Fi Europe combined with Hi Europe, the F&B ingredients show, will once again this year recognise outstanding achievements in the industry. Startups launched within the last five years are invited to share their most innovative product, service or solution by submitting an entry before 17 September for the Startup Innovation Challenge 2021, while exhibiting companies participating in the event are invited to submit their entries before 24 September for the Fi Europe Innovation Awards 2021.
There are eight categories in the Fi Innovation Awards 2021, seven of which are open to exhibitors only (online or in-person), while for the first time this year the Future of Nutrition category will honour people from non-exhibiting companies, associations or organisations. Both the Startup Innovation Challenge and the Fi Europe Innovation Awards are well established and highly prestigious, acknowledging and highlighting ground-breaking innovations.
From ingredients, process technology and equipment, to new strategic approaches and initiatives, for many years, the Fi Europe Innovation Awards have honoured pioneering work – yet they always mirror current industry trends. This year, the finalists and winners will be chosen by a jury of industry experts chaired by Prof Colin Dennis, who is Chair of the Board of Trustees of both IFIS and the British Nutrition Foundation. The winners will be announced live in Frankfurt during Fi Europe and will be streamed online too.
Prof Colin Dennis, who has been the Fi Innovation Awards jury chair since 2019, highlights the role the Fi Europe Innovation Awards play in recognising innovation in the F&B industry: “Innovation in the food industry is vital to its future success. Meeting consumer and market needs, while considering the health of people and the planet, diversity and inclusivity are key drivers for companies. Innovations in processes, ingredients and products continue to deliver nutritional benefits and/ or new sensory experiences. The Fi Europe Innovation Awards recognise the many exciting developments in all these areas and illustrate the pace of innovation in the sector. I very much look forward to working with colleagues on judging the entries for 2021.”
Companies can submit an entry for one or more of the following categories. The jury will give preference to new products introduced within the last two years:
- The Future of Nutrition Award will be presented to a person or team for actively contributing to and supporting pioneering ideas or innovative educational initiatives in food and nutrition, likely to positively impact the health and well-being of consumers. This award is open to nominations for people from non-exhibiting companies, associations or organisations.
- The Sensory Innovation Award will acknowledge an organisation or company that has developed the best ingredient or process in terms of enhancing the sensory experience of food products such as taste, texture, smell and/ or appearance, without significantly increasing application costs.
- The Plant-based Innovation Award will acknowledge an organisation or company that has developed the best plant-based ingredient or application based on a plant-based ingredient in terms of sensory and physical properties or application costs.
- The Clean Label & Natural Innovation Award will acknowledge an organisation or company that has developed the best clean label ingredient or process in terms of sensory and physical properties or application costs.
- The Health Innovation Award will acknowledge an organisation or company for the development of the best ingredient or application in terms of proven contribution to digestive, cognitive, immune or physical health.
- The Food Tech Innovation Award will acknowledge an organisation or company that has developed an innovative technical processing/ manufacturing/ packaging/ waste reduction solution or service for food ingredients or finished products.
- The Sustainability Innovation Award will acknowledge an organisation or company for a measurable supply chain strategy that champions environmental, economic or socially sustainable practices in the F&B industry.
- The Diversity & Inclusion Innovation Award will acknowledge an organisation or company for creating a work environment that offers equal opportunities for all employees irrespective of their gender, race, religious background, sexual orientation, and physical or mental ability.
Startups taking centre stage
Now in its sixth year, the Startup Innovation Challenge is a unique competition aimed at supporting innovative projects within the F&B industry through a specialised support programme tailored to startup’s needs.
This contest is open to all startups with innovations targeting the F&B sector with a focus on:
- ground-breaking ingredients/ additives that improve taste, texture, appearance, and/ or the nutritional value of food and beverages,
- revolutionary processing technologies,
- pioneering technologies or services that support the F&B industry.
The awards will be hosted in conjunction with Fi Europe combined with Hi Europe 2021, the world’s largest gathering of ingredient buyers and decision makers. Finalists will therefore not only gain global exposure, but also meet key industry players who can help take their innovations to the next level.
All finalists will be invited to pre-record a presentation pitch which will be featured during the online event, as well as to give a live pitch in-person at Fi Europe combined with Hi Europe 2021. The winners can look forward to prizes such as personal mentoring from a jury member of their choice, a booth at Fi Europe 2022 or an Fi Global Insights & Ingredients Network Digital Package to promote their online presence throughout the year.
Startups can select multiple categories but will only compete in one. The shortlisting jury will determine which one is most suitable for applicants based on the information submitted.
The 2021 categories are:
- Innovative F&B Ingredients – for innovations related to food and beverage ingredients or additives from an animal/ plant/ alternative source.
- Innovative Processing Technology – for innovations related to food processing technologies that have the potential to positively impact the F&B industry.
- Innovative Healthy F&B Ingredients – for innovations related to food and beverage ingredients or additives from an animal/ plant/ alternative source that contribute to digestive, cognitive, immune or physical health, with a focus on natural and/ or sustainable processes.
- Innovative Technology or Services – for innovations that support improvements in ingredients sourcing and production, food safety, traceability, transparency or supply chain management.
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Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922