ like salmon bacon from Fred West’s Tustamena Smokehouse, to compete with majors like Trident and Ocean Beauty.
Symphony goers can see and taste the new products and vote for the top three winners in four categories: Retail, Food Service, which focuses on roe products and Beyond the Plate.
“There are so many things being produced around the state, from kelp beer to things that are not edible, or pet treats, cosmetics, fish skins, things from crab shells – if it has Alaska seafood in it, it’s eligible for Beyond the Plate.”
For the second year the Symphony has partnered with Pacific Marine Expo, set for November 18 – 20. Decker says Expo provides a more inclusive arena for Alaska fishermen.
“It helps to get the Symphony out in front of fishermen who are an important part of developing new products and helping them connect to better awareness of how when they produce a higher quality product It opens up a lot more value added potential.”
After being judged by an expert panel, the first place winners will be announced at Expo in Seattle. All others will be kept under wraps until the Symphony again moves to Juneau in February for another bash. That’s where second and third place and the grand prize winner will be revealed.
The winning products get more exposure with a free trip and booth space at the big Seafood Expo North America event in Boston in March.
The annual Symphony is supported totally by industry sponsors.
Products and sponsors can be signed up through October 19 at the Alaska Symphony of Seafood website.