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World Food Innovation Awards 2023: Judging panel announced
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

24 February 2023

World Food Innovation Awards 2023: Judging panel announced

The World Food Innovation Awards are designed to recognise and reward excellence in the development of innovative food and beverage products and technologies around the world. This year, an international judging panel has been assembled to assess all applications. These individuals have the difficult task of determining which food and beverage innovators have made the most meaningful impact in the industry and have best taken on the role of developing revolutionary products and technologies. The process will take place at the end of February when judges will evaluate applications to determine which award entries meet the highest criteria and will be crowned our winners. Applications for the 2023 World Food Innovation Awards have now closed! We look forward to releasing the finalists soon and announcing the winners at a special awards ceremony at IFE, Internation Food & Drink Event on the 20th of March. Part 2 of our judging panel:

Louis Bedwell Managing Director, Mission Ventures The world of food and drink is ever-changing. The post-pandemic era, a cost of living crisis and the influence of changing behaviours mean that there has never been a more challenging yet exciting time to be in the industry. For this year's World Food Innovation Awards, I'll be looking for the following factors: Mission: Brands need to be passionate about what drives their consumers. Customers are looking for brands and products that create a positive environment and impact on the world. Problem-solving: What problem does the brand or product solve for consumers? Sometimes products taste great and seem like a good idea, but consumers don't need them. The most successful innovations solve an obvious problem. Scalability: This is the golden goose. It's only possible to have a great brand and product if it is scalable. How do consumers access your product? At what price? Is it commercially viable? Health: The pandemic showed how interlinked our health and economies are. Consumers seek a broad spectrum of products and brands supporting their health. How do you communicate these benefits to the consumers? I'll be looking out for this. Diversity: The best food products are made by everyone and for everyone. I'd love to see an influx of new ideas from a new generation of founders.

Philippa Christer Event Director, IFE and IFE Manufacturing An award winning product must taste fantastic, but also fill a need in the market place and have very clear branding inline with the target market. For me this must be coupled with superb sustainability credentials. I am looking for companies with a strong message around creating innovative sustainable solutions within their supply chain, packaging and business model.

Matt Buckingham Marks and Spencer | Buyer, Confectionery

I’m delighted to be joining the judging panel for World Foods Innovation Awards this year. As a newcomer to the awards, I am very excited to see what this year’s entries have to offer. As a buyer in Confectionery, my world has been rocked by the HFSS laws therefore any innovation in this space will particularly pique my interest. The way in which HFSS has altered customer decision making has changed the priorities for Confectionery products with a greater focus on healthier choices without compromising on taste.

The 5 areas that I will be considering when evaluating this year’s entries include:

Better Choices: How consumers can be provided with heathier choice products that still deliver on taste, quality and nutritional value. Innovation that explores ways to provide the public with reduced calories, salt, fat & sugar will score highly.

Sustainability: Evaluating our impact on the planet is becoming more and more critical. Waste from the Food & Drinks industry has a massive part to play in reducing our carbon impact, therefore innovation that reduces single use plastics and provides reusable and recyclable solutions is imperative.

Backing British: Having grown up on a family farm, innovation that supports the UK farming and manufacturing industry really excites me. Whether this be diversification in the dairy industry or backing British manufacturing capabilities, any way in which we can help feed our nation from within our own shores should be supported.

Quality: Working for a retailer with (arguably!) the best quality products on the market, quality is always at the forefront of my mind. Innovation around producing restaurant quality food at affordable prices will always be of interest.

WOW Factor: Any innovation in our industry needs to make you want to pick it up from the shelf, be this the branding, nutritional quality or the problem that it solves. Any product that I see must make me want to buy it!

Silvia D'Alesio Food & Packaging Ecosystem Expert Hello, World Food Innovation Awards 2023, Judging Panel, and New Entry! I’m so lucky to be at such an important contest with many professionals, observing food and bev innovations and dealing transversally with judge categories based on today's and coming years' needs. I hope you will come away enriched with a broad overview of how food innovation can really impact society, environment, and business and ultimately enrich the everyday life of consumers with added value. I wish to thank the staff of FoodBev Media because every year it is able to create this event with participants and judges by animating the debate on new trends in food product development. so the good is that here we're on the same page promoting activities such as this for creating a net world we live in more sustainable and better our efforts in rethinking the food system we consume. factors I will be looking out for are: Sustainability - Organic Barometer, and Green packaging: recyclability of packaging, commitment to social responsibility, safeguarding the supply chain, and reducing waste The search for convenience: in response to the permacrisis the savings for the buyer due to the format particular format or products offering promotions or quality and quantity in a convenient ratio Product textures: emotional stimuli given by attributes such as: "crispy", "thin", "velvety", "creamy", "soft", "rough", "filling", and "stuffed" Processing method - Cooked and (well) eaten: as a distinctive element, as a synonym for quality and savoir-faire, as a tradition and craftsmanship, as an expression of the care and passion put into production. Lifestyle: Factors that claim specific philosophies of life and styles of consumption, such as veganism or organic

Steve Osborn Director, The Aurora Ceres Partnership Ltd Taste always wins. Well it used to anyway. Food and beverage products are constantly being challenged by fads, trends and changes in consumer habits. This provides fertile ground for innovators and product developers, as new opportunities and niches are constantly appearing, sometimes in unexpected places. And taste would always be the main factor that would determine the success or failure of the product, that and marketing budget of course! There has however been something of a shift in recent years, where the need for healthier products has really come into focus, helped by a greater understanding of what a healthy diet looks like. This is also running in parallel with a greater need for environmental considerations. These three components are now essential in the success of the product: Taste, Health and Environment; and new and emerging products need to genuinely deliver one each of these. This can be imagined as a triangle with taste at the top (it still ‘wins’ after all) but this is now supported by the other essential pillars. This doesn’t mean that indulgence isn’t allowed but it is about healthier or permissible indulgence. The Aurora Ceres© ‘Taste, Health and Environment’ Innovation Triangle is always a core part of the food technology scouting and innovation activities which we undertake at The Aurora Ceres Partnership Ltd. The innovations that will be catching my eye in the World Food Innovation Awards 2023, will be those that satisfy not only the taste component, but also the healthier propositions as well as the environmental concerns. Each entry will be considered through this lens, and will help to determine the real value of the innovation. In addition to this I will be particularly interested in products that satisfy a genuine need, as this is always the hallmark of great innovation.

Stay up to date with our awards by visiting the dedicated FoodBev Awards website

The finalists and winners of the World Food Innovation Awards 2023 will be announced shortly.

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