- 250 entries from 44 countries, ranging from sustainable packaging to healthy snacks, free-from to plant-based products, signal worldwide industry transformation following challenging 12 months
- Winners span Middle East, India, Eastern & Central Europe, USA, and Central America
Pioneering F&B producers from eight countries spanning the Middle East, India, Eastern and Central Europe, USA and Central America, have emerged victorious from a fiercely contested, future-focused 2021 edition of the Gulfood Innovation Awards.
The accolades were awarded at Gulfood 2021, the 26th edition of the most competitive global sourcing platform and the world’s first in-person F&B event since Gulfood in February 2020. Demonstrating worldwide confidence in the show as the platform to begin the year with confidence and conviction, this year’s Awards attracted 250 entries from 44 countries.
“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.”, he added.
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% 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% plastic-free, plant-based, disposable 500ml Al Ain water bottles, which are completely biodegradable and compostable within 80 days.
Meanwhile, forward-thinking Indian companies earned honours 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% mature green unripe Jackfruits, said to be a convenient way to control blood sugar through food without changing eating habits.
“Associating with Gulfood year-on-year gives us great exposure and more business, helping to highlight us and make us more visible to the community and whole world. It is a great moment, and we are extremely thrilled to receive the award,” said Aswin Saseendran, Deputy Manager Brand, Eastern Condiments Middle East and North Africa.
Demonstrating the Awards’ strong global appeal, Costa Rica’s Tertulia Brugge S.A. secured the ‘Most Innovative Beverage’ honour 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 the 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.
“As a company, we always strive to be one step ahead, which means being closer to the consumer. Our product is fresh with the egg itself, but in many destinations, there are requirements for more sanitary controls, which is why we go through the pasteurisation, chilling, cleaning and now packaging in in Pure Pak packaging. This award represents a reward for a lot of hard work and it feels really good,” said Kurt Rossi, Export Director, Ovostar.
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.
“It is our first time in Dubai and at Gulfood. We are delighted to win this award as we worked very hard for it. Participating at the show gave us a great opportunity to promote our product. We feel extremely inspired,” said Sylwia Koscielniak, Project Specialist, Jogurty Magda.
Austrian drinks brand P.O.S.C.A. GmbH, which champions a non-alcoholic lifestyle, was honoured 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 prestigious 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.
Safety at Gulfood
Gulfood 2021, which runs until Thursday 25th February, is being held under stringent safety and hygiene protocols. DWTC has proved its capability to curate the safest face-to-face business environment and deliver world-class events with the highest safety protocols, as evidenced by the recent GITEX Technology Week – the only live in-person tech event in 2020. Held in December, the event welcomed tens of thousands of visitors with 96% of local and international attendees recording a ‘safe’ or ‘very safe’ experience.
With product sampling and handling such a vital interaction at a global F&B event, DWTC’s proven protocols have been further intensified for Gulfood 2021, under strict guidance and coordination with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Dubai Municipality, to ensure the safest possible business conditions. Wearing of masks is mandatory, with social distancing in place to ensure the wellbeing of all delegates. On-site registration will not be available; registration must be completed in advance via www.gulfood.com
Furthermore, the show is co-located with GulfHost, the ultimate trading platform for the hospitality equipment & foodservice Industry. For more information, please visit https://www.gulfhost.ae/
More information on the event safety guidelines can be found here https://www.gulfood.com/useful-info/safety-guidelines