What a whirlwind end of April and beginning of May! I was definitely on a business sprint from Vancouver for the Bakery Congress to Toronto for SIAL Innovation Show. I’m thrilled to share my SIAL round up including the SIAL Innovation Contest and my time in the SIAL Expert Hub.
SIAL Innovation Contest
Prior to the show, I was one of eight jurists on the panel to pick the top 10 finalists. Before I reveal the finalists, enjoy watching this video to see our jury deliberation.
And now for the winner of the SIAL Canada’s annual innovation contest – drum roll please! Taj Foods with their flavoured sugar cubes made of 100% natural and herbal ingredients. Flavours include cardamom and cinnamon which offer a sweet savory addition to beverages and recipes. The flavoured sugar cubes were announced as the winner on the first day of the show. They will receive $30,000 worth of consultations from Nielsen and free booths at all SIAL’s shows abroad this year in China, the Philippines, Paris and Abu Dhabi. The finalists and winner were on display at the show.
The nine other finalists in no particular order include:
- Sabarot – Le Moulin à champignons, a select blend of mill-dried mushrooms;
- Katan Kitchens – Quinta Quinoa, Ontario-grown high protein quinoa in a freestanding re-sealable bag;
- Sabarot – Le Petit Quinoa, a blend of cereals and quinoa sold in the shape of a sausage, designed to be sliced and pan-fried;
- Tiffany Gate Foods – Patty Fresh, vegetarian pre-cooked roll to be heated, sliced and served;
- Safies Speciality Foods Company – Crispy Dill Pickled Carrots, spice-and vinegar-marinated carrots;
- Vinagrerias Riojanas – Vermouth Vinegar, a unique vinegar with a premium taste of vermouth;
- Groupe 29 février – 29 Fevrier Maple-in-a-Tree, maple syrup in as “bag-in-tub” configuration;
- Turbana – Plantain Chips, thin and flavourful snacking chips;
- Les Aliments O ’Sole Mio – Sauce Mac & Cheese, ready-made mac and cheese sauce sold in a spouted container.
Congratulations to all the innovative products at SIAL!
SIAL Expert Hub
SIAL identified 10 experts to facilitate panel discussions and respond to specific topics and questions in order to support business development at the tradeshow. I was thrilled and honoured to be part of the SIAL Canada unique expert network! It was a great opportunity to connect with the other experts, meet the SIAL attendees and exhibitors and answer their questions. I want to share with you summaries of the panels I lead in the Expert Hub.
Food Waste Frenzy
Food waste reduction continues to be part of a larger sustainability theme of how to decrease all environmental inputs across the entire food value chain. It’s important to consider the many pieces of that equation including water usage, farming practices, carbon footprint, packaging, and recycling. Consumers, particularly millennials, are attracted to mission-based companies committed to sustainability, high animal welfare standards and transparent business practices.
Clever campaigns such as Intermarche’s Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables, capitalize on the growing social movement to reduce food waste and on consumers’ willingness to buy nutrient-dense, misshapen vegetables for a lower cost. The expert panelists Franco Naccaroto and Tia Loftsgard explained why it is vital for the food industry including farmers, manufacturers, and retailers to implement food waste reduction practices and communicate this to their customers.
Many consumers see value in foods that do not contain long lists of chemicals in the ingredient declaration. Consumers welcome ingredients they can see and pronounce. Preservatives, additives and artificial colours and flavours may be perceived as unnatural and unhealthy. The industry has listened to consumer demands and has made significant efforts to create “clean label” products.
The expert panelists including Bob Bauer, Tia Loftsgard, Franco Naccaroto and Carol Zweep gave popular examples of clean label ingredients for preservatives, artificial colours and flavours in the industry. They also identified important considerations when removing and replacing ingredients to produce a clean label with minimal impact to the sensory attributes, quality, shelf life and costs of the product.
What’s on the Horizon for Healthy Products?
Consumers are becoming more aware of how diet influences short- and long-term health and wellness. In response, many are seeking nutrient-dense foods to attain benefits beyond basic nutrition. Industry is responding by creating and reformulating products targeted at health.
The expert panelists including Dana McCauley, Carol Zweep and Bob Bauer identified ingredients and products in this marketplace. Based on demographics, health trends and consumer’s purchasing behaviours, the panelists gave advice and solutions for manufacturers and retailers to provide consumers with products with health benefits but also taste good and are convenient.
It was an incredible time at SIAL.
I want to thank the organizers for an excellent event!
I’d love to share my extensive food, nutrition and entrepreneurial expertise, passion and industry know-how at your next conference, event or symposium.
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