‘Exceptional’ say global food experts – Fishfarmer Magazine

‘Exceptional’ say global food experts11 May, 2010 –

THREE New Zealand salmon products have been judged by international taste awards experts as being ‘exceptional’ with a further three called ‘remarkable’.

Nelson-based New Zealand King Salmon (NZKS) entered six products in the International Taste and Quality Institute (iTQi) Superior Taste Awards in Brussels and each was awarded either the maximum three stars or two.

NZKS’s Regal brand achieved two 3-star awards and three 2-stars. The company’s Seasmoke brand gained the third three-star award.

Three stars are awarded for ‘exceptional’ products with 90 per cent and more total marks while ‘remarkable’ products achieve two stars and score between 80 and 90 per cent.

Judges for the April awards are selected from within the 12 most prestigious European culinary and sommeliers associations and all the products are blind tasted solely on their own merit.

NZKS CEO Grant Rosewarne says the awards represent huge endorsement for the two brands in key markets.

She said: “We are delighted to gain prestige endorsement of our products from members of 12 of the most famous European culinary associations.  The awards reflect well not only on our brands but also the pure New Zealand brand we are so closely associated with.

“Only a small number of products tested each year are recognized with the three-star award – in fact, this year only 129 of 902 products entered achieved that status – and three of those were ours. Based on customer and consumer feedback we have always believed that we had an outstanding product in terms of taste and quality.

“This independent evaluation by European culinary experts certainly confirms our beliefs,” Mr Rosewarne says. “And from a personal point of view, it’s pretty amazing and remarkably rewarding to see your brand logo featured next to those of Carlsberg and Coca-Cola, Schweppes and Unilever.”

In a communication notifying NZKS of its success the managing partner of iTQi Christian de Bauw warmly congratulated the company on its “remarkable achievement”.

“Your company and your team should be particularly proud to market products that are so valued for their superior taste,” Mr Bauw said. “Being the first New Zealand food products to achieve three star status is a unique result and (represents) a unique opportunity to differentiate yourself.”

NZKS is awaiting full evaluation reports from the awards organisers complete with comments from the judges. The company has been invited to attend the Superior Taste Award Ceremony in late May in Brussels to collect its certificates and medals. 

New Zealand King Salmon (NZKS) is New Zealand’s biggest integrated aquaculture producer employing more than 400 skilled workers. Currently the company produces 7,500 metric tonnes of King salmon annually from five sea cage farms in the Marlborough Sounds of New Zealand’s South Island. With 55 per cent of the global market, the company is the world’s biggest farmer and supplier of the King salmon variety earning around NZ$34 million a year in foreign exchange. It accounts for 70 per cent of New Zealand’s salmon production.