Fabulous FABI Award Winners
Make room on your menu for these rising stars
Since 2011, the National Restaurant Association has attempted to answer two of the industry’s most important questions—”What’s new?” and “What’s next?”—with its annual food and beverage innovation awards. Among the inaugural winners prophetically identified as trendsetters were telera rolls, heritage pork and chia energy bars.
Just shy of a decade later, with a snappy new name (FABI), a massively expanded pool of applicants and a finely burnished crystal ball, the association gave the nod to an even more compelling group of tastemakers, highlighted below.
Plant-Based at the Top
- FABI’s multiple nods to the explosion of plant-based meats include soy-based Before the Butcher sausage patties and high-profile rivals Impossible Burger and Beyond Beef.
- Sud’n’Sol’, a previous FABI winner for its reliably amazing vegetable tapenas, makes a showing with slow-roasted, 100 percent vegan green tomato segments, partially dried in low temperature ovens to enhance their organoleptic (senses-stimulating) qualities.
- Bravadough!, Wild Flour Bakery’s gluten-free cookie dough line, also boasts desirable attributes like vegan and gourmet in its dark chocolate chip, oatmeal cranberry, double chocolate fudge and peanut butter varieties. The company’s Garek Desch is bullish on gluten-free growth in foodservice, fueled by its power to influence group dining decisions. “People on a gluten-free diet need an appealing dessert option,” he says, “and our cookies are virtually indistinguishable from wheat versions.” Our tasters agree 100 percent.
- Trident Seafoods offers an intriguing gluten-free alternative to traditional high-carb pastas with its 10g Protein Noodles, made with wild Alaska Pollock and other all-natural, non-GMO ingredients. It’s also low-calorie, fully cooked, flavor-neutral and holds up well in hot applications.
- Gluten-free pizza crusts command a bigger piece of the pie with Venice Bakery’s chia-enhanced cauliflower, vibrant red beet root, sweet potato and peppery zucchini winning varieties and Smart Flour’s creatively delicious combo of cauliflower and ancient grains.
Bold Flavors Keep Popping
- A sip of La Colombe’s cold brew shandy is all you need to know that the company’s quest for a game-changing, highly chug-able beverage was achieved. “The citrus notes present in most high elevation coffee beans made a natural fit with our smooth cold brew,” says La Colombe’s Alicia Moore. Try the refreshing Cold Brew Shandy Lemonade, featuring fresh lemons from Italy, and Cold Brew Shandy Grapefruit, made with natural pink grapefruit juice.
- Author: Mindy Kolof
- Posted: October 08, 2019
- Categories: Food & Beverage Spotlight