April 07, 2021

Association, SmartBrief announce innovation awards recipients

Phade straws, one of this year’s winners, is made with canola oil and is marine and soil biodegradable.

A biodegradable straw derived from canola oil, a compact ventless oven with four independent chambers, and a cup sealer to keep beverages sanitary, tamperproof and spill proof during delivery were among the honorees in the first Innovation Awards for Foodservice.

SmartBrief, B2B publisher of Restaurant SmartBrief and Restaurant Innovation SmartBrief, worked with the Association to create the awards program and recognize products and services that helped our industry at a time when COVID-19 interrupted and threatened so many businesses and their ability to operate.

Awards categories focus on three areas: sustainability, technology, and safety and health. A panel of eight judges—restaurant owners and executives, Association experts and SmartBrief editors—evaluated the entries based on their originality, ability to problem-solve and usefulness.

“They say necessity is the mother of invention, and this has certainly been a year of necessity, no doubt; and with that comes a lot of invention,” said Larry Lynch, senior vice president of science and industry for the National Restaurant Association, and Innovation Awards judge. “The awards provide another level of assessment to help operators cut through the noise of so many products to find the ones that can add value in their daily operations.”

“Following a difficult year for the foodservice industry, we are delighted to see that innovation flourished in response to the many challenges restaurant operators faced,” said Chris Warne, industry vice president and group publisher for SmartBrief’s food and travel division. “Upon reviewing the great product entries, foodservice operators and professionals are well-equipped to meet the demands of an evolving industry.”

Honorees are:

Safety and Health Solutions

Sustainability Solutions

Technology Solutions

Learn more about the recipients of this year’s SmartBrief Innovation Awards for Foodservice