National Restaurant Association Announces 2014 FABI Award Recipients

The National Restaurant Association today announced the recipients of the Food and Beverage Innovations (FABI) Awards, which recognize progressive food and beverage innovations that will make a significant impact in the restaurant industry.

An independent panel of experts, representing a variety of both commercial and non-commercial industry segments, selected the FABI Award recipients based on their exciting benefits to restaurant operators as well as the end consumer. The innovations selected represent new packaging designs, solutions in efficiency and waste reduction, as well as alternatives to satisfy consumer desires for gluten-free, artisan, and vegan menu items. The award recipients will be showcased at the 2014 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show on May 17-20 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

“Food and beverage innovation helps advance menu development, driving customer satisfaction and increasing restaurant traffic,” says Sam Facchini, convention chair for the NRA Show 2014 and co-founder and co-owner of Metro Pizza. “This year’s FABI Award recipients provide operators with opportunities to improve efficiencies and attract new guest segments by meeting a wide variety of consumer demands. Virtually any operation, of any shape or size, can benefit from one or more of these innovations, making them a must-see part of NRA Show 2014.”

The 2014 FABI Awards recipients are:

Atalanta Corporation
Skura Nera: Pizza Flour
A modern development of an ancient technique, this distinctive flour blend provides smoky flavor profiles to artisanal style products and can be used to create unique pizza, pasta, or bread.

Atalanta Corporation
Sweety Drop Peppers
Discovered growing in the Amazon Rainforest, this new, versatile, and unique pepper has a colorful appearance, sweet flavor and can be used to add a signature twist to salads, pizzas, pastas, and more.

Bonfire Wines
Bonfire Wine Pouch
This new evolution of wine packaging is a versatile pouch that is easy to use, keeps wine fresh for four weeks, and dramatically reduces packaging volume and waste.

Chiquita Brands North America
Gourmet Cafe Creative Classics from Fresh Express
Incorporating creative and unique ingredients into classic salad recipes, this new line of salads delivers a great tasting, healthy, and convenient menu option for operators with 15 days of shelf life.

Deya's Gluten Free
Gluten-Free Flour
This gluten free flour blend uses dried egg whites as a key ingredient and is designed as a 1-for-1 replacement without the characteristic differences in texture or after-taste, allowing operators to easily make gluten-free versions of flour-based recipes.

Diamond Crystal Brands
Liquid Portions Line
A new line of flavorful dressings, sauces, and condiments that are low-sodium, gluten-free, and transfat-free with no added high fructose corn syrup. Developed to appeal to K-12 students while helping schools provide healthier menus.

Gardein Vegan Fishless Filets
Made with non-GMO soy and wheat, ancient grains and veggies, these filets deliver the taste, texture, and omega 3s of fish with no cholesterol or trans-fat—providing operators a healthy menu option that is a good source of fiber, 100% vegan, and kosher-certified.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.
Keurig BOLT Pack
This self-contained pack features pre-measured, ground coffee with a built-in filter—delivering 64 ounces of fresh, consistent coffee in about two minutes for increased efficiency and less mess.

Hormel Health Labs - Diamond Crystal Brands
Thick & Easy HP Shaped Puree's
Designed for people with swallowing difficulties, these pureed meat and vegetable products provide high-protein, low-sodium nutrition without sacrificing taste or visual appearance.

Kiki's Gluten Free Foods, LLC

Gluten Free Deep Dish Pizza

Frozen and packaged to prevent cross contamination, this is the first commercially available gluten-free deep-dish pizza, allowing operators to offer a quality Chicago-style pizza that accommodates guests with gluten-free diets.

Schmaltz Products, LLC
Schmacon - Smoked & Cured Glazed Beef Slices
Beef’s full-flavored new answer to bacon, this patent-pending product allows operators to deliver a high-quality alternative to pork bacon with significantly less fat, sodium, and calories than pork bacon. 

FABI Award recipients were chosen by an independent panel of industry experts who represent all commercial and non-commercial segments. The 2014 FABI Judges are:

  • Carlyn Berghoff, CEO, Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group
  • John Li, senior vice president, Research & Development, Bloomin Brands, Inc.
  • Jeff McClure, director of Culinary Services, Sodexo Education Market
  • Deborah McDaniel, senior director, Product Innovation & Development-Menu Development, McDonald's USA
  • Mary Angela Miller, administrative director, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
  • Brad Nelson, vice president & corporate chef, Marriott International
  • Linda Sceurman, national director of Nutrition & Menu Development, ARAMARK Education
  • William J. Spencer, chief, Air Force Appropriated Fund F&B Operations, San Antonio, Texas
  • Brian Wilson, senior culinary development Chef, Bob Evans Farms Inc.
  • Ed Wronski, director, Culinary & Concept Development, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

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