Open Blue, the largest deep-water, open-ocean fish farm in the world and the largest supplier of Cobia, was awarded the Best New Foodservice Product Award at the Seafood Excellence Awards at this year’s Seafood Expo North America (SENA), which took place in Boston earlier this week. SENA is the largest seafood trade event in North America drawing more than 21,600 seafood professionals from over 100 countries and more than 1,340 exhibiting companies.
Open Blue received top honors for their frozen IVP Open Blue Cobia fillet, being selected as one of twelve finalists that were narrowed down from 49 entries. A panel of seafood buyers and industry experts from the retail and foodservice industries selected the winners following a live tasting and presentation at the Boston Seafood Show. Open Blue’s Cobia IVP Fillet was selected by the judges as the winner in the Best New Food Service category based on factors such as taste, market potential, convenience, nutritional value, uniqueness, and originality.
“We are honored to be recognized for the cobia product we have spent more than a decade cultivating,” said Brian O’Hanlon, Open Blue Founder. “We choose to farm our cobia in the pristine environment of the open ocean as this ultimately translates into delivering the highest quality and best tasting products to our consumers.” One of the most versatile products for food service, Open Blue’s sashimi-grade frozen cobia fillets can be used in both raw and cooked applications across a variety of global cuisines. “Our customers see Cobia as a perfect menu replacement for another premium white fish because of its versatility and nutritional benefits,” commented Bernard Leger, Open Blue’s VP of Sales and Marketing. “We are excited to be shortly expanding into the consumer retail market with a range of portions conveniently packed in either MAP, IVP or skin-pack formats.”
Visitors to the Open Blue booth Boston 2017 were treated to delicious Cobia samples prepared by Sushi Master, Andy Matsuda of the Sushi Chef Institute, who recreated some of his signature dishes from the Open Blue Cobia Cookbook: A Guide to Sushi and Sashimi. “Chefs can create many new and innovative dishes using Open Blue Cobia because of its versatility,” said Andy. “It pairs well with a variety of flavors and foods making it a great and easy product to use and market.”
Open Blue recently achieved four certifications – British Retail Consortium (BRC), three-star Best Aquaculture Practices, Friend of the Sea and Global GAP and aims to achieve Aquaculture Stewardship Council compliance by the fall of 2017. Open Blue is also investing in expanding its processing plant in order to produce a range of retail and value-added products, including skin packs. The company plans to double its farmed volumes over the next five years.
About Open Blue:
The culmination of a decade of cutting-edge, investigative research in collaboration with the world’s leading scientific laboratories and universities on deep ocean mariculture. Open Blue’s Cobia is carefully cultivated in the deep, open waters of the Caribbean Sea twelve kilometers off the coast of Panama. This results in a healthy fish that is naturally high in protein providing Omega 3 (DHA & EPA) at levels almost twice as high as farmed Atlantic salmon. Based in Panama City and with offices in Denver, Miami, Nova Scotia and throughout Europe, Open Blue is dedicated to making a difference in the communities within which it works. The company sources local products supports education through scholarships and builds community wells.