Did the nation’s COVID-19 pandemic make it difficult to develop new foods and beverages? No doubt. Yet did this unprecedented period halt new product ideation and innovation? No way.
Prepared Foods is pleased to announce and recognize winners of its 19th annual Spirit of Innovation Awards (SOI). Since 2003, these distinctive awards honor food and beverage product development teams for excellence in consumer insights, cross-functional execution and overall innovation. This year’s awards recognize items introduced from January 2020 through March 2021.
Prepared Foods (www.PreparedFoods.com) is the industry’s largest B2B title and reaches more than 20,000 food + beverage industry executives across all distribution channels. Prepared Foods serves professionals in roles of consumer insights, strategic innovation, marketing, R&D, culinary, nutrition, and related product development areas.
“Product developers were challenged in every possible way during the past 18 months,” notes Bob Garrison, Prepared Foods Editor-in-Chief. “Some product innovation efforts were stopped or slowed. Other projects continued with R&D team members working remotely or with very limited in-office hours. Some R&D team leaders even had to use virtual platforms to meet and onboard their new associates.
“Undoubtedly, overall new product numbers were down and this was especially true in the foodservice channel. Even so, we received more than 120 new product nominations and are pleased to recognize R&D teams for their achievements.”
Joining Prepared Foods to sponsor the SOI awards is Tastepoint by IFF, a leading industry flavors supplier.
“We’re thrilled to have Tastepoint by IFF continue as a partner of Prepared Foods’ Spirit of Innovation awards,” adds Mike Leonard, publisher of Prepared Foods and Cannabis Products titles. “Tastepoint’s commitment to facilitating innovation—while helping us highlight success—plays a key role in this year’s event. Their support makes this important award process possible and we’re excited to celebrate food and beverage innovation across the market.”
PREPARED FOODS’ SPIRIT OF INNOVATION AWARDS EXPERIENCE
Prepared Foods and partner Tastepoint by IFF will sponsor a two-hour Spirit of Innovation Awards Program and Integrated Innovation Experience on Wednesday, July 28, 2021, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT.
It will include…
… opening “State of Food & Beverage Innovation” panel, moderated by Lu Ann Williams, Global Insight Director, Innova Market Insights. Panelists include Monisha Dabek, Chief Commercial Officer and General Manager, Ocean Spray Cranberries; and Barb Stuckey, President, Chief Innovation Officer, Mattson.
… in-depth profiles of each winning company’s product + problem-solution storytelling straight from R&D team members.
… exclusive real-time, online chats between webinar attendees and winning company R&D teams.
2020-2021 SPIRIT OF INNOVATION AWARD HONOREES
Winner: Editor’s Choice / “Most Innovative”: Jack & Annie’s Crispy Jack Nuggets
Company: The Jackfruit Company, Boulder, Colo.
Winner: New Retail Food: Seemore Meats & Veggies La Dolce Beet-a Sausage
Company: Sausage Queen LLC, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Winner: New Retail Beverage: Patch Organics Pumpkin Seed Milk
Company: Patch Organics Inc., Mount Kisco, N.Y.
Winner: Foodservice Product / Front of House*: Field Roast Signature Stadium Dog
Company: Greenleaf Foods, Elmhurst, Ill.
*Addressing foodservice consumer trends, tastes
Winner: Foodservice Product / Back of House**: King & Prince Battered Cod
Company: King & Prince Seafood Corp., Brunswick, Ga.
**Addressing foodservice customer-operator needs
Winner: Alternative Channel Product***: Aussie Select Lamb Pastrami
Company: World Select Cuts LLC, Marietta, Ga.
***New item for in-store deli and/or convenience store channel
FAST FACTS: PREPARED FOODS, SPIRIT OF INNOVATION AWARDS
Prepared Foods’ Spirit of Innovation awards are unique in that they honor R&D teams’ multi-functional collaboration to identify market opportunities and do work together in product development. There is no charge to enter and to be eligible, products must have been introduced between January 2020 and March 2021.
The annual competition is open to all prepared foods and beverages developed for retail-grocery sales, commercial and non-commercial foodservice operations as well as alternative channel outlets such as in-store deli-bakeries and convenience stores.
Prepared Foods received more than 120 initial submissions and companies were asked to support nominations with product and innovation details. BNP Media food and beverage editors used that information to select 38 new products, which advanced to second round preparation and tasting in May at Charlie Baggs Innovations, Chicago.
A panel of 10 industry judges evaluated each product against a 10-point scale for overall innovation, the team’s problem-solution story and sensory performance (including taste, appearance, texture, smell, etc.)
Prepared Foods and Cannabis Products are among more than 100 media titles and properties owned by BNP Media, Troy, Mich. Learn more at www.bnpmedia.com.
Bob Garrison, Chief Editor