The North American Foodservice Grandprix Awards

The North American Foodservice Grandprix Awards

GRAND PRIX WINNERS: The IFDA Grand Prix Awards were presented during a celebration last January in Toronto.


The industry sees more than its share of new manufacturer products each year. It knows all too well that some of these products serve foodservice operators and consumers well, and some fall short. Last year, the International Foodservice Distributors Assocation (IFDA ) and the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (CCGD) created the Grand Prix Awards to help you cut through the clutter. To do so, it created a panel of 10 experts—operators, chefs, distributors and trade press editors—to sample and analyze dozens of products for uniqueness and innovation, operator convenience and appeal, product attributes and quality. What you'll find on the next five pages are their choices for best new products.

Eligible new products and product extensions (which must have been introduced between Nov. 1, 2004 and Oct. 31, 2005) were judged last November in nine food and five nonfood categories and had to attain a score of 70 points or higher.

Winners were announced in 14 categories during a gala awards event held January 17th in Toronto. "Best of Show" and "Innovation" awards were also presented.

The Grand Prix Awards are sponsored by Noble & Associates, a recognized leader in building food brands; Symrise, a global creator of flavors and fragrances; and several media companies, including Restaurant Hospitality and its sister publication, Food Management. Here are the 2005 Grand Prix winners.

Contest Categories

FOOD CATEGORIES

  • Bakery Products
  • Beverages, Hot & Cold
  • Condiments, Sauces & Spices
  • Dairy Products & Eggs
  • Desserts, Snacks, Confectionary & Candy
  • Dry Grocery
  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • Poultry, Meat & Seafood
  • Prepared Soups & Entrees

NONFOOD CATEGORIES

  • Cleaning & Chemical Products
  • Paper, Plastic & Foil
  • Tabletop

Awards

BEST OF SHOW
A Best of Show award is presented to the entry that achieved the highest overall score in the competition.

INNOVATION AWARD
An award is presented to the finalist entry that achieved the highest overall score in the uniqueness and innovation criteria section of the judging. In 2005, two finalists were presented an Innovation Award due to a tie score.

FINALISTS & WINNERS
Finalists in the competition are determined by the cumulative grade given to the product during the judging. Within each category, the product with the highest score is declared the winner.

JUDGING CRITERIA

A Foodservice Grand Prix Award winning product is determined by the intrinsic characteristics of the product, packaging, convenience, valueadded benefits, quality and value. While there is some variation in judging food versus nonfood items, products are judged against the following evaluation criteria:

Uniqueness & Innovation (30%)
Ability of the product to improve or redefine the category, shift paradigms or meet unfilled need. Judges were asked to consider how the product is new in this category, how these differences change the way we look at the category and how innovative features in the product could affect new product development within this category.

Operator Convenience & Appeal (25%)
Easy to use, saves time and effort, reduces waste and space or is better than similar products. Judges were asked to consider how the product translates into definable operator benefits in terms of preparation, flexibility, personalization or other features.

Product Attributes (25%)
Taste/scent, nutritional value/effectiveness, conservation, overall benefits to end user, visual appeal and presentation. Judges were asked to consider how the product delivers better quality or value to the end user and whether the product's innovative features provide better taste, texture, visual appeal, nutritional value or ease of use. Judges also considered whether the item meets the manufacturer's claims.

Quality & Appeal (20%)
Overall value to operator and end user. Judges considered whether the product offers better overall value to the operator and consumer than other products in the category.

BAKERY PRODUCTS

The Winner: Rich's Della Suprema Wheat Sheeted Pizza Dough
The Company: Rich Products Corporation
Product Description: This whole-grain wheat dough gives operators an opportunity to offer customers a healthy version of a popular product—pizza. The dough is presheeted and precut and has a mild and tasty wheat flavor. Rich's pizza dough is a home run for operators who wish to menu an indulgent pizza item that is also healthful. The dough is low in cholesterol and saturated fat-free. Judges remarked that this healthy-for-you product has a "fantastic" flavor. " Customers who try this pizza would be sure to come back and make repeated purchases," remarked one judge.

CONDIMENTS, SAUCES & SPICES

The Winner: Ventura Trans Fat-Free Kitchen
The Company: Ventura Foods, LLC
Product Description: Pride Zero Trans Whipped Buttery Spreads contain zero grams of trans fat per serving, are low in saturated fat and are cholesterol free. Phase Zero Trans Liquid Butter Alternative provides natural butter flavor for grilling, sauteing, mixing and topical applications. Both products assist operators in menuing healthy foods with ontrend flavor profiles. Judges said the products are "less expensive than real butter, can be heated to a higher temperature than real butter and have the added benefit of being marketed as a trans-fat free product, which has a high perceived value."

DRY GROCERY

The Winner: Uncle Ben's Classic Risotto
The Company: MasterFoodservices
Product Description: This risotto is fully cooked, fast and foolproof, yielding the same creamy taste and texture as scratch risotto. Made with 100 percent Aborio rice, Uncle Ben's Classic Risotto is easy to customize to any menu, from traditional Italian sides to creamy New England seafood entrees. Small shelf-stable pouches allow for preparation of one or two servings at a time in as little as 90 seconds. Judges said the risotto was "an interesting option for operators who need a higher-end convenient food." They also said it stood up well to the cooking and serving process. "Anyone can make this," one judge remarked.

