Seafood Expo Global 2022 - Marks the Successful Return of Face-to-Face Events for the Seafood Industry!

5 May 2022

Between 26.04.2022 and 28.04.2022, the 2022 live rendition of the Seafood Expo Global was held. The 28th edition of the trade fair took place for the first time in the event's history in Barcelona. It was hosted at the Fira de Barcelona - Gran Vía. The edition marked the lucrative return of face-to-face global seafood industry events. It featured 1,550 exhibitors from 76 countries and over 26,000 visitors on 39,847 m2 of event space. The trade fair featured relieved event venue coronavirus restrictions.

As mentioned, the Fira de Barcelona featured relieved Covid-19 safety measures. Such a change was due to the government lifting several safety requirements. This included the removal of the 3G entry policy and mask guidelines. Such alternations were welcome by participants and aided in creating a jubilant atmosphere. The venue also featured thorough sanitation and disinfection sessions.

Among the central themes of the trade fair were:

  • Aquaculture
  • Sustainability
  • Post-Covid-19 Recovery
  • Seafood Business

These reflected the latest trends affecting the global seafood industry and were featured throughout the event schedule. This included incorporating them into the conference programme. They were also reflected in the Seafood Excellence Global Awards.

The Seafood Excellence Global Awards once again lauded the best products. The winners of the 2022 edition were GlobeXplore from France and Pescanova España from Spain. They were selected from 38 finalists and announced during the Seafood Excellence Global Awards Reception. Pescanova España received the award for the Best Retail Product category due to their Salmon Noodles. The product received recognition because it represented the pasta goods created from fish. Such wares are valuable in providing protein and omega-3 while remaining low fat. The Salmon Noodles are sold chilled and permit the mixing of various sauces to add flavour. Additionally, consumers can peruse the chef-developed recipes on the back of the packages. The jury also noted the product's excellent taste, texture, natural appearance and highly appealing package design. The product also received a special Innovation award.

GlobeXplore received the Best HORECA Product award for its Seaweed Spread - Yuzu and Ginger product. The ware is an exotic and subtle blend of sea lettuce, ginger and yuzu. It is intended as an accompanying element to vegetable and meat meals. The Spread is fully prepared and ready to use. This enables consumers to create original seafood recipes. Additionally, the jury noted that the product has a favourable and one-of-a-kind flavour. This includes the presence of palpable after notes of ginger and yuzu.

The Seafood Excellence Global Awards, as mentioned, also featured five special award categories. These were:

  • Health & Nutrition
  • Convenience
  • Retail Packaging
  • Best Seafood Product Line
  • Innovation division

The winners were Balfegó & Balfegó SL, JC Mackintosh and Krijn Verwijs Yerseke BV. Balfegó & Balfegó SL received the Health & Nutrition prize for their Balfegó Bluefin Tuna Loin. The bluefin tuna was harvested at optimal fat, colour and flavour levels. This allows the product to provide various nutritional benefits like protein and omega-3. The product is intended for use by top global chefs as a valuable addition to their recipes. JC Mackintosh received the special Convenience award for their Smoked Wild-Caught Bluefin Tuna Carpaccio. Naturally-cold-smoked fish was used to create the product. The company used oak and beech wood and wine barrels from La Rioja Alavesa. The fish is then thinly cut and arranged as a ready-to-eat portion.

Krijn received two special awards - Retail Packaging and Best Seafood Product Line. It received the Seafood Product Line for its BAP-certified organic mussels. The product line featured four flavour variants. These were:

  • Bangkok - Mussels in Fresh Sauce with Lemongrass and Ginger
  • Bangkok - Mussels Classic
  • Bangkok - Mussels in Fresh Sauce with Thyme and Rosemary
  • Avignon - Mussels in Fresh Sauce with Wild Garlic

Among the causes for awarding the product line was the overall quality of the products. They also included the flavours’ consumer appeal and the package's attention-drawing qualities.

The Mussels in Fresh Sauce with Lemongrass also earned the Retail Packaging award. This was due to the attractive design that featured a high-quality photograph and detailed ingredient information. Additionally, the packaging is 100% recyclable, thus promoting sustainability.

