Alaska Symphony of Seafood

September 21, 2020

The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation Announces Postponement of November 2020 Symphony of Seafood Event and Rescheduling for Spring of 2021

The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, organizer of the Alaska Symphony of Seafood (Symphony) since 1994, today announced the postponement of the Symphony event planned for November 2020 due to the ongoing health and safety issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Rescheduling for the event is planned for Spring of 2021 with a Call for Product to be reissued in early 2021.

Despite some re-opening measures nationally and locally, there are still far too many uncertainties about the impact that COVID-19 will have on travel and mass gatherings this November in Seattle. Accordingly, it is impossible to hold an in-person event that would provide an experience that the Alaska seafood industry finds so valuable within the Symphony. AFDF will continue to monitor the COVID-19 health crisis and will provide monthly updates to the industry and partners on the 2021 rescheduled event. Additionally, AFDF will explore exciting opportunities to hold virtual events throughout the year, celebrating past Symphony winners along with new value-added products made from Alaska Seafood.

The Symphony is designed to support and promote the Alaska seafood industry and is 100% supported by industry. After AFDF polled industry partners and participants, it became evident that COVID-19 has and will continue to hinder much of industry’s ability to produce new value-added products or participate in the Symphony within such close proximity to the peak of the pandemic, whether in-person or virtual. Without healthy participation by industry, the benefits of an in-person or virtual event are limiting. Given the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we will let interested entrants know about the event format, product quantities, and delivery information when more information is available on the format of scheduled events. The safety of all communities is of the topmost importance, thank you for your understanding.

We thank you for your support for AFDF and the Symphony. AFDF will provide more details on Symphony events in the coming months, please do not hesitate to reach out to Riley Smith or Val Motley with any questions.


August 17, 2020

Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation announces the 2021 Alaska Symphony of Seafood and Call for Product

The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) announced the Call for Product for the 28th annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood which culminates in 2021. The Alaska Symphony of Seafood is a competition for new value-added products made from Alaska seafood. The overall goal is to inspire innovative ways to fully utilize and increase the value of Alaska’s seafood. The Call for Product is now available. Entry forms and fees are due by October 6, 2020.

If your company currently has a product in the market made from Alaska seafood, your innovative product is requested for a command performance in the 28th annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood!

Since 1994, the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation has conducted the Alaska Symphony of Seafood celebrating creative products made from Alaska seafood. The purpose of the event is to encourage and promote the development of value-added products made from fisheries resources taken from the pristine waters of Alaska. This year, we are excited to feature Salmon and Whitefish categories in addition to Retail, Food Service and Beyond the Plate categories. Product entries can enter into all qualified categories and are eligible for multiple awards (i.e. Retail and Salmon, or Beyond the Plate and Whitefish). Additionally, products will be eligible to win special awards in the following categories: Seattle People’s Choice, Juneau People’s Choice, Bristol Bay Choice, and the coveted Grand Prize. Any questions about qualifications of products should be directed to Val Motley.

The 28th annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood begins with the private judging of qualified entries in Seattle in November 2020. 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 in February 2021, allowing the display and sampling of products by the Alaska Legislature and other special guests. Again this year, the first place in each category will also be entered into the Seafood Expo North America’s competition for new products, called the Seafood Excellence Award.

In order to participate in the Alaska Symphony of Seafood, your product must be market ready—in commercial production by the date of the event. First place winners from each category are sent to Seafood Expo North America in Boston in March, 2021. Additionally, if your product wins in any category, including People’s Choice or the Grand Prize, you will be able to market your product as an Alaska Symphony of Seafood winner, helping to distinguish it from others as a high quality product. After the contest is over, we will also send you the judges’ scores and comments about your product. This kind of feedback is invaluable to any new product development effort.

The Alaska Symphony of Seafood enjoys excellent coverage by national and international seafood trade publications. For anyone interested in Alaska seafood, the renowned Alaska Symphony of Seafood is a great way to learn about the extraordinary efforts the industry has made to develop value-added products, to reduce fish waste, and to increase the value of Alaska’s seafood. From start to finish, the Alaska Symphony of Seafood offers a means to publicize new products, promote a healthy food, and help expand the worldwide markets for products made from Alaska seafood. We look forward to having your products participate in this exciting event!

In order to hold these events, the Symphony is 100% funded by industry and its supporters each year. AFDF would like to recognize and thank our sponsors from last year. Major sponsors include Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, Lineage Logistics, Trident Seafoods, Marine Stewardship Council, Northwest Fisheries Association, Alaska Air Cargo, At-Sea Processors Association, and the United Fishermen of Alaska. See here for a complete list of sponsors. Click here for more information on Symphony sponsorship opportunities and benefits.

About the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation

Founded in 1978, AFDF is dedicated to identifying common opportunities in the Alaska seafood industry and developing efficient, sustainable outcomes that provide benefits to the economy, environment and communities.


April 23, 2020

AFDF Announced Awards for the Alaska Symphony of Seafood

During an evening celebration of the best of Alaska Seafood co-hosted with United Fishermen of Alaska, the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) announced the winners of the Alaska Symphony of Seafood during the Awards Ceremony on Monday, February 24th in Juneau, Alaska. Here, contestants, industry representatives, Alaska Legislators, media and public attendees gathered to celebrate and toast the winners.

