Beverage Innovation Awards 2013 judging panel announced

Bill Bruce4 Jun 2013 (Updated 26 Jun 2013)

The judging panel for the Beverage Innovation Awards @ Drinktec, sponsored by Rexam Beverage Can Europe, has been announced.

The awards provide the perfect platform to demonstrate the beverage industry's continued commitment to innovation. The 30 awards in six categories range from new products and ingredients to breakthroughs in packaging and sustainability, as well as initiatives in health education and marketing.

The award's headline sponsor is Rexam Beverage Can Europe. The associate sponsors are Aptar Food and Beverage, Sensient Flavors, and Owens Illinois. Category sponsors include Owens Illinois, Plastic Technologies Inc and Beneo.

The Beverage Innovation Awards @ Drinktec is in association with Unesda, the Union of European Beverages Associations, Wafg, the German non-alcoholic drinks trade association, and Drinktec, the world's leading trade fair for beverage and liquid food technology.

Entries for the Beverage Innovation Awards @ Drinktec close on 19 July. Finalists and winners will be announced at a special event during Drinktec on 19 September 2013 in Munich, Germany.

The Panel

Larry Hobbs, executive director of the International Society of Beverage Technologists

The International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT) is the premier technical society of the beverage industry. As the only international society dedicated solely to the scientific and technical aspects of soft drinks and beverages, ISBT provides a unique, non-competitive forum for networking with other experts in the field at a technical level. Membership is open to any person engaged in the science, technology or production of soft drinks or beverages including those suppliers to the beverage industry whose principle occupation is primarily technical in nature. This includes individuals employed by bottlers, franchise companies, packaging, flavour, ingredient and equipment suppliers who are engaged in scientific or technical positions. ISBT is comprised of individual members, not corporations.

Ulla Ringblom, Ringblom Consulting

Ulla Ringblom has worked in the beverage sector for 25 years, from process development to packaging, to sustainability. Since setting up Ringblom Consulting in Switzerland in 2004, Ulla shares her skills internationally with the food and beverage industry. She helps her clients identify suitable technologies and gain market understanding across the value chain of beverage production and packaging. As a frequent traveller, she keeps up to date with the latest product trends and advances in manufacturing. Ulla holds an MSc in Chem Eng from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.

Aurore de Monclin, consulting partner at The Healthy Marketing Team

The Healthy Marketing Team is an international and multicultural brand strategy consultancy focused on innovation, marketing and branding in food and health. Since its foundation in 2008, the HMT has worked with customer projects in 50 countries across the globe.

Aurore de Monclin has extensive experience leading strategy and innovation projects for food and drinks companies around the world. She brings a global perspective and a practical knowledge on how to develop better innovation, faster to market.

Dean Bellefleur, packaging subject matter expert at D-idea

Dean's expertise stems from a 20-year career with Alfa-Laval and Tetra Pak that placed him in Europe, Asia and North America, until 2005. Possessing a processing and packaging background, it's understandable why he's ranked in the top 5% of Gerson Lehrman Group's 300,000 subject matter experts, providing insight to the investment market. Dean is an advocate of radical innovation and sustainability and as such is on the advisory board of He has been judging packaging since founding his consultancy D-idea in 2006, and his articles and publications can be referenced via Google.

Dr Lisa Carroll, director of technology at Rexam

With a doctorate from the University of Oxford in materials engineering, Dr Lisa Carroll is the director of technology at Rexam, responsible for innovation and technology strategy globally across beverage cans. Lisa previously worked in strategy management and lean enterprise, where she spent over 10 years deploying Lean principles across Rexam's global operations and supporting the business towards achievement of the Shingo prize.

Darren Foley, managing director at Pearlfisher, London

Energetic, diligent and focused, Darren works best when he’s driving things forward, and every day he applies his in-depth design know-how to the task of developing Pearlfisher for the future. As managing director, he runs the London studio with a straightforward and common sense style, motivating and empowering the internal teams and ensuring the business has the appropriate resources to meet its, and its clients’, ambitions. Darren has worked in the design industry for close to 25 years. He joined Pearlfisher in 2002 as realisation director, inventing the concept of realisation and advocating a design process in which our technical and creative teams work in harmony from the beginning.