FRUITS & VEGETABLES

The Winner: Lamb's Supreme® Mashed Potatoes
The Company: ConAgra Foodservice Specialty Potato Products
Product Description: Judges tasted two varieties: Original Refrigerated and Jalapeno Cheddar Redskin. Original has a fresh mashed-potato flavor combined with real milk and butter. It has no chemical preservatives and zero grams of trans fat. The Cheddar Redskin variety gets its flavor from cheddar cheese and spicy jalapeno. Judges said "the clean taste, the fresh lumps and ready-to-use state make this option stand out among others in its category. Both products are packed in heat-and-serve, 4-pound pouches.

PREPARED SOUPS & ENTREES

The Winner: Campbell's Well & Good Soups
The Company: Campbell Soup Company
Product Description: This is a new line of full-flavored, nutritionally responsible soups that are designed to help consumers watch their weight. The line, which includes Rosemary Chicken & Dumplings and Rustic Beef & Mushroom with Cracked Peppercorns, features on-trend flavors that can fit under many weight-control plans. Each soup is under 100 calories per 8 oz. serving. "Healthy is not supposed to taste this good," remarked the judges. They also liked the homemade taste and look of the soups. "It's a nice option to eat this soup on a diet and not feel like it," remarked another judge.

DAIRY PRODUCTS & EGGS

The Winner: Prestige Ultra Omega 3, Liquid Egg Product
The Company: Burnbrae Farms
Product Description: This is a premium whole-egg product enriched with Omega 3 polyunsaturates. Made from Grade A eggs, the ready-to-use product is ultrapasteurized for food safety. The product comes in a carton and requires no cracking nor beating and there is no risk of shell fragments. The carton also takes up 60 percent less storage space in the refrigerator. Judges said the ultrapasteurization and the addition of Omega 3 "are two very important factors in differentiating this product from other liquid eggs."

DESSERTS, SNACKS, CONFECTIONERY & CANDY

The Winner: Ritz® Chips
The Company: Kraft Foodservice
Product Description: This snack from Kraft Foodservice offers the taste of Ritz with the satisfaction of a chip. The product is baked for an oven-toasted taste and crunch. It has approximately 40 percent less fat than regular fried potato chips. Ritz® Chips come in two flavors— Original and Sour Cream & Onion. The original flavor offers the buttery taste of Ritz. The Sour Cream & Onion offers a bigger and bolder flavor. A barbecue flavor, not tested by judges, is also availble. Judges liked the single-serve bags, which are ideal for grab-and-go. Judges also liked that the chips are more healthful than regular chips because they are baked.

CLEANING & CHEMICAL PRODUCTS

The Winner: Oasis 146 Multi-Quat Sanitizer
The Company: Ecolab, Inc.
Product Description: This product from Ecolab is an EPA-registered disinfectant/sanitizer that does not require a rinse step after the sanitizing step. It is effective across a dilution range of 0.25 to 0.67 oz per gallon of water and has a 150-400 ppm sanitation range for maximum convenience. Simply put: it's an easy spray and wipe, mop bucket or third sink sanitizer with no rinsing required. Judges said the product's ability to remove the rinse step is a big plus. A product this easy to use is also welcomed and will save labor, judges added.

POULTRY, MEAT & SEAFOOD

The Winner: Lou's Fully Cooked Prime Rib, Medium Rare
The Company: TMF—The Meat Factory
Product Description: This prime rib is slow-roasted to a medium rare and lightly seasoned to bring out the rich and hearty beef flavors. It has also been hand-trimmed to provide minimal shrinkage. The company gaurantees its tenderness, rich taste, natural texture and high yield. Judges described the product as very tender with nice flavor. They also said it was appealing to the eye. "Being fully cooked is labor saving for the operator and offers flexibility in cooking options," said one judge.

PAPER, PLASTIC & FOIL

The Winner: CleanBetween High Chair & Dispenser System
The Company: Classy Kid, Inc.
Special Honor: Best of Show
Product Description: The CleanBetween High Chair and Dispenser System features disposable products, such as bibs and placemats. The placemats have a light adhesive strip that sticks to the table edge to provide mess control, germ defense and easy cleanup. The dispenser can mount to existing high chairs or to the wall or hostess station. Cartridges for the system include bibs, placemats, Table Bibs® (a bib and placemat combination) or sanitizing wips. Judges said the system was easy for servers to change when empty and would appeal to both operators and parents.

TABLETOP

The Winner: Privilege Dinner Napkins
The Company: Cascades Tissue Group
Product Description: These embossed dinner napkins have the look and feel of linen, but are a single-use, disposable product that save on the cleaning and replacement costs of linen. They come in all-white or with custom printing in up to four colors. Cases contain eight dispensers with 50 napkins in each. Because of the dispenser, these napkins can be used for all-purpose hand towels in washrooms. The judges said the napkins are well made and durable, even when they are damp. They also thought that the ability to put a foodservice logo on the napkin gave this product the edge over other paper napkins and even linen.

