With the early bird discount deadline fast approaching, we asked the remainder of our judging panel for the World Beverage Innovation Awards what they are hoping to see from entrants in this second installment.
The judges’ comments will hopefully offer inspiration and help in crafting the winning entry. The early bird deadline is 16 August.
Co-founder and non-alcoholic lead, Distill Ventures
Over the last six years we’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the most innovative brands in the industry and I’m looking forward to seeing who’s entering this year’s World Beverage Innovation Awards. It really is an honour to be taking part.
The key things I’ll be looking out for are:
Innovation for the long-term: Rather than products that jump on the bandwagon, I’d like to see concepts that have a clear and solid plan for the future – ones that will stand the test of time.
Conscious innovation: Less has to be more now, so I’d like to see sustainable innovation which considers today’s conscious consumers.
Real disruption from products that solve a genuine consumer problem or need: Often brands fall down on this, but a successful product will fill a gap that consumers don’t even know exists yet.
An ambitious team with the drive to succeed.
An authentic brand story that will really resonate with consumers.
Innovation Manager, The Coca-Cola Company
I’m grateful to be part of this panel and having the chance to recognize some of the best global initiatives in the beverages industry. Being the industry representatives, we have the responsibility to develop and deploy solutions that bring value not only to companies but, mainly, to society.
Recognizing innovative initiatives is a way to stimulate our industry creators to put the effort into developing great products.
Having people and the environment in the first place is something I consider extremely important for sustainable innovation. This is what I’m looking for in this year World Beverage Innovation Award:
Environmental impact: innovative ways to manufacture, package, distribute and sell products reducing negative environmental and social impact.
Health benefits: science plays an important role in improving the characteristics of products and manufacturing processes to do good for people’s health.
Disruptive innovation: new ways, new categories, disrupting traditional manufacturing, distribution or commercial models. Some of the most creative professionals in the world participate in the World Beverage Innovation Award, I´d expect to see some breakthrough innovation coming out from this award.
Brand purpose: how a brand goes beyond the liquid itself, bringing more value to society. How it communicates using a unique language and design to tell its story.
Digital integration: we’ve digitalizes our lives, but the act of drinking is so last Century. Anyone making these two worlds come together will deserve my attention.
Solutions consultant, Label Insight, Inc.
As a registered dietitian and expert in food and beverage product data, I will be looking for products which are exciting and nuanced. I look forward to participating in the World Beverage Innovation Awards 2019 and I will be paying close attention to products with the following five attributes:
Safe and healthful: The beverage space is one where empty calories are rampant. I am looking for products which innovate with the new perception of healthy in mind. Whether that is achieved through nutritional value with the formulation of whole foods, phytochemicals, probiotics, or others, a product that contributes a beneficial boost is a great value-add.
Sustainable: This is not limited to ingredient or packaging components, but also fair trade, socially-responsible business practices, humane treatment of animal-containing products and so on is critical to any relevant product in the eyes of today’s consumers.
Transparency: Consumers want access to more information now more than ever about what is in the products they are buying for their families. Transparency for me means clear and truthful product labels and communicating information to consumers about sourcing and processing of ingredients throughout the supply chain.
New and relevant ingredients: A cornerstone of my vote will be products that include new and emerging ingredients in categories where they are not prevalent. Ingredients should be thoughtfully added for flavor or functionality and be relevant to today’s consumers.
Authentic: Products that will capture my attention will have a unique voice in their brand identity and have ethical core values that drive corporate decisions and profits.
New media director, FBIF New Media
It is an honor to be a judge of the World Beverage Innovation Awards 2019. Here is what I am looking out for this year’s entries:
Innovation: Innovation is undoubtedly the key for a product surviving, sustaining its growth and even disrupting the industry. Whether a product can innovatively provide solutions and meet consumer demands in health, social awareness, personalization, enjoyment etc., and whether it brings true value to consumers instead of a fake idea, are all indispensable in making itself stand out among worldwide innovative products.
Packaging: In addition to the excellent product idea, can the packaging catch the eye of consumers at first sight? Are there any unique points in packaging technique, design or materials? Does the packaging well demonstrate its functionality? Does the packaging perfectly fit the brand image?
Differentiation: How does the product distinguish itself from other similar competitors in the market? Does it have any meaningful differentiation in processing technology, ingredients and etc.? Or with a balanced combination of differentiation?
Sustainability: Sustainability could not be emphasized more in this age, especially when environmental protection and population pressure have become worldwide concern. It is noted that the food giants are successively announcing sustainability goals. The product should definitely take sustainability into its consideration.
