The National Restaurant Association announced the recipients of the Food and Beverage (FABI) Awards, which recognize progressive food and beverage products that will make a significant impact in the restaurant industry. Representing the largest number of products to date in the awards’ five-year history, the 28 winners represent today’s leading food trends from new takes on gluten-free and vegetarian alternatives to local sourcing initiatives, including a revolutionary technology to freeze fruits and vegetables for up to three years.
An independent panel of experts, representing a variety of both commercial and non-commercial industry segments, selected the FABI Award recipients based on their exciting benefits to restaurant operators as well as the end consumer. The award recipients will be showcased throughout the exhibit halls at the 2015 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show on May 16-19 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.
“From my vantage point as both an owner and a chef, I find this year’s FABI Award winners incredibly exciting,” says John C. Metz, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2015 and CEO, executive chef, and co-founder of Marlow’s Tavern, Aqua Blue, and Sterling Spoon Culinary Management. “Our industry feels a continuous drive to innovate, to stay on trend, and to deliver on guest satisfaction, and this year’s FABI Awards showcase the companies and innovators that help chefs and foodservice operators deliver on that promise to our guests. These products provide opportunities to answer consumer demands, advance menu development, and improve efficiencies for virtually any operation - and serve as a guide to the must-see exhibitors at NRA Show® 2015.”
The 2015 FABI Award winners are:
ATALANTA CORPORATION | Del Destino Pre-Cooked Quinoa | BOOTH #1815
Requiring no additional cooking or preparation, this versatile, shelf-stable, and ready-to-eat quinoa—available in both red and white variety—delivers outstanding taste, consistent preparation without added labor costs, and superior storage and handling capabilities.
ATALANTA CORPORATION | Del Destino Ready-to-Eat Quinoa Salad | BOOTH #1815
Utilizing pre-cooked quinoa and premium vegetables, this shelf-stable and ready-to-eat salad is available in five distinct flavor combinations—each of which delivers both great taste and convenience in a nutritious, high-protein, vegetarian meal.
BRANDS OF BRITAIN, LLC | Fever-Tree Hand-Picked Elderflower Tonic Water | BOOTH #3784
Artisan-crafted in glass bottles to ensure premium freshness and high levels of carbonation, Fever-Tree Hand-Picked Elderflower Tonic Water uses only the best natural ingredients—handpicked elderflower from the UK, real quinine from Africa, and pure cane sugar—making its refreshing floral flavor both light and subtle in character, a true standout among mixers.
BUNGALOW 23 | Culinary Cocktail Mixers | BOOTH #10631
Bungalow 23 establishes a new beverage category: true, craft-quality cocktail mixers - the finest fruits and herbs from around the world, such as Willamette Valley blueberries, French lavender and fresh cut lemongrass, are hand-crafted into complex, balanced, award-winning taste profiles ideal for pairing with premium spirits.
CANE SIMPLE™ | Liquid Sugar | BOOTH #10730
The only individually packaged simple syrup on the market and available in three flavors— Original, Mint and Vanilla - this all-natural Liquid Sugar not only dissolves instantly into cold beverages (unlike granulated sugar), but is ideal for hot beverages too.
CHEATIN’ WHEAT | Gluten-Free Pancake Mix | BOOTH #10806
From bag to bowl to griddle in less than 5 minutes, this gluten-free pancake mix delivers on both taste and texture, creating deliciously light and fluffy pancakes every time while also being versatile enough to be used for crispy waffles, buttery biscuits and scrumptious scones.
CHEATIN’ WHEAT | Gluten-Free Whoopie Pie | BOOTH #10806
Developed by a professional chef and culinary instructor, these Whoopie Pies are made with a proprietary flour blend that leaves the devil’s food cake fantastically light, fluffy, and delicious– the perfect defrost-and-serve option for any foodservice establishment looking to offer patrons a cream-filled, chocolaty and gluten-free treat.
THE COCA-COLA COMPANY | Coca-Cola Freestyle® 7000 | BOOTH #4402
Offering 60+ beverages, the Coca-Cola Freestyle® 7000 is an ice-cooled countertop beverage dispenser that saves space and retrofitting costs for foodservice operators who want the advantages of the original Freestyle, but without compromising the benefits of consumer engagement, flavor variety and choice, and unparalleled access to consumption data and marketing programs.