Kym Hamer, marketing manager new product development at Rexam Beverage Can Europe

Kym Hamer is a driving force behind Rexam's leading market innovations, including the Fusion contour aluminium bottle. Hailing from Australia, Kym's marketing experience began in companies such as Parmalat and Valcorp Fine Foods where, among other things, she was responsible for the strategic brand development of Dilmah Tea. Since moving to the UK, Kym has held a number of roles focusing on strategic development of businesses in Western Europe, and sees her core strengths as change management and developing commercial product solutions.

James Tonkin, principal, HealthyBrandBuilders

For more than 38 years, James Tonkin has served the private sector as a brand and marketing development professional. He directs the building and design of national infrastructures for food and beverage industry clients. Tonkin has successfully created and implemented over 450 business and financial strategies for domestic and international players, focusing from production to branding, marketing through sales implementation, distribution, capital formation through the exit! 

Tonkin focuses branding initiatives in soft drinks, bottled water, functional food and non-carbonated beverage verticals. His extensive 'hands on' expertise stretches across many sectors, including domestic cheese and potato chips, bottled waters for people and pets, and nutraceutical-functional-enhanced beverages.

Carlos Manuel Rebolledo, development & marketing associate manager for Nuvinc Partners

Carlos has a major in business administration from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and master in Marketing of Universidad Icesi. He has had more than 15 years' work experience creating concepts, developing brands and managing marketing departments for leading food and beverage corporations such as Tetra Pak, McDonald's, Colombina, Team Foods and Alqueria.

He and his associates opened a group of companies under the umbrella of Nuvinc Partners to provide development solutions and work across the food and beverages value chain, from the ingredients (Nutrilink, Ingredient Unit) to the concepts (Foodtura, Concept Development Unit) and all the way to launching winning consumer products (Vevinc, Business & Marketing Unit).

Carlos currently works transversely as the development and marketing associate manager for Nuvinc Partners companies, and he is collaborator in international publications such as FoodBev Media's Beverage Innovation and Axioma's IAlimentos, as well as a part of the judging committee of the American Marketing Association's Effie Awards.

Chris Zawada, associate creative director (design) at Taxi West and founder of Lovely Package

Chris Zawada has spent the past 14 years producing award-winning creative that works. Having started his career with FutureBrand in 1999, Chris is currently associate creative director of Design at Taxi Vancouver and Calgary.

In his practically nonexistent free time, Chris created Lovely Package, a leading website dedicated to the very best packaging design from around the world, which has quickly become an industry standard and source of inspiration for designers, agencies and clients.

In the Spring of 2012, Chris had the honour of judging the packaging design category at the D&AD Awards in London, UK, and was a judge for the Awards 2013.

Bill Sipper, managing partner at Cascadia Managing Brands

Bill Sipper is one of the food and beverage industry's bright stars, having held senior-level positions at several of the top beverage marketers in the world. His market reach and depth of knowledge of the food and beverage industry includes North America, Asia, Europe as well as Central and South America. Sipper's track record for helping develop rising brands is unparalleled and will be key to any brand's development and deployment.

Sipper was COO of New Leaf Brands before rejoining Cascadia Consulting Group, a company he co-founded in 2003, a recognised consumer packaged goods consulting firm with deep expertise across all key areas of the food and beverage business including planning, sales, marketing, training, finance, operations, logistics, and general management. Before establishing Cascadia, Sipper was senior vice president of marketing at the Ultimate Juice Co which owned brands such as Naked Juice. His experience also includes working for Nantucket Nectars, Fresh Samantha (Odwalla) and Chatham Beverage Company). Sipper began his career at Evian Natural Spring Water and helped pioneer Evian to its height in the US, which in turn helped establish the premium bottled water category in America.

Marijana Blazic PhD

Marijana Blazic PhD is a lecturer at Karlovac University of Applied Sciences on the course ‘Food Packaging’, ‘Physical chemistry’ and ‘Technology of cleaning and disinfection,’ and is also the head of dairy process practicum.

As a winner of one-off financial assistance of the Ministry of Science and Technology for the dissertation abroad, from June to September 2008 she visited the Dairy Institute, Santa Fe, Argentina (Universidad del Litoral Nacional, Instituto de Lactologia Industrial) where she participated in the project Development of Technology for the Production of Yogurt with a Reduced Concentration Lactose under the guidance of professor Carlos Zalazar. A year later, she was at the same Institute when she participated in the project Production of Cheese from Sheep's Milk with Added Probiotic Bacteria. The results obtained during the work on both projects are part of  her doctoral thesis. At the beginning of her career she worked in Karlovac Milk Industry (KIM).

