By Derrek J. Hull, Blogger-in-Chief
Until now the National Restaurant Association (NRA) has called it the Food and Beverage Product Innovations Awards but because they figure you're busy innovating — those crazy kids at the NRA have made it faster and easier to say. Now called FABI Awards, it's the same coveted award, with a more memorable, user-friendly name.
A panel of who's-who restaurant operator experts representing all commercial and non-commercial segments is on the hunt for bold imagination in food and beverage products — be it a new flavor concept, improved nutritional profile or increased cost/labor efficiencies.
Award recipients represent the most innovative consumable products in the market today. The awards will be presented in front of the restaurant/foodservice universe at the 2013 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show (set for May 18-21 at Chicago’s McCormick Place).
“The FABI Awards celebrate breakthrough innovation in food and beverage products that drive progress in the restaurant and foodservice industry, fueling guest satisfaction and profitability” said Mary Pat Heftman, National Restaurant Association Executive Vice President, Convention & Strategic Alliances. “The foodservice trends these products represent offer a window to the future of what Americans will be eating and drinking, whether dining in the restaurant, enjoying at home, or on the go."
Deadline to apply is January 16, 2013. Any F&B innovations submitted must be introduced in the U.S. marketplace between January 1, 2012 and May 18, 2013. Award recipients will be announced in March 2013.
All new products submitted must fall into one or more of these general categories:
- High Marketability – products designed primarily to satisfy a consumer trend that will sell regardless of nutritional profile
- Lifestyle – products designed to meet the need(s) of a specific lifestyle or diet such as: Gluten Free, Allergens, Lower Sodium, Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw, etc.
- Nutritional Profile – products designed with a significant improvement in the nutrition compared to similar products; can be designed primarily for children or focused on menu development
- Packaging Improvement- products designed with a significant change in the packaging of the product that delivers clear benefits to the operator
- Incremental Value to the Operator – products that provide real value to the operators in terms of price, cost savings, labor savings, time savings, sustainability, prep efficiency or a longer shelf life.
For more information, to view the online application and to see a list of past award recipients, visit Restaurant.org/Show.