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The Spirit of Innovation Award is co-sponsored by Prepared Foods and Ventura Foods. Created back in 2003 by Prepared Foods, the award has a history of recognizing landmark food and beverage product launches. In addition to being rewarded for true excellence in innovation and outstanding teamwork, these winners have received priceless worldwide exposure.
The Spirit of Innovation Award is designed to recognize product development teams for excellence in creating an innovative new product. The winners are acknowledged for each step of the process: from ideation and development to design, creation and launch of the product.
Here is a look a sample of the quality entries to this year's competition.
PRODUCT: OWL’S BREW
COMPANY: Owl’s Brew, New York, N.Y.
DESCRIPTION: Owl's Brew is the first tea "crafted for cocktails." There are four varieties, all fresh-brewed and ready to pour. Each artisanal mixer is handcrafted in small batches. Owl’s Brew is intended to be paired with spirits (two parts brew / one part booze) such as vodka, tequila, rum, whiskey, gin or champagne. It can be served on the rocks or shaken.
PRODUCT: CALISTA FARMS BARISTA BLEND
COMPANY: Calista Farms LP, Pasadena, Calif.
DESCRIPTION: Califia Farms Barista Blend Almondmilk is an innovation among almond milk because it is specially formulated for in-coffee application. Our goal was to create the perfect almond milk for steaming, which has been achieved through the combination of ingredients and the proprietary process. The product is dairy-free, soy-free, lactose-free, and gluten-free, providing a good-for-you alternative to soy and cow’s milk for coffee lovers who want a dairy-free milk and coffee experience.
PRODUCT: DOLE CHEF READY VEGETABLE PUREES
COMPANY: Dole Packaged Foods LLC, Westlake Village, Calif.
DESCRIPTION: DOLE Chef-Ready Vegetable Purées offer mainstream vegetable flavors in a purée form, a versatile, broad application format and starters for quick scratch sauces, soups, stews, braises, baked goods and other culinary preparations. These non-GMO, gluten-free and certified kosher purees contain no artificial additives. Products come in 53oz, shelf-stable pouches and deliver true, single-strength vegetable flavor infusions with reliable consistency. Dole does the prep so operator kitchens can become more creative with fruits and vegetables in their signature dishes.
PRODUCT: INSPIRED BY HAPPINESS TWO-LAYER DREAMIN’ CAKES
COMPANY: The Original Cakerie, Delta, BC
DESCRIPTION: The gluten-free food and beverage market predicted to grow 48% from 2013 to 2016 to $15.6 billion. Not surprisingly, gluten-free desserts are one of the top trends in foodservice claiming 92% growth from 2013 to 2014 (Datassential, 2014). The Original Cakerie is excited to offer these profitable gluten-free desserts to its operator partners.
PRODUCT: BRIO ICE CREAM
COMPANY: Nutracopia Inc., Montpelier, Vt.
DESCRIPTION: Brio is an ice cream innovation developed over 10 years. The idea was to transform ice cream into a nourishing indulgence…delicious and healthy. We did this by bringing together a talented group of dietitians and nutritionists with two former Ben & Jerry’s flavor developers. Brio features r-BST-free milk, GMO-free ingredients and is certified gluten-free. We use real fruit (strawberries and mangos) for our fruit flavors. All added flavors and colors are natural. We use organic caramel in both our Vanilla-Caramel and Coffee flavors.
PRODUCT: HIGH LINER PULLED BBQ SALMON
COMPANY: High Liner Foods, Portsmouth, N.H.
DESCRIPTION: Made with premium Atlantic Salmon, High Liner Foods’ Pulled BBQ Salmon leverages two of today’s most popular trends in foodservice: the use of savory barbecue sauces and compelling new salmon options. Pulled BBQ Salmon, a premium seafood product made from the finest Atlantic salmon fillets, comes in two tasty sauces: Traditional and Sriracha. With barbecue more popular than ever, in the “sea” of sameness, operators have an opportunity to “Stand Out From The Herd,” with this next generation of innovation from FPI and High Liner Foods.
PRODUCT: BISTRO COLLECTION BUNDT CAKES
COMPANY: Tyson Food Service, Downers Grove, Ill.
DESCRIPTION: The launch of the new Bistro Collection Individual Bundt Cakes responds to the growing demand for dessert nostalgia and rise in mini cakes popularity, which has increased 17.5% on menus during the last year. Bundt cakes also are one of the fastest-growing cake varieties in the last year, experiencing 13% growth.
PRODUCT: MRS FRIDAY’S SMALL PLATES/BAR BITES
COMPANY: King & Prince Seafood, Brunswick, Ga.
DESCRIPTION: King & Prince Seafood kicked off 2015 with the launch of its new Small Plates/Bar Bites™ product line featuring Jambalaya Fritters, Crispy Southern Flounder and Lobster & Seafood Pups. The offerings help foodservice operators keep pace with small plate and appetizer trends, add value and maintain consistency. With 75% of Casual Dining restaurants offering small plates & snacks, these new products are a must-have for all menus.
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