Convenience is key for 2017 Innovation Award winners
Five Produce Innovation Award Winners were recognized at United Fresh 2017. This year’s honorees were selected by show attendees from a total of 46 contestants across five categories: Best New Food Safety Solution, Best New Fruit Product, Best New Packaging, Best New Packing/Processing Equipment, and Best New Vegetable Product.
From how the product is made to its packaging and uses, Innovation Award winners focused on convenience for users and consumers.
The 2017 Produce Innovation Awards winners are:
Best New Food Safety Solution: Food Freshness Card — Nature’s Frequencies
Natures Frequencies’ Food Freshness Card combines specific frequencies, elements and customized programs and encodes information on a substrate enabling it to extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. The 6-by-6 inch laminated holographic card can be placed in walk-in refrigerators, food storage areas, receiving walls, food prep areas, and food serving areas.
“We are thrilled and honored to have received this award from United Fresh,” said Rick Hassler, director of Natures Frequencies. “This award, which comes at the same time as the award the Food Freshness Card received from Food Logistics for Top Green Provider 2017, makes us humbly proud, and more determined than ever to share this innovative technology with the food industry.”
Best New Fruit Product: Crunch Pak Apple Rings — Crunch Pak
Crunch Pak’s Apple Rings are round circles of fresh apples with the cores removed. Apple Rings are available in a variety of flavor options: sweet, tart, and a mixture of both.
The company’s packaging technology with its breathability ensures that fresh Apple Rings deliver the best quality eating experience, said Krista Jones, director of brand marketing and product innovation.
“Apple Rings may change the way people consume apples. With their unique shape – it adds variety outside of just slices,” Jones said
Best New Packaging: Dole GO Berries! — Dole Food Company
Dole GO Berries! feature three snack-size packages that snap apart to offer four ounces of DOLE Strawberries. Ventilated for freshness and easy rinsing, the proprietary package was the first to provide “snap-rinse-go” convenience, according to Dole. The win for Go Berries! marks the second consecutive year that Dole has received an award for product innovation at the annual conference.
Dole will roll out a blueberry variety of DOLE GO Berries! this summer. The new 6-ounce variety will start arriving in stores in August 2017 at a suggested retail price of $2.99
Best New Packing/Processing Equipment: Full Harvest – Full Harvest
Full Harvest is an online marketplace for surplus and imperfect produce. The marketplace connects growers with food and beverage businesses to sell discounted produce that would have otherwise gone to waste, according to the company.
Best New Vegetable Product: Veggie Noodle Co. Veggiccine — Veggie Noodle Co. Veggie Spirals
A different take on fettuccine, the Veggiccine line features longer and thicker veggie noodles than the two year-old-company’s signature vegetable spirals. Made from organic butternut squash or zucchini, Veggiccine can be eaten raw or sautéed, and can be paired with a variety of cuisines and flavors. The product was introduced earlier this year along with Veggie Noodle Co.’s new Sweet Potato Hash at Expo West in Anaheim, California, and is currently being sold in 35 states at major retailers like Whole Foods Market, Target, and Kroger.
Mason Arnold, the company’s founder, developed the idea that became Veggie Noodle Co. after experimenting with various diets to feed his gluten-free family. Based in Austin, Texas, Veggie Noodle Co. recently received a non-GMO project verification.
— Ana Olvera, digital content editor