BOSTON, MASS. – Attendees at the largest seafood show in North America enjoyed a new twist on a well-known P.E.I. flavour during a product launch Sunday.
Royal Star Foods Ltd., P.E.I.’s largest lobster processor, unveiled a lobster concentrate product during the first day of the 2013 International Boston Seafood Show.
The Tignish-based company will introduce the concentrate, which can be used in items such as chowders and sauces, to the food service industry on P.E.I. this June.
“So far it’s been very pleasing, the response we’ve got,” said general manager Francis Morrissey shortly after the launch.
The product is 100 per cent lobster byproduct and is made from pieces of the shellfish that would have previously been thrown away, added Morrissey.
“It’s taking part of the lobster that is waste now and making it into a byproduct we feel is going to be very feasible,” said Morrissey, who added the product was developed with support from Canada’s Smartest Kitchen in Charlottetown, Innovation P.E.I., the Bio Food Tech centre, and Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).
Federal ACOA minister Gail Shea, who led the Atlantic delegation of 19 businesses and organizations to the show, was at the launch of the new Island product.
“It’s tremendous. The flavour is unbelievable,” she said during a conference interview. “That’s real innovation and they (Royal Star) have to be congratulated. To take a product that was going into the harbour basically as waste and turn it into something that’s going to give you a return not just to the plant but to the fishermen as well… everybody wins.”
The three-day seafood show is recognized as the largest of its kind in the U.S. with a record setting attendance of more than 19,000 in 2012.
The event, which is held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, also coincides with the New England Food Show.
Atlantic Canada’s seafood, aquaculture and fisheries industry exported $2.9 billion of product in 2012, making it one of region’s largest exports.
With approximately 60 per cent of that product being exported to the U.S., about 70 per cent ends up in New England.
However, Shea said the show is also an excellent opportunity for Atlantic Canadian companies to showcase product and make valuable contact with buyers from around the globe.
“Their presence here also reinforces the reputation Atlantic Canada enjoys as a source of top quality seafood,” Shea said.
For the eighth year, the four Atlantic provinces grouped together to create the “Atlantic Canada Pavilion” for a more cost-effective and visible way to promote the region.
While Royal Star’s launch was the highlight of the day for P.E.I. lobster, it wasn’t the only product with Island connections unveiled at the show Sunday.
New Brunswick’s True North Salmon Company, which has attended 27 of the seafood show’s 32 years, introduced three new products from their smoking facility in Charlottetown.
Those included a hot pepper smoked product, a new hot smoked product and a smoked trim product.
“Launching new products and innovations like these at a major event like the International Boston Seafood Show enables you to reach many potential buyers at once,” Shea said. “And I can tell you, these new products are all exceptional.”