One part restaurant show, one part showcase for food and drink product innovation, SIAL Canada is currently underway in a virtual format after being postponed this spring due to the pandemic. This year's online evolution is free for all food industry professionals, who can watch a variety of livestreamed panel talks and demonstrations throughout the week until October 2.
A highlight of the annual trade show has always been SIAL Innovation, an awards program for consumer food and drink products that sees submissions from eager companies across Canada and beyond.
For 2020, the products that cracked the competition's top ten ranged from Organic Sorbets (an organic line of sorbets with ecological packaging) and Art Kombucha's boozy and shelf-stable kombucha to a vegan butter by LOC Industries Inc. which boasted an impressive flavour profile compared to what is already available on the market.
“Just like life itself, SIAL Canada’s Innovation Awards were anything but ordinary this year,” says Dana McCauley, CEO of the SIAL Canada Innovation Awards. “Besides having to cope with the challenge of judging using an online platform, the jury was kept on its toes by a product mix that revealed three really interesting trends."
McCauley says that she and the awards’ judging panel were especially impressed by the quality of plant-based products that were submitted this year compared to years past. She also noted that it was great to see several products tied to social missions and an overall trend of companies keeping a sustainable future in mind.
"Particularly of note in that category is Jucai, a line of fruity frozen snack cups that are trying to preserve forests by making Jucara palm tree fruit more valuable than it’s wood,” she says.
After careful consideration, the SIAL Innovation 2020 gold winner was named Art Kombucha followed by Rotisserie Chicken Package by Ideal Aluminum (silver) and LOC Industries' vegan butter (bronze).
SIAL Canada runs virtually until Friday, October 2. More information on all innovation awards finalists can be found on their website.