Grimsby seafood brand wins big with maiden award entry
PROUD OF PERFORMANCE: Chloe Darwood and Fridrik Thorsteinsson, with international sales and procurement managers Chris Baird and Ian Dillerstone, at the British Frozen Food Federation Annual Awards 2017. Below, the winning product.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 5 Jul 2017
GRIMSBY-based Northcoast Seafoods has won big with its own brand at the British Frozen Food Awards, little over a year after launching its Fishmonger’s Favourite range.
The Europarc business took Retail Product of the Year for its Two Salmon and King Prawn Stacks, having introduced it to the UK’s biggest supermarket, Tesco, last April.
It first won fish-based product before beating other winners from poultry, vegetable, meat, savouries and dessert categories, seeing off entries from Iceland and Aldi to take the crown.
Fridrik Thorsteinsson, managing director, said: “This win is incredibly exciting for the whole team and it is a great celebration of their constant dedication and hard work. We are incredibly prou
d of this achievement, and it is testament to the wide and varied range we have worked on to form our own label, Fishmonger’s Favourite.
“A great amount of attention, innovation and passion has been shown by our new product development team, headed by Chloe Darwood and Richard Summerfield, and this is a very well-deserved win.”
The presentation was made at the trade association’s 30th annual gala dinner dance at the London Hilton on Park Lane.
It was judged by a panel of independent consumers who marked on appearance, taste, innovation, packaging, preparation instructions, likelihood of purchase and value form money.
BFFF chief executive John Hyman said the frozen food category was “alive and well with a wonderful range of inventive, mouth-watering, delicious products being offered to consumers,” adding: “The Retail Product of the Year is a triumph for Northcoast Seafoods. The consumer panel absolutely loved this dish, made of salmon fillet pieces and warm water prawns with a creamy lemon and dill sauce filling, topped with puff pastry and cracked black pepper.”
The product was part of a hat-trick of entries from the team, with Coquille Thermidor (for Morrisons) and Salmon and Chorizo Burgers (for Morrisons and Tesco), also put forward.
Miss Darwood, sales and procurement executive, has been with Northcoast for the past four years.
She said: “These are probably now the biggest awards in the industry, and it was great to be there with our own brand, Fishmonger’s Favourite, which we launched at the beginning of 2016.
“This particular product launched in April 2016, and is a re-invention of the British Fish Pie – everyone loves their pie in the UK!
“So much work goes in to it so when the awards came around, we thought the recognition from being part of it would be an element in getting the brand and the products out there.
“We were over the moon with the category win, it was something we didn’t expect, then to win overall too, was absolutely amazing.”
It is an extension of operations for Northcoast, which began with just Mr Thorsteinsson in a shed on Grimsby Fish Docks 18 years ago. There are now 22 directly employed and supporting businesses working alongside.
Having initially produced under third party, a manufacturing facility has been created in surplus space at its packing partner, Ambassador Seafoods, in Stallingborough.
“A unit at the warehouse has been kitted out, with a new product development kitchen also being built,” Miss Darwood said. “The factory is now finished and now we’re looking to get approvals, it is all coming together quite well.”
Looking ahead, she added: “It is all about more innovation now for the future. Cold water prawns have always been the core of the business, but the growth is now in white fish and in added value. Both are very busy. The cold water season is just starting, and we are getting Christmas off the ground with added value too.”