Monday was a big day in Paris for Kefir Namasté. The Greek beverage company took home the top prize at the giant SIAL 2018 exhibition, winning the prestigious Gold SIAL Innovation Award.
The company describes its Namasté Water Kefir drinks as “sparkling ‘live’ refreshment.” Water Kefir is naturally fizzy, the carbonation is the result of kefir fermentation, and, according to the company, good for the gut, as well as the mind, and comes in peppermint and ginger flavours.
The grand prize was just one of three SIAL Innovation Awards Kefir Namasté picked up for its Water Kefir. The company also won in the Alternative Food category and it received a special SIAL Innovation award for retail.
The other top prizes went to Italy’s Rolli for its clean-label, frozen vegetables packed in biodegradable paper bags, which nabbed the Silver SIAL Innovation Award. And Bronze went to Be Kids, a no-sugar added freeze-dried fruit on a stick from U.S.-based Betters International. New this year was a “Hopefuls” award. SIAL’s organizers say the latter was added to recognize the value of startup companies. The prize went to Cocasse for its Carrés Légumes, bars of tomato, beet and carrot in tablet format so squares can be broken off and used in cooking.
The winners were selected by a 21-member jury comprised of journalists and food professionals from around the globe. This year, the jurists had a record number of products to judge with submissions for the SIAL Innovation Awards up 10%. In all, 2,355 new products were submitted for consideration, which were whittled down to 801 finalists from which there were 15 Grand Prix winners and four top prizes: Gold, Silver, Bronze and Hopefuls.
At the award presentation on Monday, SIAL’s innovation expert Xavier Terlet said at SIAL 2018, three big trends have emerged: “taste,” which has made a big comeback, he says; “truth,” with authentic, transparent products; and” meaning,” referring to products that are environmentally friendly in terms of production and/or packaging.
Here are the other 2018 SIAL Innovation winners:
Winner Alternative Food category: Namasté Water Kefir by Kefir Namasté (Greece)
Winner Non-Alcoholic Drinks: So Natural, functional drink shot, By GL SA (Portugal)
Winner Alcoholic Drinks: Taggiasco Extravirgin (Italian gin) by Olio Roi (Italy)
Winner Dairy Product: Burrotta (Burrata with ricotta centre) by Mo’ Bufala (Italy)
Winner Savoury: More than Rice (riced peas, lentils, chickpeas) by Pedon S.P.A. (Italy)
Winner Sweet: Kimchi Jam by Miwami Co./Ligaro (Korea)
Winner Fruit & Vegetables: Be Kids (freeze-dried fruit pop) by Betters International SARL (U.S.A.)
Winner Delicatessen: Allioli À L’Ail Noir Mortier (aioli with black garlic) by Chovi (France)
Winner Seafood: El Capricho Esturgeon by Santander Fine Food (Spain)
Winner Frozen Foods: Pesticide Free Frozen Vegetables in Paper-based Bag by Rolli (Italy)
Winner Meat: Les Eleveurs Responsables rabbit cuts by Loeul Et Piriot (France)
Winner Foodservice: Ail Noir Du Nord (black garlic) by Potdevin-Caron (France)
Winner Distribution (retail): Namasté Water Kefir by Kefir Namasté (Greece)
Winner Equipment & Technologies: Super Dali (industrial mixer) by Steriflow SAS
Winner Food Ingredients: Olive Seed Flour by Elayo (Spain)