CUP4CUP LLC | Gluten-Free Wholesome Flour Blend | BOOTH #10233
Developed in the kitchen of the famed French Laundry in Napa Valley, CA, Cup4Cup’s new Wholesome flour blend boasts such healthy additions as ground golden flaxseed and rice bran delivering 4g of fiber, 1200mg of Omega-3 fatty acids and 14g of whole grains per serving, making this the premier certified gluten-free, dairy-free, Kosher and non-GMO Project Verified cup-for-cup flour replacement for cooking and baking.
DAWN® FOOD PRODUCTS, INC. | Gluten-Free Cookies | BOOTH #1268
Available fully baked in three popular varieties of Chocolate Chip, Candy and Oatmeal Raisin, Dawn’s individually wrapped Gluten-Free Cookies not only taste rich and chewy; they are certified Gluten-Free by the GFCO and trans-fat-free.
DAWN® FOOD PRODUCTS, INC. | Gluten-Free Muffins | BOOTH #1268
Certified gluten-free by the GFCO and available in three popular flavors of Blueberry, Banana Nut, and Double Chocolate, these nationally distributed, individually wrapped muffins provide operators the ability to offer a great-tasting, trans-fat-free line of gluten-free muffins for breakfast, snack or dessert.
EARNEST EATS™ | Energized Hot Cereal Cups | BOOTH #10238
Organic, wheat-free and ready in just 5 minutes, Energized Hot Cereal Cups contain the world’s first oatmeal made with sustainable Coffee Fruit—an amazing super-food with, among other benefits, five times the fiber of whole-grain wheat flour and a light caffeine lift—in addition to quinoa, oats, and amaranth grains for sustained energy all morning long.
EXPLORE ASIAN INC. | Organic Black Bean Spaghetti | BOOTH #10635
Offering foodservice operators another way to reach the growing consumer audience looking for healthier meals and gluten-free dishes, this delicious Black Bean Spaghetti cooks to al dente in just 7-8 minutes, delivering an organic, vegan, non-GMO and kosher experience packed with 25g of protein and 12g of fiber per serving.
HAIL MERRY® LLC | Nut Hummus | BOOTH #10642
Made from Macadamia nuts and cashews rather than traditional garbanzo beans, these dairy and gluten-free vegan dips are available in three savory flavors of Sriracha, Red Pepper Macadamia and Hatch Green Chile. They pair well with vegetables and crackers as well as sandwich spreads or pasta sauces to provide consumers with the beneficial fats and protein derived from raw nuts.
HEINEKEN® USA | BrewLock Draught Beer System | BOOTH #11309
This revolutionary, 100% recyclable draught system for Heineken Lager and Newcastle Brown Ale provides brewery fresh taste and perfect carbonation from the first pour to the last. It also eliminates the need for mixed gases to dispense the beer and its 20-liter kegs weigh in at 25% less than steel sixth-barrels and boast a 99.9% yield, considerably more than traditional draught systems and, therefore, more profitable.
MR. BEY FOODS CORP | Petit Gateau Chocolate Lava Cake | BOOTH #8251
Featuring a cocoa nugget center that creates a lusciously warm chocolate filling when heated either by microwave or conventional oven, Petit Gateau Chocolate Lava Cake combines irresistible taste with speedy prep time, making it the perfect fit for any restaurant looking for a consistently delicious and cost-effective dessert.
NICE FRUIT | Nice Fruit | BOOTH #9116
The result of 10 years of research, Nice Fruit allows locally produced fruits and vegetables to reach any country in the world at any time of the year via a 100% physical process that allows the foods to be frozen without damaging their cellular structure, thus maintaining the vitamins, flavor and organaleptic properties of fresh-picked produce for up to three years.
OREGON CHERRY GROWERS, INC. | Traditional & Bordeaux Maraschino Cherries Food Service Pouch | BOOTH #10342
Pasteurized for safety and requiring no refrigeration, these easy-open food service pouches, each filled with 25 crunchy, colorful, and flavorful cherries, provide a convenient, once-a-day option for operators who use maraschinos as a key ingredient, but don’t want the hassle of cooling and storing bulk containers.
OREGON® FRUIT PRODUCTS LLC | Fruit in Hand™ Original Pourable Fruit | BOOTH #1481
Manufactured using a cold process to maintain the remarkable flavor and vivid color of farm-fresh fruit picked at the peak of ripeness, this premium, pourable fruit base with no artificial flavor or colors offers a healthy, more authentic alternative to syrups for beverages, cocktails, smoothies, desserts, sauces, toppings, and breakfast applications.
