Three Casual Dining exhibitors struck gold today – winning coveted Innovation Challenge Awards at the show.
Fourteen finalists (chosen by popular visitor vote yesterday from a record 40 entries this year) took turns to impress the judges in the live pitching session this morning. Those judges included big name buyers from Casual Dining Group, Jamie’s Italian, TGI Friday’s, GBK, Young’s and Geronimo Pubs, The Restaurant Group, Nando’s, Côte Restaurants and Anglian Country Inns.
The results (announced this afternoon) saw three companies receive gold awards, three awarded silvers and eight taking home the bronze.
- Ascentia FSE: F1 High Speed Oven
‘’Gold perfect, this is a small oven with a big heart! The Innovation Challenge was a great opportunity to showcase the product in the flesh. The organisation of the event was ideal to demonstrate its capabilities and answer any burning questions there and then. We have already taken our first order for the F1 as a result of the show this morning, see you next year!’’ says Neil Mantle at Ascentia FSE.
- Double Dutch Drinks: Double Dutch Pomegranate & Basil
“We feel really appreciative and excited to have won Gold at the Casual Dining Innovation challenge this year. It’s great to get the recognition from such a high valued judging panel and We’re very much looking forward to building Double Dutch further in casual dining groups across the UK!” says Raissa de Haas, co-founder of Double Dutch.
- Karma Cola Co: Karma Cola
“For a business still getting started, choosing the right show can be quite stressful. Casual Dining 2017 was clearly the best trade show we have done and we had so many great conversations – winning the Innovation Gold Medal was the icing on the cake,” says Sam Chote, head of sales at Karma Cola.
- Europastry: Crystal Beer Sourdough Burger Bun
“Europastry is thrilled to be recognised for this innovation, and which is in line with our corporate philosophy: to provide innovative and quality frozen breads and pastries and to lead and be responsive to relevant industry trends. Guaranteeing a great consumer experience is one of Europastry’s main objectives. Europastry gives thanks to the Casual Dining Innovation Challenge 2017 for the opportunity to showcase our Crystal Beer Sourdough Burger Bun where clean label, sourdough and the burger trends all merge to provide a quality product for the market,” says Eric Must, international division director of Europastry.
- Morgenrot: Ceriux Rubia
“It was fantastic to win Silver in the Innovation Awards at the Casual Dining Show and just highlights how special our Ceriux Rubia is. This unique Spanish bottle conditioned ale is brewed with grape must, so we were very confident it would create intrigue and excitement amongst the Show’s visitors. Ceriux, ‘a beer with a touch of wine’, is already seeing tremendous interest from operators and consumers so this award can only help us put Rioja on the map for the grain as well as the grape,” says David O’Neill, sales & marketing at Morgenrot.
- Surgital: Amichetti Laboratorio Kids
“We are pleased and honoured to have been awarded the 2017 Casual Dining Innovation Challenge prize for our Amichetti. Amichetti was launched last October, but the project had already been discussed for many years at Surgital. We consider Amichetti an important innovation within the catering world, not only in terms of product development (this is the first time in food service that a product based on fresh pasta is specifically developed for kids), but also as in communication,” says Elisa Martini, marketing at Surgital.
- 3S POS – Hospitality EPOS: 3S POS Online Food Ordering System
“We are very honoured to win an award voted by the visitors at the Casual Dining Show. We were able to demonstrate to visitors the innovation and benefits of our technology and our new Online Ordering System integrated with our EPOS and Kitchen Display Systems. It was amazing to see the visitors reactions to what we had to offer and it was really good fun pitching in front of the judges. As an innovative company we shall be back next year with the best that technology can offer to the Casual Dining sector,” says Aziz Gunes, commercial director, 3S POS – Hospitality EPOS.
- Bar Foods: Moroccan Lamb One-Pot
- Beacon Foods: Juice-it
“It’s fantastic for us to win this award, we know it’s a great bespoke solution for the casual dining market, that tastes great too. There’s a strong market for fresh juice at the moment, and this award proves that our product works and the industry like it, which is what matters most!” says Richard Thomson, head of sales & marketing at Beacon Foods.
- Island Oasis: Island Oasis Frozen Beverage Solution
“Island Oasis is the market leading brand in the USA providing operators with a selection of all natural beverage mixes and a unique ice-shaving blender to create a selection of iced beverages in 9 seconds. Following the success of our Bronze Innovation award, Island Oasis launches in the UK in March 2017,” says Grace Keenan, marketing manager foodservice, Kerry.
- Joe Delucci’s Gelato: Joe Delucci’s Mulberry Gelato
“All of us at Joe Delucci’s are delighted to have been awarded Bronze at this year’s Innovation Challenge. We constantly work to develop and produce new mouth-watering flavours to add to our extensive repertoire and are thrilled that one of our latest innovations was recognised and applauded by the panel of judges,” says Diana Beaumont, sales at Joe Delucci
- Kafoodle: Kafoodle’s Labelling
“It’s a great honor to have won this award in the innovation category, amongst some brilliant companies. Kafoodle are very proud of our unique labelling solution and the way it can assist this sector, so this is great validation from the industry itself,” says Kim Antoniou at Kafoodle.
- McCain Foodservice: McCain Signatures Staycrisp Fries
“We’re delighted to have won an award. The launch of McCain Signatures Staycrisp Fries guarantees operators great tasting, hot and crisp fries that customers will remember, whether in-house or for takeaway. The importance of fries is not to be underestimated, and great ones provide a key point of difference against competitors,” says Catherine Rigg, senior product manager at McCain Foods.
- New York Bakery: Croll
Casual Dining is open until 5pm today (Thursday 23 February) at the Business Design Centre, in Islington, London (last entry 4pm).