Brand Marketing: Marketing shows the way of how products are communicated and interact with consumers, and definitely influences their acceptance. A good marketing campaign should either increase sales or strengthen brand identity.
Executive Director, Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER)
I’m excited and humbled to be a judge for the 2019 World Beverage Innovation Awards. As someone that believes strongly in pragmatic idealism, I will be looking for the following attributes:
Applied: theory is an important step in the journey of an innovation, but proof of application to targeted uses is critical. Demonstrating that the theory has been successfully tested and applied is differentiating.
Pragmatic: an innovation is powerful, but only to the degree it can be efficiently implemented within a company’s business and change management processes, operations, and culture. Many innovations are developed in a bit of a vacuum and overlook the importance of engaging their targeted audience or customers to fully understand and respond to implementation aspects.
Scalable: while innovations that drive towards niche or iterative improvements are important, the major challenges we face today require the potential to be implemented at pace and scale.
Adaptable: operational conditions where innovations could be applied can vary considerably even within a single industry or between facilities. Innovations that can account for this and build in adaptable characteristics have a much greater potential for implementation on a global scale.
Approachable: being able to translate a highly technical innovation to both technical and non-technical audiences is critical to reaching key stakeholders and decision-makers. Making the innovation approachable is key in terms of quickly getting to the root of what the innovation is solving and generating interest and relevance early in communications.
Senior editor, FoodBev Media
I will be looking for products that help to create entirely new categories, bring a new angle to existing ideas, or challenge the way we think about beverages as a whole. Entries should demonstrate a clear awareness of consumer trends, legislative pressures and brand idendity across all aspects of the product, from ingredients and production through to branding and packaging.
Packaging: I am looking for products that instantly stand out, have a great shelf presence, and are unlike anything consumers have seen before. Sustainability is a major innovation driver – is there a clear focus on ensuring the most environmentally friendly components and processes? Packaging design is a key way to engage with consumers – what does this packaging communicate?
Ingredients: Ingredients and formulas that are bang on trend, and new takes on existing favourites will be a priority. I am particularly interested in natural ingredients, low- and no-sugar and calorie varieties that do not compromise on taste, and innovations in premium non-alcoholic options. Entries should provide the consumer with that standout product they didn’t even know they were looking for yet.
Branding and marketing: How are all these amazing features being communicated to the consumer? The best entries should utilise exciting concepts and strategies to make sure that everyone who hears about this product remembers it.
Co-Founder/General Partner, Ficus Venture Capital
It’s an honour and a great pleasure to be judging the World Beverage Innovation Awards 2019. From an investor’s perspective, I am particularly
looking out for teams who have the passion and grit to build brands instead of businesses. I will be looking out for brands that demonstrate the following:
Authentic Brand Story: Authenticity in the brand story and the ability to capture the consumer mindshare in their chosen market segment.
Sustainability Objective: Sustainability in the food industry is important to mitigate the decline of food resources in the world; hence, it is crucial for
brands to include this as part of their growth strategy.
Augmented Transparency: Consumers today are hungry for information and often they do not get it directly from the brands they buy. I am looking for
brands that take control of the narrative, providing transparency on ingredients, nutritional information. This does not mean that all the information
has to be printed right on the packaging. QR code for instance allows consumers to have a “deep dive” about the brand they love.
Alternative Packaging: FMCG packaging, especially plastics, is causing so much harm to our environment. Packaged goods makers are beginning to
move away from traditional plastic packaging, and toward sustainable options like sugarcane “plastic”. I will be looking out for brands that respond to
Research and Development Analyst, PepsiCo
I look forward to serving as a judge for the World Beverage Innovation Awards 2019! Here are some of the things I’ll be looking for when reviewing the submissions:
Differentiation: The product should have some differentiating factor, whether it be in the underlying technology or the overt marketing. How is your product different from the rest? Breakthrough technological innovation is a plus!
Novelty: The product should be original. Is your product something that consumers have never seen before?
Consumer Benefits: The product should provide tangible benefits to consumers (fewer calories, lower sugar, functional advantage, etc.). What benefits does your product offer to consumers that other products don’t?
Sustainability: The product should be sustainably manufactured with sustainably sourced ingredients and finished in sustainable packaging. Do consumers feel good about buying your product?
Substantiation: The product should have a demonstrated record of success. Have consumers liked your product enough to buy it?
Enter the World Beverage Innovation Awards Now
Part one of what our judges are looking for can be read here.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019