Leading F&B producers from eight countries spanning the Middle East, India, Eastern and Central Europe, USA and Central America, have won the 2021 edition of the Gulfood Innovation Awards.
“The challenges of the past 12 months have initiated numerous opportunities and F&B producers worldwide have responded with determination and imagination. The Gulfood Innovation Awards is clear evidence of that as we received some bold, original and inspired entries from visionary industry professionals,” said Mark Napier, show director, Gulfood 2021.
“It is clear that what has emerged from the pandemic is massive transformation now impacting the worldwide industry with healthy, organic and environmentally sustainable solutions topping innovation agendas.”
The UAE led the way in the sustainability categories with Dubai-based Hunter Foods LLC taking the ‘Best Packaging Design Impact’ award for its 100 percent recyclable packaging for its gourmet organic Superfoods range. The accolade for the ‘Most Impactful Sustainable Product’ was awarded to UAE’s Agthia Group PJSC for its 100 percent plastic-free, plant-based, disposable 500ml Al Ain water bottles, which are completely biodegradable and compostable within 80 days.
Forward-thinking Indian companies earned honors for innovation, with Healthy snacks producer Wingreens Farms Pvt. Ltd scooping the award for the ‘Most Innovative Baked Product’ for its Butter Garlic Naan Chips with Makhani Dip combo, while Eastern Condiments snapped up the accolade for the ‘Most Innovative Health & Wellness Product’ for its Jackfruit 365 flour made from 100 percent mature green unripe Jackfruits, said to be a convenient way to control blood sugar through food without changing eating habits.
Demonstrating the Awards’ strong global appeal, Costa Rica’s Tertulia Brugge S.A. secured the ‘Most Innovative Beverage’ honor for its chocolate powder sweetened with the natural-sugar alternative Monk fruit, said to be up to 200 times sweeter than normal table sugar.
Eastern Europe demonstrated its pioneering F&B work when the ‘Most Innovative Dairy Product’ was judged to be the dairy-free cottage cheese from Hungarian producer Fino Food Kft. The ‘Most Innovative Frozen or Chilled Food’ award was taken by Ukraine’s Ovostar Union Ltd for its liquid egg products presented in its new Pure Pak recyclable packaging line made from certified wood board sources.
Poland’s Jogurty Magda Sp. z o.o. was crowned winner of the ‘Most Innovative Organic Product’ with its clean-label, low fat coconut-based yoghurt.
Austrian drinks brand P.O.S.C.A. GmbH, which champions a non-alcoholic lifestyle, was honored with the ‘Most Innovative Halal Product’ for its Roman antiquity inspired Posca Romana beverage range, which is based on all-natural ingredients and is marketed as having restorative and rejuvenating properties. The award for the ‘Most Innovative Meat or Poultry Product’ meanwhile, was scooped up by the USA’s Beyond Meat for its pre-formed, plant-based, and ready to cook ‘Beyond Meatballs.’
The Gulfood Innovation Awards 2021 were assessed by a panel of industry leaders: TV presenter and author Ariana Bundy; Sunjeh Raja, Director and CEO of the International Center for Cultural Arts Dubai; Chef David Arnold, General Manager of JMM Meat LLC; Vineeth R. Karal, General Manager of TrueBell; Kirti Meghnani, Head of Retail Procurement for supermarket retailer Choithrams; Greg Wright, Managing Director of the Food People; and Nikola Kosutic, Senior Research Manager of Gulfood Knowledge Partner Euromonitor International.