Kevin Leibel, president, Innovation Management LLC

Kevin Leibel is the president of Innovation Management LLC, a global strategy consulting business. His work focuses on new product development and the management of innovation. In particular, he is interested in the challenges associated with portfolio selection decisions, and in the managerial problems that emerge during the new product development process both front and back-end.

Kevin began his career at Sara Lee Corporation and later joined RJR Nabisco to develop the industry's first generic brand strategy. At Procter and Gamble, Kevin led the development of new products for the Cover Girl cosmetics brand. In this role, Kevin led a team responsible for business development in Europe and North America.

Kevin's corporate clients are located throughout the US, Europe, Asia and South America.

John Nunziato, creative director, Little Big Brands

John is a veteran of the design and branding world, having spent 20 years working for leading global package design firms. In 2001, he founded Little Big with the desire to help clients find the nuances that make them unique. He's been instrumental in creating some of today's most awarded and recognisable brands for clients such as Burger King, Coca-Cola, Gillette, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Unilever, Fleet Laboratories, Louis Vuitton and Sun Products Corporation. In 2011, he was named to GDUS's prestigious 'People to Watch' list. John is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and guest lecturer at several New York colleges. His work has won every major design award and is regularly featured in industry magazines, annuals and books.

Claire Nuttall, founding partner, Thrive Unlimited

Claire has over 20 years' experience working in the world of branded and own-label innovation, helping brands and businesses inspire and realise real commercial innovation success.

Thrive is a real, practical innovation partnership for brands and businesses globally. The key to its success is creating incremental brand and business value, by collaborating to create commercially robust, inspired innovation.

Claire has driven major game changing strategy, insight and innovation for clients including Nestlé, Kerry Foods, M&S, Unilever, GSK, Carlsberg, Premier Foods, Bacardi, Twinings, ABF, Sainsbury's, Burtons Foods, Campina, Asda, among many others.

Claire has also led pioneering health projects around the future of food and drink and how brands can best develop to appeal to new and emerging audiences or create new categories for growth. She has worked with societal and attitudinal trends in food and drinks and health for over 15 years and regularly contributes to conferences and thought pieces on opportunities for breakthrough.

Dr Stefan Siebrecht, independent health ingredients consultant

Dr Stefan Siebrecht has a PhD in organic chemistry and has worked in the nutrition and supplement area for 18 years. He has worked together with different scientists and authors in Europe, North-America and Asia and has written and published many books and articles about nutrition, health and dietary supplements.

Dr Siebracht is also the publisher of the new German health and nutrition magazine Vitalstoffe.

Claire Phoenix, FoodBev Media managing editor, magazines

Claire is responsible for editorial content across FoodBev Media's magazine portfolio, including Beverage Innovation. A trained journalist, Claire has been a director of FoodBev Media Ltd since 2000 and set up the company's international awards schemes, including the Beverage Innovation Awards. Claire is a trend spotter and regularly speaks at international food and beverage events.

Adam Bogacz, beverage industry consultant

Adam was educated as a brewer. He created the Tatra Strong Lager brand targeted at the British market in eighties. He has worked as an independent consultant in the soft drinks industry for nearly 40 years. During his professional career he has cooperated with many brand owners including Coca-Cola and Bacardi Martini, and leading Polish soft drinks producers, plus global producers of flavour and food additives (especially sweeteners). His expertise covers both company and brand strategies, NPD and PR. Over recent years he has advised many companies in Poland on developing innovations, especially in the field of functional waters and drinks. Beverage innovation is promoted by Bogacz in specialist industry publications and related websites.

Chairman of the judges – Bill Bruce, group editorial director, FoodBev Media

Bill co-founded FoodBev Media in 2000. He has over 30 years' experience as a graphic designer and editor and oversees content across FoodBev's portfolio and chairs the company's successful international awards schemes, including the Beverage Innovation Awards @ Drinktec. Bill is a trend spotter and regularly speaks at international food and beverage events.

Enter the Beverage Innovation Awards @ Drinktec