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.

Leann Du Higashi 
Senior Director of Flavor Technology, PepsiCo Global R & D

Leann is currently Senior Director of Flavor Technology at PepsiCo, which is part of the Flavor and Ingredient Science & Technology for Global R&D based in Valhalla, NY. She started her PepsiCo career in 2012, and is currently leading a team of flavoursists, flavour technologists and scientists supporting global and regional flavour innovation, sugar reduction, flavour technical brand stewardship and flavour research to deliver the constantly evolving consumer needs.

Prior to PepsiCo, Leann spent 10 years working for a European confectionery company Perfetti van Melle, leading flavour development for global markets, in which 3 years in Asia, based in Shanghai and supported innovation for China, India, Indonesia, Japan and other countries. She has also worked for 6 years for A. M. Todd company, now part of the ADM, specialized in mint-based flavours for oral care, confectionary, pharmaceutical and other industries.  

Leann has a BS in Pharmacy from Shanghai Medical University and a MS in Analytical Biochemistry from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has also attended some Executive MBA courses in the areas of New Product Development and Finance from Booth School of Business, University of Chicago.

Outside of work, Leann enjoys spending time with family, friends, great food and good wine. She is a yogi, and has been practising yoga for 15 years; she also plays competitive badminton, once presented US team in an International Senior tournament in Osaka, Japan.

Click here to view their LinkedIn profile

Philip Zinth
Food & beverage industry B2B leader and brewery & water advisory board member

Philip Zinth, is an experienced food and beverage industry B2B Leader with a broad background in strategy, sales management and marketing. With his international experience in SME and multi-national corporations in brewing, packaging and special chemistry, he is focusing on innovation, sales and growth. His passion is strategy and innovation based on service, products, engineering and automation.

Philip was the Segment Marketing Lead for Brewery and Beverage at Ecolab Europe GmbH, Switzerland. Working on the brewery, beverage and dairy markets helping customers in sustainable and efficient cleaning and sanitation procedures. He also served as the European representative at the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) with his strong focus on water and energy sustainability. His background in packaging and the brewing industry brings additional perspectives to the table. In addition, Philip serves on the advisory board of a local brewery and mineral water in Germany.

Click here to view their LinkedIn profile

Thea Bourianne
Manager, Solutions Consulting, Label Insight

Thea Bourianne, MBA, RD, LDN is a licensed and registered dietitian based in Chicago. 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, a SaaS company that provides insights on food label data, Bourianne supports retailers, CPG brands, US government, technology companies, researchers, and other entities by crafting and applying high order attribution to products in-store and online. Bourianne is passionate about safe, transparent, sustainable, wholesome products and strides for best-in-class customer experiences to make the healthy choice the easy choice.

Prior to working at Label Insight, Bourianne’s previous positions have included product development, commercialisation, fresh and frozen food manufacturing, and regulatory affairs with companies and clients such as Taco Bell Corp., Wilton Brands, Starbucks, Ahold, Walgreens and 7-Eleven, among others.

Click here to view their LinkedIn profile

Erik Throndsen
EVP of Beverage Technology, Talking Rain Beverage Company

Erik Throndsen is the EVP of Beverage Technology and Innovation at Talking Rain. With nearly two decades of experience in the food and beverage space, Erik is passionate about using research and data to create innovative products that consumers embrace and enjoy.

Erik was promoted in 2012 to Research and Development Manager at Talking Rain. In 2017, he became the VP of Research and Development, where he oversaw the reformulation of the entire Sparkling Ice Product line to include colors from natural sources while maintaining the vibrant colors that Sparkling Ice is known for. Since 2018, Erik has served as the EVP of Beverage Technology and Innovation, where he is responsible for creating and implementing the long-term innovation strategy for the Talking Rain beverage portfolio. In 2020, Erik has helped oversee Talking Rain’s Sustainability Council, driving the company’s commitment to building a sustainable future through reduction, education, and support.

Click here to view their LinkedIn profile

Jie Ying Lee
Senior Strategic Marketing Manager, Beverage, Kerry

Jie Ying Lee is Senior Strategic Marketing Manager for Kerry Group, leading the Beverage End Use Market in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Kerry Group is the world’s leading taste & nutrition company serving food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries globally, with the purpose and vision of inspiring food and nourishing life through our people, our products, and our commitment to reach over 2 billion people with sustainable nutrition by 2030.

Jie Ying has 13 years of food industry experience that spans from product development to sales and brand marketing. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Food Science from the University of Otago, New Zealand, specializing in flavour science and recently a professional certificate from Harvard Business School Executive Education in Strategic Marketing Management.

Click here to view their LinkedIn profile

Nick Martin
Executive Director, Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) & Sustainability Practice Lead, Antea Group

Nick Martin is Executive Director of the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER), a coalition of 15 leading global beverage companies founded in 2006 and working collaboratively towards environmental sustainability. Nick is also the Sustainability Practice Lead for a Netherlands-based global consulting firm supporting organisations with assessing, prioritising 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 and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan. Specific areas of expertise include: global water stewardship and security, collective action, context-based decision making, and corporate transparency. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science, a Master’s degree in Environmental and Energy Management and a Masters of Business Administration. Nick is married with two sons and lives in Denver, Colorado.