DAIRY PRODUCTS & EGGS

The Winner: Activia
The Company: Danone, Inc.
Special Honor: Innovation Award
Product Description:
Activia is a stirred probiotic yogurt that promotes regularity in the digestive system. The product, which is packaged in eight singleserve containers, is positioned as a health product reflecting the trend toward sounder diets. Flavors include prune, peach and fiber, vanilla and strawberry. Judges said the live bacteria is a strong selling point for consumers searching for more healthful eating alternatives. They also said the flavors are "very good" and comparable to competitive products. Operators will like this product for healthoriented breakfast programs.

POULTRY, MEAT & SEAFOOD

The Winner: BalanceWise Seasoned, Breaded Chicken Fillets with Flax
The Company: Elmira Poultry, Inc.
Special Honor: Innovation Award
Product Description: Designed exclusively for the foodservice industry, these whole-meat fillets are coated with a breading utilizing flax. As a result, they have a nutty flavor with light peppery highlights and a crispy texture. A single serving provides fiber, Omega 3 fatty acids and is free of trans fatty acids. The judges said the chicken fillets with flax are an ideal option for someone who is looking for a delicious, healthful chicken item on a menu.

BEVERAGES, HOT & COLD

The Winner: Fairlee Sparkling
The Company: A Lassonde, Inc.
Product Description: Fairlee Sparkling is a carbonated beverage made with 99 percent pure juice. The apple and raspberry-flavored products provide a refreshing and more healthful alternative to traditional carbonated beverages. Judges said Fairlee Sparkling has a "great taste and smell," along with an attractive package for self-service display.They added that the beverage has a clean, crisp taste and a nice finish.

Though there were dozens of entries in the competition, only 14 winners were selected. However, a number of entries that achieved a score of 70 or higher from judges were named "finalists." Excluding the winners, here are the products that were named finalists in their various categories.

BAKERY PRODUCTS
Gourmet Pies
Schwan's Bakery, Inc.
Rich's Cinn-sational Cinnamon Rolls
Rich Products Corporation

CONDIMENTS, SAUCES AND SPICES
Renèe's Gourmet Dressings
Renèe's Gourmet Foods Inc.

DAIRY PRODUCTS AND EGGS
Yoplait Delicieux Chocolat
Ultima Foods Inc.
Cheese Straws
Rich-Seapak Corporation
Neilson Moojo Chocolate Trip
Neilson Dairy Ltd.

DESSERTS, SNACKS, CONFECTIONERY AND CANDY
MallowCreme
DMH Ingredients, Inc.

DRY GROCERY
Drink 'n Crunch Cereals
Kellogg's

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
8102 Tropical Gold Pouch
Dole Packaged Foods Company

POULTRY, MEAT AND SEAFOOD
Beef Short Ribs - 3" Bone-In
Tyson Foods, Inc.
Mrs. Friday's Lobster Sensations
Fishking Processors Inc.
King & Prince Gourmet Crab Cakes
King & Prince Seafood
BBQ Flavored Pork Crispito
Tyson Foods, Inc.
Raw Lobster Meat (shell off, frozen)
Clearwater Seafoods
Tyson® Individually Wrapped Chicken Sandwiches
Tyson Foods, Inc.
Tyson® Chicken Bites
Tyson Foods, Inc.
Tiki Island Shrimp
Ocean Cuisine International

PREPARED SOUPS AND ENTREES
The Max Whole Grain Pizza
ConAgra Foods
V8 Frozen Entrees
Campbell Company of Canada

2005 Foodservice Grand Prix Judges

JURY CHAIR
Marcus Von Albrecht

Chairman, British Columbia Chefs' Association

J U D G E S
Todd Stein
Executive Chef
MK Restaurant,
Chicago
Camp Howard, CEC
Associate Director & Executive Chef
Vanderbilt Dining
Vanderbilt University
Tom McIntyre
Publisher
FoodManagement
Michael Sanson
Editor-in-Chief
Restaurant Hospitality
Jean Beaudoin
Chef, Coordinator of Applied Research
Multifunctional Centre
ITHQ
Robert Dion
Chief Editor HRI
Mitch Kostuch
President & Group Publisher
Foodservice and Hospitality
Doug Petruzzi
Executive Chef
Pocono Produce Company, Inc.
Maureen Quirk
Director of Marketing,
Baugh Supply Chain Canada
Sysco Corporation

S P O N S O R S

IFDA and CCGD wish to thank the sponsors of the 2005 North American Foodservice Grand Prix New Product Awards. Our sponsors include:

Noble & Associates, a Noble World Communications agency and a recognized leader in building food brands, and
Symrise
, a global creator of flavors, fragrances, cosmetic and aroma ingredients, and the recognized leader in creating and supporting winning brands.

The Foodservice Grand Prix also thanks our media sponsors including Restaurant Hospitality, Food Management, Foodservice & Hospitality and HRI Magazine.

The information provided in this showcase is based upon product information submitted by entrants and by judge commentary. This information should not be viewed as comprehensive.