Bob Garrison came in from the cold. A founding editor of BNP Media's Refrigerated & Frozen Foods (R&FF) Bob has profiled industry-leading companies, explored corporate strategies and covered food product development trends at more than 150 leading private and CPG companies since 1989. He has chronicled the histories of leading brands and businesses, including Gorton's, ConAgra Frozen Foods (Banquet) and Swanson's frozen TV dinners. He also has interviewed or profiled such food industry leaders as Mike Harper (ConAgra), Don Tyson and frozen bagel icon Murray Lender.
I’m equally excited to tell you even more about another Prepared Foods “state of the industry” (SOI) offering—this time one designed to be the ultimate interactive, in-person event. I’ll note, however that this SOI stands for much more than “state of the industry.” In fact, it’s better billed as the “state of innovation” in food and beverage.
There’s no better way to introduce Prepared Foods’ upcoming 17th annual Spirit of Innovation Awards. These distinctive awards recognize new foods and beverages in retail, foodservice and alternative channels—all those items introduced from January 2018 through March 2019.
I realize you already may be in the middle of fiscal 2019, yet I believe there’s something noteworthy in turning the page on a calendar year. Perhaps it’s simply that holidays and vacations (hopefully) offer respite, a moment to downshift, an opportunity to pause and hit “refresh.”
Our Prepared Foods team recently shared the same experience when we deconstructed and recast our annual New Products Conference (now in its 36th year). We hired an outside meetings and marketing specialist who challenged us to re-examine every aspect of our conference goals, planning and decision making.
For its part, Prepared Foods believes new product development is a team sport and PF's 16th annual "Spirit of Innovation" (SOI) awards honor those food and beverage manufacturer teams collaborating and creating distinct new products that stand out in their respective markets.
Of the 36 NRA Food and Beverage Awards (FABI) issued this year, eight winners were new sauces, spreads and dressings and nearly all those of featured an ethnic twist—particularly with Indian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences.
Check out the June 2019 issue of Prepared Foods, featuring our cover story on sugar reduction and sweetener strategies, how developers are meeting new demands for active performance products, and much more.