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Shrimp came out on top at the Seafood Expo Global last week, as Vičiūnai Group (Lithuania and Spain) and Unima Distribution (France) took home the top honours at the 2023 Seafood Excellence Global Awards.

The awards, presented in Barcelona, Spain on 25 April, recognise the best products exhibited at this year’s Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global, the world’s largest seafood trade event.

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Vičiūnai Group won the Best Retail Product award for its Black Sepia Dumplings with Shrimp and Thai Broth Filling. Judges noted the high quality of the shrimp, the flavor of the broth, the uniqueness of the product, and the attractive package design.

Award-winning shrimp from Madagascar

Meanwhile, Unima Distribution won Seafood Expo Global’s grand prize for Best HORECA (hotel/restaurant/catering) Product for its organic body-peeled Madagascar shrimp.

Unima’s shrimp are raised in Mahajama Bay in northwest Madagascar, raised in a low-density facilities which prioritise animal well-being, environmental protection and community development. The judging panel based their decision on the high quality of the shrimp, its excellent texture and its “complex, intense delicately iodized flavour”.

Special prizes for shellfish and salmon products

In addition to the grand prizes, the judges also gave five special awards, including the Seafood Excellence Global special award for Health & Nutrition, which went to Scottish firm Macduff Shellfish (owned by Canadian-based Clearwater Seafoods) for their wild-caught whole Hebridean langoustines.

Unima Distribution also received two other awards, the Seafood Excellence Global special prize for Convenience and the Seafood Excellence Global special prize for Seafood Product Line.

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Vega Salmon A/S of Denmark won the Seafood Excellence Global special award for Retail Packaging for its Cold-smoked Salmon in Sustainable Packaging, while the Seafood Excellence Global special award for Innovation was given to Hot-Smoked Salmon with Cheese and Pine Nuts “Kinziukas” from Vičiūnai Group.

The winners were chosen from a field of 39 finalists representing 16 countries around the globe, and were judged on taste and overall eating experience, packaging, marketability, convenience, nutritional value, and innovation. The judging panel included food service and retail buyers, executive chefs, marketing experts, nutritionists and consumer advocates. The judges’ scores were verified by consultancy and accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers.

About the Seafood Excellence Global Awards

The Seafood Excellence Global Awards competition is designed to recognize the best seafood products represented at Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global each year. A screening committee evaluates each entrant and selects the best products as Finalists. Finalists are then judged by a distinguished group of seafood experts based on eating experience, packaging, convenience, originality, nutritional value and market potential.

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