Click here to view their LinkedIn profile

Bo Sten Hansen
Managing Director & Co-Founder, Copenhagen Sparkling Tea Company

Bo Sten Hansen is the Managing Director & Co-Founder of Copenhagen Sparkling Tea Company. Prior to this, he’s had many years in business consulting, but gastronomy and especially the beverage industry has always been a great passion of his. Alongside business consulting, he therefore also ran a wine export company for some years. However, in 2017 he fully dove into the beverage industry, and together with his business partner and award-winning sommelier, Jacob Kocemba, they founded Copenhagen Sparkling Tea Company. 

During the company’s young age (4 years), they’ve managed to make the new beverage category ‘Sparkling Tea’ an international sensation. They’re now exporting to 20 countries and their low-/non-alcoholic Sparkling Teas are served at more than 50 Michelin restaurants worldwide.

Their journey with Sparkling Tea is motivated by the belief, that one should never have to compromise when it comes to taste because everybody deserves a good glass of bubbles.

Click here to view their LinkedIn profile

Aparna Oak
Director of Flavor Innovation, Imbibe

Aparna Oak is a Certified Flavor Chemist and has been active in the flavour industry since 2005. Her successful career has been built on her inherent skills, aptitude for tasting and her breadth of knowledge about flavour compounds, which has allowed her to master the art and science of flavour creation.

As the Director of Flavor Innovation at Imbibe, she has applied her skill set to design dynamic flavours and develop sophisticated masking tools. Her cross-functional work has also inspired innovative flavour concepts, has helped identify marketplace gaps and secure new business for beverage brands of all sizes.

She is an active member of the Society of Flavor Chemists and is on the monthly panel of certified flavourists that publish the column ‘Organoleptic Characteristics of Flavor Materials’ in the magazine Perfumer and Flavorist. More recently, she authored, “Plant to Glass, Oat Milk from a Flavorist’s Lens,” in 2019.

Click here to view their LinkedIn profile

Santiago Navarro
CEO & Co-Founder, Garçon Wines

Serial entrepreneur Santiago Navarro leads the London-headquartered and multi-nationally represented start-up’s mission of innovating in cleantech beverage packaging to make the wine industry more sustainable, starting with better bottles, which is vitally important given that the status quo bottles – round in shape and made from glass – are the single largest contributor to wine’s carbon footprint.

Santiago’s first venture was an online retailer that was the world’s first to use science to rate and score wines for their intrinsic quality. While building this business, Santiago became increasingly aware that innovating in wine packaging would likely be the largest commercial opportunity with the most far-reaching impact. Today, his multi-award-winning sustainable wine bottle innovation – flat to save space and made from recycled PET to save weight & energy – is internationally recognised for helping to make wine’s packaging and shipment kinder to the planet, people, and profit.

Garçon Wines have entered in three of the last four World Beverage Innovation Awards, proudly achieving two wins and one commendation. Santiago is honoured to be part of the 2021 judging panel in celebration and recognition of worthy innovations, concepts, and ambitions in the beverage industry.

Click here to view their LinkedIn profile

Antonia Garrett Peel
News Reporter, FoodBev Media

Antonia Garrett Peel is a news reporter at FoodBev Media, a multimedia platform that analyses and reports on the latest news and trends from the global food and drink industry.

Alongside the rest of the editorial team, Antonia is constantly researching exciting new beverage innovations and has witnessed the rapid development of the sector in the past year.

In her work writing features for FoodBev magazine, Antonia has taken an in-depth look at many burgeoning areas of the beverage market, such as non-alcoholic spirits and functional drinks.

Click here to view their LinkedIn profile

Siân Yates
Senior Editior, FoodBev Media

Sian Yates is the Senior Editor at FoodBev Media, a platform dedicated to researching, writing and disseminating the latest food and beverage industry news. Since joining FoodBev, Sian has witnessed numerous innovations in the beverages market, including a surge in functional health drinks, plant-based alternatives, CBD drinks, and low or non-alcoholic beverages.

Sian and the news team are constantly analysing and interpreting the latest trends and exciting developments in the industry. She will be looking for products and services that are truly disrupting the beverages market, and that serve the demands of today’s consumers.

Click here to view her LinkedIn profile

Shiloh Gray
VP of Brand & Creative, Winc Wines

Shiloh is an award-winning creative with more than a decade of experience building strategic advertising campaigns and unique digital experiences for industry innovators like VMLY&R and Method. He approaches brand-building through a creative lens, and understands the impact that differentiated strategy and visual expression can have on all facets of a business, from brand to marketing to engineering.

Previously, Shiloh spearheaded growth for a diverse slate of technology, retail, fashion, and CPG brands. At Winc, he drives the growth of the company’s most culturally relevant brands; a considered balance of rich brand development, innovative experience, and ROI-driven marketing. He is always searching for new avenues for storytelling, consumer engagement, and immersion. Shiloh is a Webby judge and honoree, has received a One Show Merit award, and has had his work featured on Adweek and Communication Arts. BFA in Communications Design from Pratt Institute.

Click here to view his LinkedIn profile

Call us
+44 (0)1225 327855

© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021

DMCA.com Protection Status