The National Restaurant Association is now accepting applications for the 2014 FABI Awards. The FABI Awards program recognizes and celebrates food and beverage manufacturers who 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 and strategic alliances, NRA. “The FABI Awards were created to identify emerging products that operators can use to enhance their business."
"We are looking for trailblazing products that will help drive customer satisfaction and profitability for restaurants,” says John Li, senior vice president, research and development, Bloomin’ Brands Inc. and FABI Awards judge. “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
· Deliver significant benefit(s) 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 and Restaurant Group), John Li (senior vice president, research and development, Bloomin’ Brands Inc.), Jeff McClure (director of culinary services, Sodexo Education Market), Deborah McDaniel (senior director, product innovation and development, McDonald’s USA), Mary Angela Miller (administrative director, Ohio State WexnerUniversity Medical Center), Brad Nelson (vice president and corporate chef, Marriott International), Linda Sceurman (national director of nutrition and menu development, ARAMARK Education), William J. Spencer (chief, Air Force appropriated fund food and beverage operations), Brian Wilson (senior culinary development chef, Bob Evans Farms Inc.) and Ed Wronski, (director, culinary and concept development, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts).
The annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice, and lodging professionals. NRA Show 2014 will be held May 17-20 at McCormick Place in Chicago, and the 2014 International Wine, Spirits, and Beer Event held in conjunction with the NRA Show will take place May 18-19. The events attract 62,000+ attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100+ countries, and the event showcases the latest products, services, innovative ideas, up-to-the-minute information about trends and issues, and more growth opportunities than any other industry event.