The judges

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. 

Here is what our judges will be looking for from entrants.

The judging will take place 2 weeks after the entry deadline.
Due to the sheer amount of entries, we will only be notifying entrants that have been shortlisted and will contact them no later than February 2019. If you do not hear from us by this time then, unfortunately, it means you have not been shortlisted.

Angeline Achariya
CEO, Monash Food Innovation Centre

Angeline is a globally recognized and respected leader in commercializing innovation to market, a practitioner of building innovation capabilities and export pathways into Asia. With a career spanning over 20 years of diverse international innovation and leadership experience in blue chip multinational companies like MasterFoods Japan, Fonterra, Yum! Brands and Mondelēz International, has resulted in more than 800 innovations launched in grocery retail, foodservice and quick service restaurants.

Angeline is on a number of advisory boards and committees and most noteworthy is the development of Victoria’s Food & Fibre strategy in 2015. Angeline’s strong commercial and innovation skills have paved the way for her leading and establishing a world first industry shared model, the Mondelēz International Food Innovation Centre (FIC). The FIC has transitioned to Monash University in 2016 as a neutral industry shared innovation services start up to support the growth and revitalisation of the Australian food and beverage industry.

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Cassandra Stavrou
Co-founder, Propercorn

Cassandra is the co-founder of Propercorn, the UK’s number one premium popcorn brand. Starting the business when she was just 25, Cassandra now sells some 3 million packs of award-winning popcorn every month.

In the space of just seven years, Cassandra and her co-founder Ryan, have grown the business from food startup to supermarket staple, with Propercorn cementing its position as the one of the UK’s leading, better for you snack suppliers.

Flying the flag for great British business, Propercorn is available in 15 countries across the world. In 2017, the business was recognised as the 5th fastest growing independent company in Europe by the Financial Times.

Cassandra’s tireless passion for the UK’s food industry, has seen her work with the UK’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as a Great British Food Pioneer. Most recently, she joined the government’s newly formed Food and Drink Sector Council, representing the interests of all food and drink SMEs and entrepreneurs across the UK.

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Brandt Maybury
Co-founder & MD, Tastehead

Brandt is the Co-founder and Managing Director of Tastehead, a leading food and drink development agency developing award-winning products for global brands and major retailers as well as innovating start-ups.

Brandt has had a successful career as a chef and food consultant in almost every area of the food industry – both savoury and sweet – from gastropubs and Michelin star restaurants, to 5-star hotels and French ski resorts. He has worked as a development chef for several large companies developing a wide range of products for famous brands and private label ranges. Brandt has also gained valuable production experience over the years, project managing his own factory trials and launching products from concept through to launch. He has won several awards for his creations.

Brandt has held the position of Taste Specialist at Green & Black’s for 5 years, developing new product ranges and recipes whilst serving as ‘face of the brand’ in all media comms and PR activations. He has lived in France and Turkey, and regularly visits Italy to continue his discovery of food and find fresh inspiration. He holds a WSET Level 2 in wine and is looking forward to progressing to Level 3 in the near future.

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Soraya Gadelrab
Portfolio Director, Fresh Montgomery

Soraya Gadelrab is the Portfolio Director at Fresh Montgomery, the UK’s market leading specialist exhibition organiser in the food, drink & hospitality sectors.

Soraya has an extensive knowledge of the food industry as well as the hospitality sector. Joining the business in April 2006 as a Sales Manager, Soraya has since worked across most of the events in the portfolio including IFE & Hotelympia. She was promoted to Event Manager of Speciality & Fine Food Fair & Speciality Chocolate Fair in 2009 and since then her portfolio has grown as well as her remit. She became Event Director in 2012 and added ScotHot and IFEX to her portfolio.

Her current role is Portfolio Director of the company’s Food, Drink & Packaging events which include IFE, Pro2Pac and Speciality & Fine Food Fair.

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Alessio D’Antino
Founder & MD, Forward Fooding

Alessio is the founder and CEO of Forward Fooding, the world’s first collaborative platform for the food and beverage industry. He started his marketing career at a Fortune 500 beverage company before deciding to join a San Francisco-based startup accelerator to lead their marketing and business development efforts. Alessio is an avid startup aficionado and a big time foodie determined to create the largest community of food innovators in the world.

