World Beverage Innovation Awards 2022: what are the judges looking for? (Second part)

The Global Beverage Innovation Awards 2022Sponsored by Schoolan and in association with drinktech, is a celebration of innovation and excellence in the global beverage industry. We asked the second half of our judging panel what they hoped to see from this year’s entrants.

There are 23 trophies up for grabs in total, and being shortlisted is a mark of success that will last long after the awards show is over.

These criteria points from the judges will hopefully offer some inspiration and help in crafting the winning entry.

The deadline for registrations is friday july 22.

Rohan Carvalho

Founding Partner, Bar Square – India

Innovation is the core of the F&B industry and is essential to its profitability and survival. As companies and brands devote countless hours and resources to developing products to meet ever-changing consumer expectations, recognizing and rewarding these brilliant entities is very important to the growth of the industry.

It is an honor to be part of the jury of the Global Beverage Innovation Awards 2022 & this is what I would mostly look at:

  • Concept and history of the brand: It is vital today for a brand to connect with its customers, especially if it is a new entrant. A great concept and descriptive brand story builds connection and trust with their customers.
  • The solution: Closing existing gaps or concerns in the market and converting them into an experience-based product provides businesses with the opportunities to succeed.
  • Functional: Satisfying the five senses is good, functionality as well as health benefits; is better.
  • Use of local ingredients: Using local ingredients doesn’t just benefit community health and farmers. It also has a host of positive economic, social and environmental effects. A great way to give back to the community.
  • Breakthrough innovation: The increase in the number of start-ups in recent years has created myriads of brands competing for market share. Standing out from the crowd by bringing new, radical or disruptive ideas to life helps brands stay ahead of the rest.

Jessica Munro

Beverage Innovation Manager, UK&I MONIN

I am honored to join the jury of the World Beverage Innovation Awards 2022. The beverage industry has undergone a huge transformation over the past few years, completely changing our approach to innovation and being part of this industry while seeing this change takes place day too day is fascinating. I’m excited to bring my MONIN experience as a Beverage Innovation Manager to the expectation of seeing some amazing products. Here are some of the criteria I will monitor;

  • Functional ingredients: This year, I’ll be looking for starters that offer an added functional benefit, whether it’s an ingredient that helps with gut health, mental well-being, or immunity. Wellness has become more than a trend in recent years and consumers are now integrating it into their daily lives, tailoring what they buy to suit their own needs.
  • Sustainable brands: The F&B industry is one of the leaders in sustainable practices and I’m looking for a brand that takes the lead with a forward-thinking ethical profile. Brands that actively reduce packaging and water waste, reduce pollution and emissions, minimize their impact on the environment tick all the right boxes for me.
  • Trending flavors: There has been a fascinating shift in trending flavors in the beverage industry recently, and it would be great to see brands apply these in innovative formats. Some good examples of flavors I will watch for include using citrus, gourmet flavors, or nostalgic flavors.
  • Tell a story : Consumers are increasingly buying the products they buy and are demanding more than just a great-tasting product to commit to brand loyalty. For me, storytelling is important because it creates an emotional connection with your audience that they feel involved with and a part of. It’s the difference between a potential one-time purchase and a lifetime loyal customer.
  • Wow factor: In an extremely saturated market, having a USP that really makes your brand/product stand out is essential for survival. I’ll be looking for that “wow” factor that pulls you in and intrigues you enough to want to take a chance on trying something new.

Petra Westphal

Director, drinktech

I am delighted to be one of the judges for the World Beverage Innovation Awards, as I am the Exhibition Director of drinktec, the world’s leading exhibition for the beverage and liquid food industry.

drinktec’s goal is to bring together the who’s who of the global beverage and liquid food industry and specifically shape the future of our industries. Thus, an incomparable offer of innovations, solutions and world firsts is portrayed by our 1,200 exhibitors from more than 70 countries.

The main qualities I will be looking for are:

  • Climate-neutral production: In general, I will look at anything that contributes to climate-neutral production as these are the ambitious goals of the beverage and liquid food industry. That means:
  • Sustainable processing and packaging: Products that are energy efficient in terms of processing, reduce consumables and avoid product loss. Products with optimized packaging materials due to higher recycled content or less packaging in total.
  • Digital solutions and transformation: Everything that contributes to process stabilization, product safety and transparency. Ultimately, it’s about optimized use of resources, flexible management of changing consumer demands, and transparent communication.
  • Water and water treatment: What is the beverage producer doing to reduce water consumption? Either in terms of how much water is used to produce a liter of drink, or what the producer does to reduce or reuse process water.
  • World of consumption and product design: What does the drink contribute to health problems and convenient handling of the package.

Nicolas Gomez González

Marketing and Sales Manager, AB-InBev

It is an honor to be part of the jury for the World Beverage Innovation Awards 2022.

Consumer behavior has changed considerably in recent years, driven by macro consumer trends and boosted by the pandemic. This has led us to adopt new consumption patterns. I look forward to seeing innovations this year that could disrupt and ignite excitement in the beverage industry.

As an industry leader, I would expect to see a brand and product that meets the following criteria:

  • Adapt your product to one of the macro consumer trends: Premiumization, convenient indulgence, better for you and socializing. It is important that you tackle one of the biggest macroeconomic trends to solve the major consumer problems.
  • Be a real and relevant solution: Bringing a solution to a real consumption problem. It is necessary to identify a real tension for the consumer and to develop a quality innovation. Bringing more similar products to life will not make you different.
  • Solve a problem by developing an exceptional and tasty product (remember, taste is key). Keep it relevant to the consumer and be clear in your on-pack communication. You could turn something good into exceptional if you are relevant and attractive.
  • Be sustainable: You must be recyclable and have environmentally friendly packaging. Single-use plastic is no longer acceptable and it is our responsibility as brand owners to drive this agenda to care for our planet.
  • Health and wellbeing: The ingredients must be natural and in this case “less is more”. Consumers are looking for clean labels with ingredients that are natural and from natural and responsible sources. You have the opportunity to build a brand story from here, so make the most of it.

Raphael Rozenson

Founder and CEO of Vieve Protein Water

Here is what I will be looking for:

  • Consumer knowledge: To what extent does your innovation reflect a real understanding of the consumer and the market?
  • Differentiation: Is your product really unique and does it bring something new to the category?
  • Packaging: How does your product stand out on the shelf?
  • Sustainability: At the heart of any NPD launch.
  • Creativity: What is the WOW factory behind innovation and creative insight.

Are you a beverage industry innovator worthy of our judges’ attention?

Participate now in the World Beverage Innovation Awards 2022!

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