We asked the judging panel for this year’s World Beverage Innovation Awards what they are hoping to see from entrants.
The awards, which will be hosted at BrauBeviale in November, offer brands an exceptional way to enhance the promotion of their latest products and ensure they are recognised at the highest level.
There are 25 trophies to be won in total, and being shortlisted provides a hallmark of success that will prevail long after the awards draw to a close.
The judges’ comments will hopefully offer inspiration and help in crafting the winning entry. The deadline is 27 September.
Co-founder and CEO, Distill Ventures
I’m particularly interested in three things:
Natural ingredients and production processes: New drinks for a range of different occasions which achieve intensity of flavour and great mouthfeel using only natural processes and ingredients.
The rise of kombucha shows that consumers are open to processes like fermentation as a “clean label” way of achieving great tasting drinks that are naturally low in sugar. What other processes can be revived or reinvented to create innovative drinks?
Thinking beyond “functional” and “refreshment”: Coming from the alcohol industry, I’ve seen at first hand the rise of moderation and abstinence – and yet the soft drink industry has been slow to react and create propositions beyond their core heartland of refreshment. There is so much opportunity in creating sophisticated drinks which enhance the pleasure of a meal, or which can be sipped and enjoyed in relaxed social occasions.
Here I’m looking for great liquids which don’t feel like they are a step back into the world of highly processed drinks, but which instead have transparent and interesting production stories.
Clear propositions for innovative concepts: Great drinks brands need more than a winning liquid – they also need a compelling concept which works well on shelf. As categories blur and new liquids emerge, there’s a real challenge in positioning these for success.
A great example is flavoured cold brew coffee… as someone who dislikes hot drinks, I’ve been a cold brew addict for years, and I’m excited by the flavoured canned cold brew drinks we’re seeing emerge. They have the potential to take share from coffee, energy drinks and CSDs… but how do you position them clearly to do that, and where would you place them in store? Innovations which crack clarity of proposition will come top of my list when judging the awards.
Wilhemina Jewell Sparks
CEO and founder, BiTHOUSE Group
It is an honour to be a judge for the World Beverage Innovation Awards 2018. This year I am looking for the following while judging the World Beverage Innovation Awards:
Team: A strong team is essential for any product to be successful. Due to consumer market demand, products will evolve and customers must be addressed in a timely matter. Only good teams can endure such demands and bring great products to market.
Ingredients: Consumers are becoming more concerned with what they put in their bodies. I will be looking for innovative formulations which take into account consumer wants and needs, as well as products which utilise new ingredients which provide the same flavour but have less impact on the overall health of those who consume the same product on a regular basis.
Packaging: Everyday, people talk about the changes that our environment is encountering. Plastics and other materials are polluting our oceans and contaminating our environment. I am looking for products that utilise innovative packaging solutions that take into account both consumer usability and environmental consideration.
Branding: I am a visual person. When I walk down retail aisles good branding catches my eye. A good product that has poor branding is not a recipe for sustainable success in my opinion. First impressions are very long lasting. Companies who invest in branding and technology are companies who want to be market leaders!
Market Leadership: I am looking for a product that can disrupt the current ecosystem by addressing changing consumer needs, and sustainable development goals which have the potential to impact the world on a global level. This is the World Beverage Innovation Awards, therefore a scaleable product, which can generate a return on investment and impact the lives of others is the type of innovative beverage that would peak my interest while I am judging the World Beverage Innovation Awards.
Director, Kingdom & Sparrow Ltd
The World Beverage Innovation Awards 2018 are likely to showcase some incredible brands this year, and I’m very excited to discover an array of innovative products.
As the title of the awards suggests, this is all about innovation so I’ll be looking for some of the following attributes:
Purpose: Brands that innovate tend to have a clear message or purpose. Consumers are looking to connect with new brands in a way that reflects their values and lifestyle. I’ll be interested to know what philosophy and vision drives the brand and whether that speaks to consumers in 2018.
Product positioning: Innovating can be risky business and I’ll be looking for brands that have really thought about what they’re adding to the beverage category. What benefits does the product have for consumers and is this clearly communicated? Where does it sit against competitors?
Communication: Communicating innovation and brand identity is so important to the success and longevity of a brand. Design and messaging play key roles in how a product is perceived and bought – it needs to be effective. I’ll be looking for products that clearly communicate their brand and do it in interesting and unique ways.
Relevancy: As transparency, provenance, wellness and sustainability continue to grow in in interest for consumers I’ll be interested in brands who are offering something relevant that connects with people.
Brand design specialist, Osborne Pike
I’m delighted to be asked to be one of the judges of the FoodBev Media World Beverage Innovation Awards 2018!
Here’s what I’m looking for from this year’s entries:
Engagement: Does the innovation catch the eye and encourage me to take a closer look?
Category Entry Points: Is it obvious what consumer need this product meets, and therefore what it might replace?
Branding: Is it more than just a new product? Am I also intrigued by the brand and its (implied) story before I start reading any text?
Packaging: Do I see this instantly as an innovation? What marks it out as more than a ‘me-too’ or just a line extension?
Distinctive: Could I send my mother to the supermarket to get me “the one with the…..” ?
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019
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