He now works with companies of all sizes with their endeavors of understanding how entrepreneurship, collaboration, and investment models can be used to create a more sustainable future of food.

A global citizen at heart, he has lived and worked in Italy, South Korea, Australia, US and UK where he is currently based.

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Claire Gallagher
Food innovation specialist

A development consultant specialising in the food and drink sector with a core focus on chocolate, bakery and patisserie – working on concept innovation, development and problem solving in these fields.

During ten years as head of food and drink innovation at Bettys, Claire led the Bettys innovation and development agenda through multiple business streams locally in the café tea rooms and shops, nationally and internationally with online.

With over 28 years’ experience in high-quality food and drink development from retail, online, manufacturing across culinary creativity ranging from three years at 2-Michelin star Le Manoir Quat Saisons working in the patisserie section to international culinary competitions which included successes in chocolate and patisserie.

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Grete Eliassen
Business Development Manager, Treatt

With over 10 years in the global beverage industry, Grete is an established professional with great insight and expertise in the FMCG market, specialising in beverages. She has a broad international experience and has developed and launched several global beverage products. She has been working with the largest food and beverage companies and managed to create multiple successful brands, within soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. She has an extensive knowledge and experience of product development, ingredients and flavours.

Grete has a background in marketing and branding and has over the past decade been able to apply these insights to help companies to stand out from their competition with exceptional beverage products. Being the beverage specialist in the industry, she is passionate about product innovation and often is the first to spot a new trend and discover an uncut diamond in its early development stage of its product cycle.

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Alex Clere
Group Editor, FoodBev Media

As editor in charge of FoodBev’s output across all its digital and print titles, including and FoodBev magazine, Alex Clere sees innovation from every corner of the global food and beverage industry on a daily basis.

It is this eye he’ll be casting over entries into the World Food Innovation Awards, looking for products that help to create entirely new categories, bring new life to old concepts, or improve the way we think about and make food and beverage products.

In particular, entrants that have clearly considered the role they play in a wider food and beverage industry – the social and nutritional implications of their products, and the legislative pressures on their corner of their market – will find favour with him.

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Chris Green
Co-founder, Young Foodies

Chris Green is co-founder of Young Foodies, the largest community of the UK’s fastest growing FMCG brands, providing members with expert knowledge, grassroots experience and first-class industry resource to help make the everyday easier for ambitious challenger brands. Young Foodies was launched in May 2017 and already has over 350 exciting food and drink brands on board. The business is expanding rapidly, offering a total 9 business solutions to meet their members everyday needs.

Chris cut his teeth in FMCG at the very successful Ella’s Kitchen, before moving on to manage business operations for several small businesses including Metcalfe’s Food Company during a period of rapid growth. When Chris isn’t leading the YF business, he spends as much time as possible re-investing his years of experience back into small brands.

Inspired by his own experiences, Chris and his co-founder Thea Alexander set up Young Foodies. He has an unwavering passion for transparency, commitment to fair competition, and an inclusive approach to fostering a contribution culture within the community. Together, Chris and Thea are determined to set a fair and level playing field to make small brands mighty.

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Sarah Ali Choudhury
TV chef, restaurant manager and founder of Sarah Ali Easy Curry

Sarah Ali Choudhury is an award-winning Indian food expert, TV chef and food columnist. Sarah is passionate about sharing the joys of Indian cuisine through TV, radio and print. Her recipes have featured in print and online locally, nationally and internationally including The Independent, The Guardian and The Sun. She was featured in a Channel 4 cooking series.

Recognised as an inspirational speaker, Sarah has spoken at numerous events including The Chartered Management Institute, the Federation of Small Businesses for London and The Elite Business Women’s Network.

Sarah is the recipient of multiple awards including the National Influential Woman by The Venus Awards. (sponsored by Mercedes Benz). Sarah has also won New Kid on the Block in the UK Small Awards, launched in 2017 to recognise the achievements of small businesses in the UK. 

Sarah is Brand Ambassador for Asian Restaurant Owners Network and reached the BBPI British Asian Powerlist 2018 and as well as winning Personality of the Year with The Asian Curry Awards.

