The Excellence in Innovation (EII) Awards are a unique opportunity to acknowledge outstanding product development teams and the innovation used to design and launch successful new products, while providing new products and companies with priceless worldwide exposure.

Co-sponsored by Prepared Foods and the American Egg Board, the EII Awards recognize innovative new products introduced nationally (commercially) during 2010-2011, as well as the inspirational teamwork and creativity that made these new products possible. The EII Awards are steeped in a deep history of recognizing landmark food and beverage product launches, while rewarding true excellence in innovation, which Prepared Foods began over eight years ago.

The Excellence in Innovation Awards will be presented in two categories: Retail and Foodservice. The winners will receive their awards during the EII Awards Ceremony at Prepared Foods' New Products Conference. There, 1st place winners will also offer a presentation on the strategies involved in creating the winning product and the challenges the product development team had to overcome. The Excellence in Innovation Awards ceremony will precede the Awards reception on Monday evening, September 12, 2011. This visual presentation will highlight the teams' major accomplishments and innovative aspects of the product.

All 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive crystal awards in recognition of the honor. The six winners are encouraged to provide samples of the products, so that the 250 attendees of the New Products Conference are given the opportunity to taste the award-winning new products.

Winners also will be recognized with a feature article in Prepared Foods, appearing in the October 2011 issue of the magazine.

The Excellence in Innovation Award nomination is not intended to divulge any proprietary or confidential company or product information. The information provided is only intended to allow the judges enough description to differentiate between many innovative product development teams and their exciting new products.

To submit a nomination for the 2011 Excellence in Innovation Awards, and for information on past award winners, go to and click on "Excellence in Innovation" on the left-hand menu, under "Events."

Nominations in the appropriate category (Retail or Foodservice) must include a summary of the product; its innovative qualities; and the product development team and the challenges they had to overcome in formulating the product. More than one nomination per company is allowed; however, only one product may be submitted per ballot.

The deadline for entering an Excellence in Innovation Award nomination is June 24, 2011. Winners will be notified in July

* Award acknowledges outstanding product development teams.
* No proprietary information is requested.
* Two categories: Retail and Foodservice.
* Winners announced at the New Products Conference and featured in a Prepared Foods cover story.
* Deadline to enter: June 24, 2011.