Last month, SIAL Canada announced the top ten finalists for its annual SIAL Innovation awards, which aims to celebrate unique emerging consumer food products. The ten finalists ran the gamut from a Saskatchewan-made protein snack created with egg whites to non-alcoholic craft beer, to an herbal tea line focused on reducing food waste, and more.
Yesterday, at a ceremony during the trade show, innovation expert and head of the SIAL Innovation judging panel, Dana McCauley, unveiled the bronze, silver and gold award-winning products: Ice Coffee (an oat milk and espresso beverage), the indulgent Yummy Doh and a keto-friendly Unbun.
Ice Coffee, the only SIAL Innovation product not developed in Canada, drew rave reviews for all three of its coffee drinks, as well as for its ingenuity specifically with its oat milk and espresso beverage.
"Such a technical achievement. Being able to make a shelf stable, oat-based beverage was not something I thought you could do that would be palatable for a lot of people," says McCauley. "It's by no means a niche product. It holds its own around other packaged beverages."
For Yummy Doh, a vegan cookie dough that can either be eaten raw or cooked, McCauley and the other judges were not only charmed both by its flavour and eye-catching packaging, but also the sensation it provided.
"It was interesting because it gives people permission to do something that they want to do, which is eat raw dough. It also had great texture and you didn't miss the butter or egg," she says.
Unbun, which took the top spot out of all products submitted for the SIAL Innovation competition, speaks to two major trends in the food world: gluten-free and keto diets. McCauley explains that in addition to having a good quality texture (a general struggle with gluten-free bread products), this product is particularly unique as there is not really anything quite like it on the market.