Christine Keenan, a seafood inspector for Surefish Quality Specialists, grades a Cook Inlet sockeye salmon at Deep Creek Custom Packing in Ninilchik.
Clarion file photo by Marcus Gar
Kenai Wild brand will make an appearance in Boston next month.
Cook Inlet Salmon Brand Inc., owner of the Kenai Wild brand, has donated $5,000 to participate in Go Wild in Boston an event organized by the state of Alaska aimed at marketing the state's seafood and tourism. It is being organized to coincide with the International Boston Seafood Show, one of the largest seafood trade show in the nation.
Go Wild in Boston will be funded by 14 private companies including Kenai Wild and will cost about $80,000, said Tina Dickinson, spokesperson for the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. It is an invitation-only affair and will be attended by influential seafood buyers from around the world, she said.
Kenai Wild's donation allows the brand participation in the event and provides advertising in a variety of different formats.
"(The event) is really going to focus in on what Alaska has to offer," she said.
She said the event is important because it gives smaller companies exposure to large buyers.
A ballroom will be rented out and decorated with an Alaska theme, she said. Companies and organizations will contribute some of their product to be prepared by celebrity chefs, she said.
Dickinson said this will demonstrate to big-name purchasers what they can do with Alaska products at high-end restaurants. Names of participating chefs were not available.
Gov. Frank Murkowski launched an effort two years ago to increase the marketing of Alaska seafood, she said. Since then, millions of state and private dollars have been spent pursuing this goal, she said.
This event provides a platform for regional brands to gain an important audience at an otherwise expensive event, said Sylvia Beaudoin, executive director of CISB and interim president of Alaska Regional Seafood Branding Association. She will be a presenter and a panelist at the International Boston Seafood Show.
Mark Powell, president of CISB, said it is an honor that Kenai Wild was invited by the state to participate in this event adding that it helps gives the brand credibility. He said it fits in with the organization's goal this year: increase the market for Kenai Wild and increase its production.
Kenai Wild has set a goal to be completely self-sufficient in five years, Powell said. The program is in its fourth year. So far, the organization has sold most of its product to small grocery chains Outside, he said. Kenai Wild hopes to attract attention from some of the large seafood purchasers at the event, he said.
"We considered it an excellent opportunity," Powell said. "Being invited is evidence of the progress of the brand."
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