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Neil Shackleton
Packaging specialist and founder, Medoola

Neil Shackleton is the founder of Medoola, a expert packaging consultancy that delivers a modular approach to packaging projects. This innovative approach combines the individual expertise of packaging professionals from across the globe to successfully deliver innovation, optimisation and sustainability to clients in the FMCG and Pharma sectors.

With over 25 years working on a myriad of packaging projects around the world, Neil now pushes brand owners to reassess packaging process, design, innovation and entire life cycles in order to meet targets from sustainable output to cost reduction.

A Fellow of the Packaging Society, Neil has a true passion for packaging that is prevalent in his work with many leading brands.

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Kate Hulley
Owner & Manager, Belmont Packaging

Kate Hulley is the owner manager of Belmont Packaging Ltd, an established company with a 40 year history who manufacture printed and plain corrugated cardboard packaging for a number of industries including the food & drink sector. Belmont helps customers across the UK enhance their brands by offering a range of corrugated cardboard products from shelf ready packaging through to ecommerce and transit packaging.

Kate has a FMCG food manufacturing background and began her career on the graduate scheme in operations at United Biscuits, which included an international placement at their Barcelona site. On returning to the UK, Kate went on to run production lines manufacturing chocolate digestive, Penguin and Jaffa before scaling back her career to have her three daughters.

Kate was given the opportunity to buy Belmont in 2013 and since then has been combining motherhood and running a successful business ever since!

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Andy Zynga

Andy has a Master’s degree that combines Business Administration and Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University of Berlin, and he earned a Doctorate’s Degree with a thesis on (Open) Innovation Management from RWTH Aachen.

Before joining EIT Food, Andy built and turned around several businesses in Europe and the USA, and most recently engineered a successful exit for Open Innovation Service Leader NineSigma, which he ran for 10 years.

Other stations in his career include 6 years at KPMG Consulting, where he built an international telecommunication strategy practice, and 5 years at Vanco plc, where as CEO North America and Central Europe he was part of the Executive team that took the business public on the London Stock Exchange.

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Isabella Hsu
CEO, Simba Events; and Head of Content for the Food and Beverage Innovation Forum (FBIF)

Isabella Hsu is the CEO of Simba Events and the Head of Content of FBIF. She has exceptional capabilities of integrating resources and has worked over 30,000 hours in the international forums and awards planning.

Initiated and led by Isabella, the FBIF has become one of the most influential industry forums in Asia-Pacific within five years, and it has received active participation and high recognition from the senior executives of various global top food companies such as Nestle, Unilever, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Campbell Soup, Danone, Cargill, DuPont, Tetra Pak and etc..

Besides this, Isabella has a broad view and great passion for the food and beverage industry. She and her team are committed to exploring and sharing the world’s most insightful and successful business cases to inspire the industry insiders and broaden their horizons, ultimately promoting the positive development of the industry. 

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Steve Osborn
Director and food technology scout, The Aurora Ceres Partnership

Having graduated as an Analytical Chemist, Steve completed a Research Masters on Maillard Reaction Flavours, with the University of Reading. This was followed by many years in commercial and technical roles with Nestlé, Northern Foods, Ashbury Confectionery and Leatherhead Food Research where he became a recognised food industry expert contributing to many international conferences.

The Aurora Ceres Partnership Ltd is a food innovation agency providing Innovation management, product development, change management and business support for the global food and beverage industry.

A key focus of their activity is providing food technology scouting for the food and beverage sector through the ACTION technology scouting platform.

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Olivera Međugorac 
EU affairs manager, Nestlé’s Corporate Communications and Government Relations Department for Europe, Middle East and Nord Africa Region

Olivera works as EU affairs manager in Nestlé’s Corporate Communications and Government Relations Department for Europe, Middle East and Nord Africa Region, and is based in Brussels. In her current role, she focuses on food and nutrition related legislation developments and explores the role of food innovation in health-related policies.

Prior to this position, Olivera led the Communication and Marketing services Department of the Nestlé Company for the Adriatic Region for ten years.  She started her career in T-Mobile Croatia and has close to 20 years of experience in strategic communication and public affairs.

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