The National Restaurant Association (NRA) is now accepting applications for the 2014 FABI Awards. The FABI Awards program recognizes and celebrates food and beverage manufacturers that advance the industry through innovation in ingredients, preparation, processing, and/or packaging.
An independent panel of expert judges will select the award recipients, which will be showcased at NRA Show 2014, taking place May 17–20 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.
“Successful operators continually seek and adopt new products that reflect consumer trends, are highly marketable, and can add incremental value and benefits to their operations,” says Mary Pat Heftman, executive vice president, convention & strategic alliances at the NRA. “The FABI Awards were created to identify emerging products that operators can use to enhance their business."
John Li, senior vice president of research and development at Bloomin’ Brands and a FABI Awards judge, adds, "We are looking for trailblazing products that will help drive customer satisfaction and profitability for restaurants. I have seen how introducing a FABI Award can contribute to improving operators’ businesses. That is why it is so important to bring these cutting-edge innovations to the forefront of the industry.”
The deadline to apply for the 2014 FABI Awards is January 10, 2014. To be considered, all food and beverage products (new food or beverage product can include the packaging or delivery system) must be introduced in the U.S. foodservice marketplace between January 1, 2013, and May 17, 2014.
The innovative product must meet four criteria: unique with meaningful differentiation; superior to directly competing products; documentation for claims made and proof of performance; and deliver significant benefits to targeted operators as judged by the panel.
All applications are judged by an independent panel of experts, representing both commercial and non-commercial industry segments, including Carlyn Berghoff (CEO, Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group), John Li (senior vice president, research & development, Bloomin’ Brands), Jeff McClure (director of culinary services, Sodexo Education Market), Deborah McDaniel (senior director, product innovation & development, McDonald’s USA), Mary Angela Miller (administrative director, Ohio State Wexner University Medical Center), Brad Nelson (vice president & corporate chef, Marriott International), Linda Sceurman (national director of nutrition & menu development, ARAMARK Education), William J. Spencer (chief, Air Force Appropriated Fund Food & Beverage Operations), Brian Wilson (senior culinary development chef, Bob Evans Farms), and Ed Wronski, (director, culinary & concept development, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts).