Judging panel

Our judging panel of seasoned industry experts will carefully review each submission against the judging criteria. After much deliberation, they choose their top five in each category. Scores are collated to reveal the winners and finalists in each category!

Our awards are based on innovation, therefore all entries will be judged based on the concept of their product as opposed to taste. All judges will be basing their scores against the entrants 200-word description they upload alongside their supporting imagery and documentation. This is to ensure that all judging is fair and that all judging is based on exactly what the entrant has supplied.

The judging will take place 2 weeks after the entry deadline.


Felipe Braga
Innovation Manager, The Coca-Cola Company


Felipe Braga is currently an Innovation Manager working for Coca-Cola in Brazil.

Leading a cross-functional team, he and the team is thinking and designing end to end solutions to meet people’s needs with new products, and supply-chain, purchase and consumption experiences improvements.

With more than 17 years of experience in Consumer Goods, he also worked for GSK in Brazil and the United States in a global role, dealing with a dozen countries and unique businesses realities worldwide. Felipe is graduated in Business Administration, Design and has an MBA in Strategic Management. He´s currently living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Click here to view Felipe’s LinkedIn profile


Ben Branson
Founder and CEO, Seedlip


Ben is the Founder of Seedlip and Æcorn Aperitifs, the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirits and aperitifs. His mission is two-fold: Solve the dilemma of ‘what to drink when you’re not drinking’ and continue his family’s 300 years of farming heritage.

World Beverage Innovation Awards finalists in 2017 and with offices in the Chilterns, Los Angeles and Sydney, Seedlip is now available in over 25 cities including New York, Barcelona, Shanghai & Singapore and served in many of the world’s most awarded bars, restaurants and hotels including 350x Michelin * Restaurants & 9/10 of the world’s best cocktail bars.

Ben was named as one of the Top 50 most influential people in food and drink by The Telegraph and awarded Young Achiever of The Year by The Drinks Business. He continues to pioneer the non-alcoholic category forward with the launch of Æcorn Aperitifs in Selfridges and The Savoy in May 2019.

Click here to view Ben’s LinkedIn profile


Adam Arnold
Founder and creative director, Brandality

Adam is Founder and Creative Director of Brandality, an award-winning creative branding agency who specialise in working with food and drink companies. His experience spans over 20 years working with such brands as Adidas, Sky, Aldi, Brakes and Unilever to name a few.

Adam has consulted and designed for the beverage industry since 2000 when he worked as an Art Director on several drinks industry publications.

As well as helping brands from a creative perspective Adam also consults strategically to ensure brands differentiate and gain advantages.

Click here to view Adam’s LinkedIn profile


Aparna Oak 
Director of Flavor Innovation, Imbibe

Aparna Oak is the Director of Flavor Innovation at Imbibe, a flavour and beverage development company located just outside of Chicago. Ms. Oak has worked in flavour development for 14 years and is a member of The Society of Flavor Chemists.

As a Certified Flavor Chemist with years of experience, she has been published in the Handbook of Nutraceuticals Volume II in a chapter entitled Flavoring of Nutraceuticals. She is also on the monthly panel of certified flavourists that publish the column ‘Organoleptic Characteristics of Flavor Materials’ published in the magazine Perfumer and Flavorist.

While interacting with key customers, especially in her management of new flavour business, she also works with the marketing and business development teams to create innovative flavour concepts for potential new clients. She is also actively involved in the formulation and creation of the masking tools offered by Imbibe.

Click here to view Aparna’s LinkedIn profile


Austin Kozman
R&D Director, PepsiCo

Dr. Austin Kozman is an R&D Director at PepsiCo working in the PepsiCo Technology Ventures team. The PepsiCo Technology Venture (PTV) team is charged with identifying, researching, and developing emerging novel technologies for our food and beverage business.

The ultimate goal of PTV is to locate “development ready” technologies and business propositions that are robust enough to perform successfully at a pilot scale where internal R&D teams can further explore potential applications that can impact our portfolio of beverages (Pepsi, Tropicana, Gatorade, etc.) and/or foods (Lays, Doritos, Quaker, etc.); therefore enabling complete adoption and integration into PepsiCo.

Austin has worked as a thermal engineer for over 25 years. Austin received his B.S.M.E. from the University of Texas at Austin and his Masters of Engineering and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Click here to view Austin’s LinkedIn profile


Clément Tischer
Program Manager, NX-Food

Clément is Program Manager of the Food Innovation Program at NX-Food, the food innovation hub of the international wholesaler METRO AG.

In the course of the Program, Clément and his colleagues pick the most exciting and innovative food & beverage products — from insect-based pasta to sustainable glass straws — for the dedicated startup shelves of NX-Foods’ sales partners: METRO Germany, METRO Austria, Real and Eurowings.

As a food innovation expert, Clément had multiple speaking engagements in different industry formats as well as being a Mentor for startups from the StartLife Accelerate Program in Wageningen and ProVeg Incubator in Berlin.

Prior to joining NX-Food, Clément was a founding partner at YOMARO GmbH, a frozen yogurt catering startup, where he was responsible for expansion & finance. Clément studied economics at the University of Cologne.

Click here to view Clément’s LinkedIn profile 

Geoff Parker
Asia-Pacific Regional Director, International Council of Beverages Associations


In 2009, Geoff was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Beverages Council. Since then, Geoff has successfully managed two mergers, significantly raised the Beverages Council’s profile with key stakeholders and firmly positioned the organisation as the peerless, respected voice of the $7+ billion non-alcoholic beverage industry in Australia.

In 2010, Geoff was elected President and Asia-Pacific Regional Director of the International Council of Beverages Associations (ICBA). In 2012 he was elected for a consecutive two-year term. Geoff also serves on the Board of the International Council of Bottled Water Associations (ICBWA), and in 2017 was elected as its Vice-President. Geoff has been on the ICBWA Board since 2009.

Geoff has over 20 years’ involvement in boardrooms and is a Fellow of both the Australian Institute of Management and the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds qualifications from The University of Queensland and The University of Cambridge.

Click here to view Geoff’s LinkedIn profile


Jaclyn Bowen
Executive Director, Clean Label Project

Jaclyn Bowen is the Executive Director of Clean Label Project focused on changing the definition of food and consumer product safety through data, science, and transparency. Bowen and CLP have appeared on NBC, ABC, Fox News, CNN, ‘The Doctors’ and 450+ print and online media outlets including USA Today and Huff Post talking about Clean Label Project’s studies on the true contents of America’s best-selling food, beverage, and consumer packaged goods.

Through data, science, and benchmarking, Clean Label Project conducts actual retail sampling and analytical chemistry testing to reveal levels of contaminants (like heavy metals, pesticide residues, and plasticizers) in America’s bestselling consumer products.

Before coming to the CLP, Jackie held numerous technical, standards development and food safety and quality leadership roles within the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre, NSF International. Her expertise is in organic, gluten-free, Non-GMO Project and food safety certification, compliance and label claim substantiation.

Click here to view Jaclyn’s LinkedIn profile


Jaime Martín
Founding Partner & CEO, Lantern

Jaime is a recognised expert in strategy, innovation and trends, as well as a regular speaker in industry forums worldwide. Jaime and his team at the strategy consultancy Lantern have helped leading food and beverage companies such as Campofrio Food Group, Calidad Pascual, Nestlé, Pescanova or Schweppes Suntory to accelerate growth and to unlock innovation.

Prior to founding Lantern, he launched the Iberian office of Millward Brown Optimor, the strategic consultancy of WPP. Previously, Jaime was head of brand strategy at Interbrand in its Madrid office. During his eight years tenure in the USA, he was part of Bank of America Private Equity in Chicago, where he led investment projects in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. He started his career as an investment banking analyst.

Jaime holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance from Saint Louis University and an MBA from UCLA – Anderson School of Management.

Click here to view Jaime’s LinkedIn profile

Luis Felipe Torres
Executive Director, Colombian Soft Drink Association (ANDI)

Luis Felipe Torres is the executive director of the Soft Drink Association at the National Business Association of Colombia – ANDI. The association represents around 72% of the non-alcoholic beverage market in Colombia.

He has over 14 years of professional experience working in the public and private sector as well at international and cooperation agencies. He holds a MPP from the Hertie School of Governance (Germany) and a LL.B and B.A in political science from the University of Los Andes (Colombia).

During his work in the public sector, he focused mainly on the development of SMEs, promotion of international trade, and growth through product innovation and sophistication. Torres was the CEO of Colombia Productiva, a government agency responsible for improving business productivity and was director of regulation at the Ministry of Trade Industry and Tourism of Colombia.

In the private sector, he worked in strategic communications, corporate affairs, regulatory policy and corporate social responsibility programmes.

Click here to view Luis’ LinkedIn profile

Shilen Patel
Co-founder and non-alcoholic lead, Distill Ventures

After leading a team at Guinness that turned around 20 years of brand decline, and over 10 years consulting in which he helped dozens of founders realise their potential, Shilen started Distill Ventures with his Co-founder, Frank Lampen, in 2013.

As the world’s first drinks accelerator, the company helps entrepreneurs scale their business in three ways: providing cash investment, mentoring partners to help them become better business leaders, and tapping into an extensive and experienced network of drinks experts. While Distill Ventures’ approach is unique to each entrepreneur, the goal is always to give founders the tools to make better decisions and fewer mistakes while allowing them to remain fully in control of their business.

To date, Distill Ventures has committed in excess of £60 million to accelerate more than 15 founder-led drinks brands around the world, including Seedlip. Shilen’s passions lie in providing start-up entrepreneurs with the guidance and expertise to launch into markets disruptively, and developing the non-alc drinks category.

Click here to view Shilen’s LinkedIn profile

Thea Bourianne
Solutions consultant, Label Insight, Inc.

Thea Bourianne, MBA, RD, LDN is a licensed and registered dietitian based in Chicago at Label Insight. Specialising in nutrition, US and international food regulation, and food composition makes her uniquely positioned to work strategically with global CPG and retail clients to build data-driven, customer-centric solutions.

In her current role at Label Insight, Bourianne supports retailers, CPG brands, US government, technology companies, researchers, and other entities by creating rich product data to help clients reach their transparency goals with a focus on health and wellness.

Her work with customers includes crafting and applying high order attribution to products in-store and online to ensure best-in-class retail and e-commerce shopper experiences to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Bourianne is passionate about safe, transparent, sustainable, wholesome food and beverages.

Click here to view Thea’s LinkedIn profile

Wilbur Zhu
New media director, FBIF New Media

Wilbur Zhu is the new media director of FBIF New Media. FBIF New Media was established in 2017, aiming to be a “deep, innovative and prospective” media. In just two years, FBIF New Media has attracted more than 120,000 followers. As its appeal is broadening, it’s becoming one of the more influential new media companies of the Chinese food and beverage industry.

As an initial member of FBIF New Media, Wilbur has paid close attention to global food and beverage innovation. He has served many clients from food and beverage companies such as Coca Cola, Pepsi Lipton, Evian, Tetra Pak, Yili, and DuPont.

Click here to view Wilbur’s LinkedIn profile


Nick Martin
Executive Director, Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER)


Nick Martin is Executive Director of the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER), a coalition of 17 leading global beverage companies founded in 2006 and working collaboratively towards environmental sustainability. As BIER’s Water Working Group facilitator, he has led several signature initiatives including the Water Stewardship in the Beverage Industry framework and principles.

Nick is also the Sustainability Practice Lead for a Netherlands-based global consulting firm supporting organizations with assessing, prioritizing and managing sustainability-related business risks and opportunities.

He has extensive experience supporting a wide range of private and public organisations with translating sustainability aspirations into successful strategies and collaborative approaches. Previously Nick worked in the non-profit sector with the Global Environmental & Technology Foundation (GETF) in Washington, DC focused on private-public partnerships in water and sustainability.

Click here to view Nick’s LinkedIn profile

Bryony Andrews
Senior editor, FoodBev Media


Bryony Andrews is senior editor at FoodBev Media, publisher of industry-leading publications FoodBev and Refreshment. FoodBev provides its audience of industry professionals with news, views and insights from across food and beverages, interpreting and analysing the latest innovations and trends around the world.

A media and marketing professional with a background specialising in HoReCa, water, snacking and automated refreshment, Bryony is focused on innovation, tracking consumer behaviours and food trends.

She 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.

Click here to view Bryony’s LinkedIn profile

Rina Neoh
Co-Founder/General Partner, Ficus Venture Capital


Rina Neoh has more than 20 years of experience in both the corporate and entrepreneurial world. Rina has delivered multi-million dollar returns from small business enterprises, which she has incubated, coached, invested in or promoted. Rina is also instrumental in two IPOs in the Australian Stock Exchange and has executed complex cross border mergers and acquisitions.

Rina is the Founder/Investor of the EduTech Asia Group of Companies that focuses on bringing thousands of educators across Asia to evaluate and plan for the future of learning. She is also the Co-Founder of the first Shariah-compliant venture capital, Ficus Venture Capital along with being the Co-Founder of Fintech Lab, the world’s first Islamic Digital Economy Accelerator Program.

She currently sits on the Board of Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation and also the Senator Representing Malaysia for the World Business Angels Investment Forum.

Click here to view Rina’s LinkedIn profile

Robert Azzari
Research and Development Analyst, PepsiCo


Robert Azzari is a chemical engineer with four years of experience as an analyst for the PepsiCo Technology Ventures team. His responsibilities included alliance management and technology scouting with a focus on managing and analyzing data.

Robert directed focused technology scouting campaigns against technology needs, evaluated external opportunities, managed partnerships, and oversaw the piloting of external capabilities within PepsiCo. He also supported the development of systems and processes for efficient, effective innovation lifecycle management.

Robert is now a Commercialization Engineer in PepsiCo Beverage R&D responsible for launching innovative products.

Click here to view Robert’s LinkedIn profile


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