The Symphony is an annual contest for new value-added products made from Alaska seafood. The goal of the Alaska Symphony of Seafood is to increase the value of Alaska’s seafood by encouraging product development which diversifies markets, utilizes more of the resources and reduces fish waste.

This year’s first, second and third place winners in each category included:

FOODSERVICE:

RETAIL:

BEYOND THE PLATE:

The PEOPLE’S CHOICE, the product with the most votes from attendees at the two events, was awarded to:

The GRAND PRIZE, the product with the highest overall score, was awarded to Bullwhip Hot Sauce by Barnacle Foods.

The Bullwhip Hot Sauce, by Barnacle Foods, was a triple winner (Retail category, Juneau People’s Choice and Grand Prize). Upon receiving the Grand Prize, Barnacle Foods commented, “Our team is honored to be recognized for our Bullwhip Hot Sauce. We have been amazed by people’s response since its release. Alaska bull kelp is the #1 ingredient in the hot sauce, which imparts a deep umami flavor. When kelp is paired with piri piri pepper, tomatoes, and fresh garlic, the delicious flavor makes you want to put this sauce on everything! The Alaska kelp industry is on an exciting trajectory and these awards showcase that we can make really delicious foods out of kelp. The Alaska Symphony of Seafood encourages all seafood processors to prioritize innovation in product development. At Barnacle Foods, we will continue to develop new products which showcase the flavors of Alaska kelp.”

Julie Decker, executive director of AFDF, commented on this year’s winners, “We had 20 entrants this year with several Alaska Seafood species being represented. We had four products entered made from seaweed, which demonstrates a new trend in growing seaweed in Alaska. We are very excited for all the winners which demonstrate remarkable quality and are poised to be successful in the marketplace.”

Each year, the first-place winners from each category and the Grand Prize winner receive booth space at the distinguished Seafood Expo North America, entry into the national new product competition, Seafood Excellence Award, as well as airfare to and from the show provided by our sponsor, Alaska Air Cargo.

This year’s judges included: Jess Hathaway with National Fisherman, Craig Fleener with Alaska Ocean Cluster, Ashley Heimbigner with Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Tomi Marsh with FV Savage, BT Thompson with Rogge, Amanda Herrera with Herban Feast, Jeff Taton with Herban Feast, David Levy with Central Market, Chef Zoi Antonitsas, and Cynthia Nims with Mon Appetit. AFDF thanks all of the sponsors that make this special event possible each year.

Our major sponsors this year include: Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, Lineage Logistics, Trident Seafoods, Marine Stewardship Council, Northwest Fisheries Association, Alaska Air Cargo, and At-Sea Processors Association. Click here for complete list of sponsors.

AFDF will be announcing the Call for Product for the 2020-21 Alaska Symphony of Seafood this summer.

Stay tuned for more important updates on the upcoming Symphony.


November 25, 2019

AFDF Announced Winners of the Alaska Symphony of Seafood

All awards will be announced Feb. 24th, 2020, in Juneau

The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) announced the Seattle People’s Choice and the 1st place winners of the Alaska Symphony of Seafood during Pacific Marine Expo on Friday, November 22nd. The Alaska Symphony of Seafood is an annual competition for new value‐added products made from Alaska Seafood. The goal of the Symphony is to encourage innovation through product development and promotion of these new products. The Symphony helps to diversify markets, utilize more of the resource, and increase value. Product development also helps keep Alaska Seafood relevant to consumers.

The Alaska Symphony of Seafood kicked off on November 20th in Seattle with the private judging session. Each product entered into the competition was grouped into one of four categories: Retail, Foodservice, Beyond the Plate, and Beyond the Egg. Product entries were individually evaluated in each category by a panel of expert judges. The competition enlisted chefs, seafood writers, seafood buyers, and other industry experts to pick the best new Alaska Seafood products of the year. In Seattle, the judges tasted, deliberated and scored all the products. Scoring was based on the product packaging and presentation, overall eating experience, price and potential for commercial success.

Also, on November 20th, AFDF held the Seattle Open House in collaboration with the Northwest Fisheries Association at Dockside at Duke’s. At this event, the guests sampled each product and voted on their favorite product. The votes were tallied that evening and the winner, Wild Alaska Cod Fish & Chips Meal Kit, by Alaskan Leader Seafoods, was awarded Seattle People’s Choice (see photo at right).

Additionally, this year’s first place winners in each category include the following amazing products:

This years’ panel of judges included: Ashley Heimbigner (Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute), Cynthia Nims (Monappetit LLC), Jess Hathaway (National Fishermen), Craig Fleener (Alaska Ocean Cluster), Tomi Marsh (Fishes and Dishes), BT Thompson (Rogge), Amanda Herrera (Herban Feast), Jeff Taton (Herban Feast), David Levy (Central Market), and Zoi Antonitsas (Chef).

