Bob Garrison



It’s close to Memorial day and spring finally is in the air—along with new product news. After a year’s absence, groups including the Specialty Food Association and National Restaurant Association respectively presented their sofi and FABI new product awards. As I write this, New Hope also is hosting its virtual Natural Products Expo West.

Innovators—We’re Ready to Celebrate You, See You!

PepsiCo, LALA, Thrive Market highlight fall New Products Conference; Prepared Foods honors new plant-based foods, others in Spirit of Innovation Awards this July.


As the only title purely dedicated to new products and the product development process, Prepared Foods also plans to see and celebrate you—both in the virtual realm and in person. Here are some save-the-date events.

Save the Date: Wednesday, July 28, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. EST

Virtual Celebration: Prepared Foods’ 19th annual Spirit of Innovation (SOI) Awards, co-sponsored with Tastepoint by IFF.

Prepared Foods’ 19th annual SOI program honors six food and beverage companies for new products demonstrating excellence in consumer insights, R&D teamwork, cross-functional execution and overall innovation.

This two-hour special opens with a “State of Innovation” panel led by Lu Ann Williams, global insights director at Innova Market Insights. She explores innovation and ideation trends with Santi Proano, director of Ocean Spray’s Lighthouse Innovation Incubator; and Barb Stuckey, president and chief innovation officer at Mattson, a Foster City, Calif., product development firm.

The SOI event also features exclusive behind-the-scenes videos featuring R&D team members who created the SOI-award winning products. Those products and companies—by category—include:

Editor’s Choice / Most Innovative: Daring Foods’ plant-based chicken

Retail Food: Seemore Meats & Veggies’ La Dolce Beet-a-Sausage

Retail Beverage: Patch Organics’ Pumpkin Seed Milk

Foodservice Front of House: Greenleaf Foods’ Field Roast Signature Stadium Hot Dog

Foodservice Back of House: King & Prince Seafood Corp.’s Battered Cod

Alternative Channel: World Select Cuts’ Aussie Select Lamb Pastrami

Find more information at

Save the Date: September 13-14, Dallas Marriott Downtown / In-Person Event!

Prepared Foods’ 38th annual New Products Conference

Prepared Foods’ engaging New Products Conference returns with a 360-degree perspective on new food and beverage ideation and innovation. This dynamic agenda already includes:

Nutrition, Better For You Functional Foods & Beverages: Marianne O’Shea, Vice President, Global Nutrition Science, PepsiCo (keynote)

New Product Success in E-Commerce: Jeremiah McElwee, Chief Marketing Officer, Thrive Market

Hispanic Dairy! Where Ethnic Meets Authentic: Matt Okeson, Head of Growth, Innovation, Research & Development, LALA US

Plant-Based Protein—and What’s Next?: Stephanie Lind, Founder, Elohi Strategic Advisors

Restaurant Revive! Menu Ideation Leads Innovation: Mike Kostyo, Trendologist, Datassential

Three Trends Changing the Future of Food: Lynn Dornblaser, David Jago, Directors of Innovation & Insight, Mintel

Find more information at: PF

June 2021

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