Gulfood Innovation Awards names 12 product recognitions

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DUBAI —The Gulfood Innovation Awards, the annual F&B industry accolades running alongside Gulfood, the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade event at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) – has marked its biggest showing to date by honoring 12 breakthrough product and new-to-market concepts with winners hailing from 11 nations across five continents.

The 2019 awards, which attracted more than 300 entries in 12 categories, including two new honours – The Best Packaging Design Impact and The Best New Product Development.

“The expansion of the honours’ list is a reflection of the diversity of the industry and its ability of F&B innovators to continue to push the boundaries,” said Mark Napier, Exhibition Director, Gulfood 2019.

“The calibre of entries from the Health & Wellness, Organic and Sustainability segments also demonstrates the continued growth of these sectors and the ability of Gulfood to set the agenda for industry development.”

UAE company Hunter Foods Ltd LLC claimed the inaugural Best New Product Development honour for its Gourmet Mixed Tropical Fruit Chips, while Iran’s Mani Food Development Company took The Best Packaging Design/Impact award for its Pure Honey Sachet.

“It’s an honour to win this award for our Gourmet Mixed Tropical Fruit Chips, a combination of baby banana jackfruit, pineapple and cantaloupe. The innovation keeps the nutrients preserved, making it a great snack for any time of the day” said Ananya Narayan, Managing Director at Hunter Foods. “these awards are another marker that we are heading in the right direction, but we want to keep innovating. One of our key mantras for us as a company – transformation and innovation. Last year we won the award for Best Organic, this year for product development so hopefully we can keep on this track.”

Innovators across the board were rewarded for their ingenuity in progressing the industry during the gala ceremony. Sri Lankan company Eternitea claimed the Most Innovative Soft Beverage title for its collagen drink, while Switzerland’s Sustainable Coffee SA clinched Most Innovative Hot Beverage honours for its 100 per cent compostable pods that are oxygen tight and compatible with the highly popular Nespresso Pro machine.

“We truly believe in sustainability. We’ve been working for four and a half years to get to this point. It took a while to get the right material, the right oxygen barrier, and that’s the innovation, our products are 100 per cent compostable,” said Elizabeth Da Costa, co-founder of Switzerland Sustainable Coffee SA and the innovator behind the winning product.

“We selected our own coffee from organic fields. I wanted to be sustainable, I wanted to be in the market and I’m a mother, I wanted to be able to leave something for my grandkids, a sustainable legacy. I was born in a capsule system and after a while I realised how bad they are for the environment and decided to start this project. I was told I would never succeed, but with hard work here we are, and I’ve also managed to change mindsets along the way.”

Turkey’s Pinar Sut Mam. San. A.S. stepped up to the plate for Most Innovative Dairy Product with its choco labneh, while Most Innovative Halal Food went to the UAE’s Global Food Industries LLC for its fusion plant protein burger made of peas, kale and quinoa.

Kuwait’s star was in the ascendency when Americana Foods took the award for Most Innovative Baked or Confectionary Product for its chocolate, crème and feta cheese baked product while Italy’s Giuliano Tartufi S.R.L. was a clear winner in Most Innovative Condiment or Sauce category for its truffle powder.

Europe was in the spotlight when Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat, from the Netherlands, emerged as winner of the Most Innovative Frozen or Chilled Food with its ‘The Beyond Burgers’ range.

The Most Innovative Organic Product honour went to Germany’s Dr. Klaus Karg KC for its organic crunchy bites oven-backed snacks.

Australian innovation excellence was rewarded on the night with Health Lab Pty Ltd scooped the much-coveted Most Innovative Health & Wellness Product title for its Probiotic Wellness Balls, which are made from 100 per cent natural ingredients, are vegan friendly and free of dairy, gluten and added sugars.

Award entries were open to all of the 5,000 exhibitors from more than 198 countries, participating at the show, which is is expected to attract upwards of 98,000 attendees across the five-day run. The awards were adjudicated by an expert panel of noted chefs, food writers, packaging producers and marketeers.

The award-winning products and many other product innovations available at the show are on display in the Discover Zone, one of eight immersive features in the expanded programme for Gulfood 2019. — SG


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