We are excited to announce the launch of the FHA Awards at FHA – Food & Beverage 2024, celebrating and acknowledging innovation and advancements in the F&B industry. Free to enter for exhibitors, the awards will honor companies breaking new ground and showcase the best-in-class products across six categories.

Ahead of the opening of submissions on 1st December, we asked the judges to share what innovation means to them in each food category and what they are looking out for in the submissions.  

Plant-based innovation

Brigitte Zeller, Founder, Start’In for Good and Senior Strategy Consultant, Healthy Marketing Team, Singapore

“Having worked all my life in Food, Beverage and Health I am delighted to join as a judge. Future trends start always small created by bold innovation changemakers and disruptors. Plant-based and beverage can be a real part of the change of the food system. I wish good luck to all innovators in Food and Beverage coming with delightful taste, helping us to eat well and as well respecting the planet.”

Adeline Chan, Senior Manager, IPI

There is immense potential in plant-based foods; however, we have yet to discover many edible plant species and there will undoubtedly be ongoing growth and innovation in this space. Plant-based food innovation can  be positioned as its own product category, rather than merely as a substitute for current meat or dairy products. In addition to taste, today’s consumers are more nutrition-conscious, so the product must meet the nutritional needs of its target market.”

Charlotte Mei, Host, Presenter, Nutritionist

In the realm of plant-based food innovation, I am driven by a dual commitment to sustainability and nutrition. I’m looking for products that strive to address the often-overlooked aspect of balanced nutrition, particularly in terms of protein content. I seek innovations that not only delight the palate but also nourish our bodies and the planet, bridging the gap between delectable flavors and sustainable, nutrient-rich choices.”

Beverage Innovation

Eric Neo
, President, Singapore Chefs’ Association

Beverage and Snack Innovation to me has to be bold yet matches taste profile. Innovation has no borders – I look forward to exciting and new,  unique flavors.

Yashna M. Harjani
, Founder & Executive Director, VeVeva Nutrition

An innovative beverage needs to refresh & nourish with a nutritious base, & the right level of nutrient & or ingredient inclusions, to support credible claim-ability”

Snack Innovation

Ming Tan, Chef, Presenter, Business Owner

With regard to snacks – because they are easily transported and convenient to eat – innovation in this realm can provide experiences and discoveries that build on the premise that good food needs to be shared! Chefs often bring tidbits and snacks with them on their travels from their home countries, to share with other food professionals they work with. Opening up the flavours and textures that you can offer in the palm of your hand leads to tastier and more meaningful bites. 

Cindy Soh, Manager (Programmes), Asian Culinary Institute

Snack Innovation means to create food products that challenges consumers to think outside the box of the typical food they consume and to create exciting options for consumers selection.

Functional Food Innovation

Adeline Chan, Senior Manager, Innovation & Technology, IPI

“Consumers who proactively take charge of their health and well-being seek out functional foods with active ingredients that offer various health benefits tailored to their age group and lifestyle. For instance, children may benefit from DHA, athletes from protein, and females from botanicals and collagen. The category of functional foods encompasses a wide range, and it would be beneficial to have products designed for working adults (aged 35-60) to enhance their well-being by combating stress, improving digestion, and boosting energy levels.”

Ming Tan, Chef, Presenter, Business Owner

“The world of food offers possibilities beyond just pure pleasure. Functional foods are such an important part of our daily lives, because they serve multiple purposes in foodservice. Ready-to-eat meals, sport nutrition snacks, therapeutic nutritional components and even texture-modified foods can make vast changes to the quality of life for consumers across the globe. Innovation here can help elderly or chronic-care patients, assist with nutritional deficiencies and of course, provide everyone with the crucial nutritional building blocks that food should provide. If you can make them tasty AND have a strong purpose, get them to market quickly!”

Yashna M. Harjani, Founder & Executive Director, VeVeva Nutrition

Functional Food & Beverage Innovations must include the right food or beverage base, & efficacious levels & blend of nutrients and or ingredients to deliver functionality & claims. A healthier nutrient profile is also desirable, as regular consumption is usually needed for positive impact.”

Sustainable Packaging

Kok-Yoong Chong, Head of Sustainability Hub (ASEAN), TÜV SÜD​

The rise in packaging waste has emerged as an urgent global concern, underscoring the pivotal role industry stakeholders must play in embracing sustainable practices to mitigate the environmental impact associated with packaging waste. Particularly noteworthy is the Food and Beverage (F&B) sector, which confronts the dual challenges of preserving food quality, minimizing food loss while simultaneously transitioning to sustainable packaging solutions. However, I firmly believe that by pushing boundaries through the integration of sustainable design principles, including the exploration of innovative eco-friendly materials, and the development of end-of-life solutions, a vast frontier unfolds for the creation of sustainable packaging solutions. Witnessing such innovation is a privilege, and together with my esteemed panel of judges, I eagerly anticipate the remarkable submissions for the FHA Awards.”

Kimming Yap, Managing Director, Creativeans

Sustainable packaging, to me, represents a commitment to leave the world a better place than how we found it. Within the Sustainable Packaging category submission, I hope to see packaging solutions that showcase the brand’s abilities to balance form, function and sustainability while being human-centred at the core. The solutions would exhibit empathy through understanding and identifying users’ needs, and serve as an inspiration for the industry to foster best practices and standards.”

Lee Mun Wai, Strategic Lead, Innovation Ecosystem Development (Research & Enterprise), NTU

“Packaged products have become part of our day-to-day life, it is important for the involved industry players to think and act sustainably to lower the environmental impact of their packaging. Sustainable packaging is without doubt a boundary that has yet to be fully explored and I truly believe there is a big room for innovation to be incorporated. Stretch the limits and boundary through adopting design for sustainability concepts, using eco-materials and offering socially responsibly end-of-life pathways (etc.) in creating the next generation packaging. I am looking forward to witnessing companies embarking on this meaningful journey to seek a positive change.”

Keng Guan Lim, Manager, Packaging Innovation, Food Innovation and Resources Centre (FIRC)

Sustainable packaging to me should be able to minimally fulfil the following three criteria:  

  1. Able to serve its function of preserving the safety and quality of the products that it packages. For our case will be on food products.
  2. Does not generate unnecessary waste, thus there should be some sort of optimisation in place of design and structure of the packaging.
  3. There should be some balance between energy, water and space to produce, and end of life plastic waste. E.g. Using 100x thickness of paper may have certain barrier properties on par with a plastic material, but the energy, water and space used does not justify as the more sustainable choice, as compared to the cost of thin plastic waste that is produced. 

Showcase your company and products to the global F&B community at the FHA Awards 2024. Entry is free for FHA exhibitors, and winners will be announced at the show. Learn more and enter here.

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