The first‐place winners of each category and the grand prize winner will receive booth space at the distinguished Seafood Expo North America (SENA) in March, airfare to and from the show provided by our sponsor, Alaska Air Cargo, entry into the SENA new products contest, the Seafood Excellence Awards, as well as other promotional benefits.

All the winners, including the Grand Prize, Juneau and Seattle People’s Choice, and first, second and third places in each category, will be announced on February 24th at the Symphony Awards Ceremony and UFA Legislative Reception in Juneau, Alaska, co‐hosted with the United Fisherman of Alaska (UFA).

Thank you, Sponsors!

AFDF thanks all of the sponsors that make this important event possible each year. Our major sponsors this year include: Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Bristol Bay Regional Development Association, Northwest Fisheries Association, Alaska Air Cargo, At-Sea Processors Association, Lineage Logistics, Marine Stewardship Council, Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association, Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation, Marel, Kwik’Pak Fisheries LLC, Trident Seafoods, Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers, UniSea, and United Fishermen of Alaska.


August 19, 2019

Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation announces the 2020 Alaska Symphony of Seafood

The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) announced the Call for Product for the 27th annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood which culminates in 2020. The Alaska Symphony of Seafood is a competition for new value-added products made from Alaska seafood. The overall goal is to inspire innovative ways to fully utilize and increase the value of Alaska’s seafood. The Call for Product is now available. Entry forms and fees are due by October 15, 2019. All information is available at AFDF’s website.

Product development is essential for Alaska Seafood to remain relevant to consumers. The Alaska Symphony of Seafood is an exciting platform that encourages companies to invest in product development, helps them promote those new products, and competitively positions Alaska Seafood in national and global markets. Each new product entered in the competition is grouped into one of four categories: Retail, Foodservice, Beyond the Plate and Beyond the Egg. “A significant portion of the value and health benefits in any fishery resource is found in the byproducts and roe. The Symphony is continuing to encourage and promote new product development in these particular categories which has an overall effect of increasing the value of the resource, improving nutritional output, and reducing waste – a win-win-win,” said Julie Decker, Executive Director of AFDF. “We are pleased to continue to offer these categories, Beyond the Plate and Beyond the Egg, which also reflect exciting recent trends and investments in the seafood industry.”

Why enter a value-added product into the Symphony?

Product entries are individually evaluated by a panel of expert judges during a private judging session. Evaluations are based on the product’s packaging, presentation, overall eating experience, price and potential for commercial success.

“We got exactly what we wanted from the event—contacts for production partners. Overall, a very positive experience!” – David Chessik of Ed’s Kasilof Seafoods with Baltica Fish Broth.

“I encourage all companies to develop a product and compete in the Symphony. It keeps all of us in the industry striving to be better and keeps Alaska Seafood positioned as a premium on the world stage!” — Keith Singleton from Alaskan Leader Seafoods, 2018 Grand Prize and Retail 1st Place for Alaskan Cod with Lemon Herb Butter.

First, second and third place winners from each category are awarded, as well as an overall Grand Prize, Seattle People’s Choice and Juneau People’s Choice. First place winners from each product category will receive free booth space at Seafood Expo North America (SENA), the industry’s biggest event of the year in Boston. The winners will also automatically be entered into the Seafood Excellence Awards (SEA), a new products contest held at the SENA, which will provide additional national and international exposure. Airfare for one company representative to attend the show will be provided by Alaska Air Cargo. All first-place products will be photographed by a professional, featured at each winners’ booths and made available for marketing and sales efforts. Winners will also have the use of a sticker that can be featured on the packaging and used for other marketing efforts. Winners will have access to and use of all digital materials created. The media opportunities associated with the Alaska Symphony of Seafood are numerous. Many articles, editorials, and advertisements will be produced featuring the event and its winners. It is a great promotional boost for any new product.

Judging and Open House events will be held in Seattle on November 20, 2019 and in Juneau on February 24, 2020. The winners will be given an opportunity to display their winning products at SENA from March 15-17, 2020. During the Seattle Open House, the chefs, manufacturers, buyers, sellers and media are invited to vote on their favorite product at the Seattle reception. This award – Seattle People’s Choice – will be announced at the end of the event. The first-place award in each category will be kept confidential until a public announcement at the Pacific Marine Expo (PME) on Friday, Nov. 22nd held in collaboration with Diversified Communications. The overall grand prize, the second and third place awards in each category, and the Juneau People’s Choice will all be announced at the end of the Juneau Legislative Reception co-hosted with the United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA).

In order to hold these events, the Symphony is 100% funded by industry and its supporters each year. AFDF would like to recognize and thank our major sponsors from last year: Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Alaska Air Cargo, Alaskan Brewing Company, Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association, At-sea Processors Association, Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation, City of Unalaska, Kwik’Pak Fisheries LLC, Marel, Northwest Fisheries Association, Trident Seafoods, UniSea and United Fishermen of Alaska. Click here for more information on Symphony sponsorship opportunities and benefits.

About the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation

Founded in 1978, AFDF is dedicated to identifying common opportunities in the Alaska seafood industry and developing efficient, sustainable outcomes that provide benefits to the economy, environment and communities. For more information, visit our website.