In 2008, Prepared Foods and Ventura Foods will again join together to present the Spirit of Innovation Awards (SOI).

Nominees must have been released nationally within the last 18 months; that is, the product should have appeared between 2007 and mid-2008. A panel of industry experts will evaluate each nomination and product on a variety of criteria:
  • The need for coordination among the company’s departments and/or vendors. This will be determined primarily through the product’s nomination form, but the judging panel will also evaluate the product’s complexity. (Nevertheless, judges will rely heavily upon the nominations to detail the coordination and teamwork efforts involved.)
  • The ingenuity of the product’s concept. This may also include the uniqueness of the package.
  •   The sensory quality of the nominated food or beverage.
  • The willingness of the nominated company to work with Prepared Foods’ editors and to attend the 2008 Prepared Foods’ New Products Conference.

    On behalf of the winner, Ventura Foods will make a $2,500 scholarship donation to a university of the winner’s choice. The winner receives free registration and accommodations to the 2008 Prepared Foods’ New Products Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he will receive the award and present a brief, five-minute presentation on the product and the efforts required to produce the winning product. In addition, the SOI winners will be featured in editorial coverage in Prepared Foods after the event. Two runners-up will also receive free registration to the 2008 New Products Conference.

    Nominations for the 2008 SOI Awards are now being accepted. A company may submit a nomination or a vendor may do so on a company’s behalf. Entry forms and further details are available at the Spirit of Innovation website: www.PreparedFoods-SOI.com


  • Past Recipients of the Spirit of Innovation Awards

    2007 RETAIL: RW DELIGHTS FOR HEAVENLY SOUFFLE; 2ND PLACE: CATHEAD FOODS; 3RD PLACE: OSCAR MAYER
    2007 FOODSERVICE: MULTY GRAIN FOODS FOR VEGAN CRAB STYLE CAKE; 2ND PLACE: PHILLIPS FOODS; 3RD PLACE: JACK IN THE BOX

    2006 RETAIL: FGF BRANDS FOR FABULOUS FLATS NAAN; 2ND PLACE: GENERAL MILLS; 3RD PLACE LIBERTY RICHTER
    2006 FOODSERVICE: HORMEL FOR NATURAL CHOICE; 2ND PLACE: ADVANCE FOOD CO.; 3RD PLACE: CONAGRA FOODS LAMB WESTON

    2005 RETAIL: KRAFT FOODS FOR DIGIORNO; 2ND PLACE: PROCTER & GAMBLE; 3RD PLACE: OBERTO SAUSAGE CO.
    2005 FOODSERVICE: MCCAIN FOODS FOR LATIN LATITUDES; 2ND PLACE: FGF BRANDS; CONAGRA FOODS

    2004 RETAIL: BARILLA FOR RESTAURANT CREATIONS
    2004 FOODSERVICE: CAMPBELL SOUP CO. FOR THE V8 ENTRÉES

    2003 RETAIL: SCHWAN FOOD CO. FOR RED BARON PIZZA SLICES
    2003 FOODSERVICE: WELLS’ DAIRY FOR FRIAZOS