The judging panel consisted of the leading experts:

  • Ahold Delhaize’s Retail Business Partner for Seafood and Frozen Food, Debby Verheyen
  • La Sirena stores’ Seafood Purchasing Manager, Daniel Diaz
  • Supermarché Match’s Seafood Director, Nicholas Baroux
  • Chefs Culinar’s Seafood Product Manager, Sebastian Kiel
  • Yo! Sushi’s Head of Purchasing, Paula Merrigan

The Seafood Excellence Global Awards featured five key trends represented by the finalists. These were:

  • Health
  • Sustainable and climate-wise food choices
  • Ease of preparation
  • Seafood Burgers
  • Japanese products/flavours

The Health trend reflected consumers’ increased demands for healthy food. The Sustainability trend reflected the ever-increasing demand for detailed seafood origin information. To meet this demand, finalists used clean labels with recognisable ingredients. The labels also featured sustainability certifications and the product’s climate impact. Ease of preparation signified consumers’ need for partially prepared products as easy-to-made-at-home meals. Such wares are also valuable for the food service sector. This is due to them serving as time saving and high-quality ingredients. The Seafood Burgers trend reflects the popularity of this type of meal. This is due to it being able to use as much as possible of the processed seafood for human consumption. It additionally provides a diverse variety of flavours.

The conferences also reflected the central themes of Seafood Expo Global 2022. Over 20 education sessions addressed the industry's leading challenges. The sessions took place in English and featured over 65 leading international experts. They provided theoretical and practical insight into leading topics. Among them were:

  • Aquaculture
  • Sustainability projects
  • The effects of climate change on maritime ecosystems
  • Seafood business issues

Among the notable sessions included in the programme were the:

  • Keynote: Economic Outlook for 2022
  • From Revolution to Evolution: the Fishery and Aquaculture Market in a Post Covid-19 World
  • Venture Capital and Technologies Advancing the Seafood Industry
  • Eating Up the Oceans – How Do We Save Our Oceans?
  • Seafood Futures Forum 2022
  • The Hidden Value in the Side-Streams
  • A Sustainable Seafood Future – The Marine Challenges

The Economic Outlook featured Megan Greene presenting insights into the industry’s recovery. This included examining climate change, inflation, and supply chain challenges. To achieve the task, Greene studied various data. This consisted of global flows, structural trends, policy developments, and political factors. This allowed attendees to learn about potential risks and business opportunities. The Keynote took place on the first day of the conference. The Seafoods Futures Forum allowed attendees to learn about overfishing prevention means. This included studying new research and programme developments. The Forum also allowed them to study the newest sustainable seafood market trends. The speakers included:

  • Justin King
  • Michaela Reischl
  • Ruper Howes
  • Jose Luis Jauregui
  • Minna Epps

The Hidden Value in the Side-Streams session presented the WaSeaBi Project. This is a project meant to develop novel solutions for the optimal utilisation of seafood side-streams. This includes using new process line designs to convert side-streams into high-value ingredients. Such includes creating novel stabilisation, added-value, and sorting technologies for seafood by-products. Such innovations will aid in converting such raw materials into marketable products. The Sustainable Seafood Future detailed how certification will encourage sustainable seafood production. This included providing insight into the latest trends, standards, and processes.

From Revolution to Evolution, detailed post-pandemic business opportunities and consumer behaviour changes. It featured leading speakers such as Alessandro Pititto and Christophe Vande Weyer. Venture Capital discussed how new technologies and projects will create a new market. This includes re-imaging the food system and countering climate change. Among the speakers of the session was Amy Novogratz. Eating Up the Ocean detailed the latest solutions for altering seafood consumption habits.

The Seafood Expo Global 2022 featured a diverse range of leading and start-up exhibitors. This included companies like Balfego & Balfego, S.L, Hofseth International AS, Profand Group, and Mascato. They also incorporated Crusta C, Mercamadrid, Cornelis Vrolijk BV, Cooke, and Denholm Seafoods Ltd. A total of 1,550 exhibitors from 76 countries and over 26,000 visitors attended the edition. The exhibitors presented their wares on 39,847 m2 of net exhibition space. The space included 59 regional and national pavilions. The exhibiting countries featured nations such as:

  • Czech Republic
  • Argentina
  • Bangladesh
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Belgium
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • USA
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Malaysia
  • Morocco
  • Norway
  • Peru
  • South Korea

The 28th edition of the Seafood Expo Global re-confirmed the event’s leading position. This was due to participants expressing high satisfaction with their participation. This was because of the in-person rendition, allowing them to present novel products and create new business opportunities.