Prepared Foods and Ventura Foods proudly announce the opening of nominations for the 2015 Spirit of Innovation Awards. The program recognizes innovative product development teams for their work on exciting new products.

Contest judges will name first, second and third place honorees in each of two categories—retail and foodservice—and those winning companies will be recognized during Prepared Foods’ 33rd annual New Products Conference, Sept. 27-30, at the Four Seasons in Palm Beach, Fla. Conference registration and accommodations for one member of each winning team (first, second and third place) are included as part of the program, compliments of Ventura Foods.

Additional information and nomination forms are available at the Spirit of Innovation Award website ( Articles on previous award winners also are posted there.

Note: there no longer is a requirement to send finished product samples. Rather, a judging panel will base 2015 results on such written criteria as…

… cross-functional collaboration among company departments and/or vendors;
… product ingenuity (which may include packaging elements); and
… demonstrated market results.

Finished products (not ingredients) must have been introduced during 2014 or during the first half of 2015. Winners also must be willing to work with Prepared Foods in regard to press coverage and New Products Conference attendance.

Nomination forms may be completed on the website and require brief summaries of the product attributes, team qualifications and relevant market results. Summaries are not expected to divulge any proprietary or confidential company or product information. They only provide SOI judges adequate detail about the product and its development.

Spirit of Innovation Award nominations are being accepted through Friday, June 5, 2015, and may be submitted by a company or a supplier-vendor, on its behalf. Prepared Foods will notify winners in late June or early July 2015. Those winners also will be featured in Prepared Foods’ October 2015 issue.