THE ORIGINAL CAKERIE | Inspired By Happiness Gluten-Free Two Layer Dreamin' Cakes | BOOTH #8057
Created with premium ingredients such as Belgian white chocolate, succulent strawberry fruit filling, and chocolate ganache, these two decadent desserts, one featuring two layers of dark chocolate sponge cake, the other two scrumptious layers of light, yet moist shortcake, will have patrons wondering how they could be gluten-free.
RP’S PASTA COMPANY | Fully Cooked IQF Gluten-Free Pasta | BOOTH #3579
Fully cooked, IQF frozen and portioned into 8-oz. bags, this gluten-free pasta saves the operator time, avoids waste, and prevents cross-contamination by reheating with sauce in a sauté pan only as needed. The pasta uses brown rice flour, starch, and egg as its three primary ingredients, giving it the same authentic al dente texture and taste as traditional high-end pastas.
SIPP ECO BEVERAGE CO., INC. | Sipp® Sparkling Organics | BOOTH #10234
USDA-certified organic and containing absolutely no preservatives, artificial flavors or coloring, Sipp® Sparkling Organics bottled beverages are sweetened with agave nectar, rather than sugar, and come in four different varieties, each with a unique multi-level, unconventional flavor experience delivering the natural and refreshing taste of a freshly-muddled alcohol-free cocktail.
TAFT FOODMASTERS LLC | Vegetarian Gyro | BOOTH #6974
The perfect protein alternative for both meat and non-meat eaters, this authentically seasoned, 100% plant-based Vegetarian Gyro comes pre-sliced and warms in just 30 seconds on each side, making it ideal both for restaurants and consumers looking for a fast, healthy and vegetarian menu option.
TEART | The New Way of Drinking Tea | BOOTH #10519
Consisting of a patented conic disposable infuser that adapts to any sized paper cup and filled with 3g of premium loose-leaf tea, Teart combines the operational simplicity of tea bags with the premium loose-leaf flavors and aromas of the traditional tea pot. The result is a delicious and affordable single-serve beverage suitable for today’s on-the-go urban lifestyle.
TRIDENT SEAFOODS® | Alaskan Whitefish Burger | BOOTH #1468
Made from Wild-Caught, certified-sustainable Alaska Pollock, these quick-frozen, easy-to-prepare burgers, available in 3.2oz. and 4-oz. sizes, are seasoned with a flavor-enhancing herb blend of garlic, pepper, and chives, making them a high-protein, healthy, and delicious burger alternative or seafood sandwich menu mainstay.
TRIDENT SEAFOODS® | SeaFusions™ Pacific Cod Bites | BOOTH #1468
Made from Wild-Caught Pacific Cod and available in two delicious flavors of Crunchy Potato and Spicy Sriracha, SeaFusions™ Pacific Cod Bites cook from frozen in minutes and deliver 13 grams of protein per 8-piece serving, making them the perfect choice to leverage many of today’s hot snacking, sharing and small plate trends.
WAGSHAL’S IMPORTS | Authentic Raw Spanish Ibérico Chorizo | BOOTH #8141
Available frozen in convenient one-pound packages for effective portion control, this delicious nitrate-free chorizo is coarse ground and mildly spiced with Spanish pimento. It is the first and only available in the U.S. from the Fermin family made from raw Spanish Ibérico pork and all natural ingredients, providing premium taste without the premium price.
WAIAKEA® INC. | Waiakea® Hawaiian Volcanic Water | BOOTH #10638
Beginning as snowmelt and rain in one of the purest environments on Earth—the peak of Hawaii’s active Mauna Loa volcano—then naturally filtered through 14,000 feet of porous volcanic rock, Waiakea volcanic water offers consumers a delicious tasting, naturally healthy, alkaline, carbon-neutral and ethically sustainable thirst-quenching beverage.
The 2015 FABI Judges are:
• Timothy J. Dietzler, Director of Dining Services, Villanova University
• Christopher Koetke, CEC CCE HAAC, Vice President, The School of Culinary Arts, Kendall College
• John Li, Senior Vice President of RD, Bloomin' Brands
• Deborah McDaniel, Senior Director Product Innovation and Development Menu Management, McDonald's USA, LLC
• Bret Thorn, Senior Food Editor, Nation’s Restaurant News
• Jennifer Ziegler Director of Purchasing, Aramark
• Robin Rosenberg, Vice President, Chef De Cuisine, Levy Restaurants