Seafood lovers have spoken – our mussels, salmon and oysters are New Zealand’s favourites, according to Auckland Seafood Festival goers.
Over 20,000 people flocked to the Halsey Wharf for the four-day festival where two marquees showcasing Clevedon Coast Oysters, Pacific Marine Farms with Te Kouma Bay Oysters and Oceanz Blue paua, Kono’s Kiwa Oysters, Akaroa Salmon and Sanford mussels, oysters and salmon, were the clear crowd favourites experiencing strong demand and excellent feedback.
The aquaculture delegation was co-ordinated by Aquaculture New Zealand as part of efforts to ‘share the love’ for our industry by enabling farmers to engage directly with a supportive community and serve their products at their absolute best.
Over 1200 kgs of Greenshell mussels, 1400 dozen Pacific oysters, 700 dozen flat oysters and 2300 salmon dishes were gobbled up and, judging by the response on social media which included over 100 comments on our Aquaculture New Zealand page, thoroughly enjoyed.
Some fans tried them all: “OH LA LA LA- my most favourite highlight from the Auckland Seafood Festival is tasting the delicious salmon, mussels and oysters while sitting in a beautiful location with great people and music to help the digestion,” posted Karen Andrew on Facebook.
Others stuck to their old favourites: “Amazing seafood highlight: the mussels done in an amazing coconut broth,” posted Dave Dent. While others were clearly proud to see the quality of our products.
“OMG so proud to be a kiwi! We have the best seafood in the world. Our Greenlip mussels are unique. I can eat them any how love them in coconut milk the best though,” wrote Suzanne Twidle.
The mussels were a crowd favourite with 1700 serves dished up by the Sanford team including General Manager Processing, Ted Culley.
“Mussels are an iconic New Zealand seafood and resonate with a lot of Kiwi seafood lovers,” said Ted.
“We wanted to present them in a way that taps into that connection and shows how simple they are to work with, and how enjoyable they are when cooked well.
“The key was fresh whole mussels, lightly steamed and served with a 9 nice sauce that you can dip bread in.
“We were well supported and had lots of good feedback from people who really enjoyed them. They loved the flavours and loved the mussels.”
Oysters also enjoyed strong sales, but Clevedon Coast director Callum McCallum said their biggest reward came in the promotion of the industry and their products.
“We’ve had a great response from people and for us that’s what it was all about. You can’t have a celebration of New Zealand seafood without oysters and we wanted to be here to reach seafood lovers and promote our brand and promote beautiful New Zealand oysters,” he said.
To help spread the word, AQNZ staff circulated through the venue wearing shirts promoting love of the products, while distributing product cooking guides and engaging with people in discussion about how they use them at home.
“The response we had was incredibly positive. We approached people asking, “do you love mussels, NZ salmon and oysters?” and nearly every one responded with “yes of course I do”, said AQNZ marketing manager Mel Shirley.
“Our goal was to get people excited about the products and encourage them to use them at home and it was great to see the level of awareness and positive support that exists.”