March 08, 2018

36 products that transform restaurant menus honored with FABI Awards

CHICAGO — The National Restaurant Association today announced the recipients of the 2018 Food and Beverage (FABI) Awards, recognizing food and beverage products that stand out for taste, creativity and profit potential and will make a substantial impact in the restaurant industry. Each award recipient and their product will be highlighted throughout the exhibit halls at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, May 19-22 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

This year’s 36 FABI Award recipients were selected by an independent panel of experts and represent commercial and non-commercial industry segments.

“The FABI Awards showcase the visionary companies helping chefs and foodservice operators innovate and drive guest satisfaction,” says Dickie Brennan, Convention Chairman for NRA Show 2018 and owner/managing partner of Dickie Brennan & Company, whose restaurant group includes Tableau, Palace Café, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, and Bourbon House. “The FABI Award recipients provide opportunities for operators to meet consumer demand with cost-effective solutions. This list of award recipients serves as a guide of the must-see food and beverage exhibitors at NRA Show 2018.”

In addition to visiting FABI Award recipient booths, NRA Show attendees will be able to sample the products at FABI Awardee Tasting events held in Foodamental Studio on Monday, May 21. New this year, the tasting events will feature several companies at a time to give maximum exposure to each recipient and greater opportunities for attendees to taste the award-worthy products.

Registration is now open to attend NRA Show at

The 2018 FABI Award recipients include:

Atalanta Corporation: Caffè Vergnano Compostable Espresso Capsules

Èspresso 1882 compostable capsules combine all of Caffè Vergnano’s hallmark quality with a perfect green solution and compatibility with Nespresso machines. The box and wrapper have been re-developed to adapt to eco-sustainable recycling standards, still providing a supreme espresso and reduced guilt.

Atalanta Corporation: MENU Dorati

Semi-dried Italian cherry tomatoes packed with fresh basil and sunflower oil easily enhance a variety of hot or cold dishes. Their stunning appearance and fresh flavor work across diverse foodservice areas. They add authentic Italian taste to any dish.

Atalanta Corporation: MENU Shakshuka 

Atalanta’s Shakshuka sauce gives restaurants the flexibility to capitalize on the Mediterranean food craze with a balanced sauce that can be used to make shakshuka, the traditional Israeli egg dish, or to invent your own entrées. Created in Italy, this small-batch kettle-cooked sauce uses only the freshest ingredients to add a flavorful international flare. 

BCGA Concept Corporation: Brooklyn Crafted Mini

Unlike many competing products, Brooklyn Crafted Mini Ginger Beer is made with 100% real, unfiltered ginger pieces. The 7 oz. mini bottles are perfect on their own or incorporated into cocktails. Made with no artificial ingredients—no high-fructose corn syrup here — and no preservatives, it provides all the health benefits of ginger. Flavor profiles include Traditional, Earl Grey, Lemon & Lime and Mango.

Belvoir Fruit Farms: Organic Elderflower and Rose Lemonade

The delicate scent of elderflowers, grown on Belvoir’s own farms and hand-picked at the height of spring, combines with the heady floral taste of real rose petals for a deliciously perfumed sparkling drink that stands on its own and also makes the perfect base for unique summer cocktails and mocktails. Belvoir organic sparkling lemonades always blend the freshest flowers, 100% real pressed fruit juice and lightly sparkling water.

Beyond Meat: Beyond Sausage

Beyond Sausage satisfies carnivores’ craving for a great tasting, better-for-you protein option while meeting the needs of vegetarians and vegans alike. Offering the juicy, meaty deliciousness of a traditional sausage in three flavors — Original Bratwurst, Sweet Italian and Hot Italian—the texture and flavor profile allow you to substitute it in just about any recipe that uses pork sausage and still deliver the sizzle your diners crave.

Bridor : Simply Baguette

Made with traditional high-quality ingredients, including a levain developed by artisan bakers, this new baguette is slightly tangy and demonstrates excellent craftsmanship. Diners will appreciate its simple list of plain ingredients — only flour, water, yeast, levain, salt and malt. A truly outstanding baguette boasting a crisp, thin crust and airy crumb.

Brooklyn Delhi: Roasted Garlic Achaar

Inspired by the timeless culinary traditions of India, Brooklyn Delhi’s roasted garlic achaar adds a new and exciting flavor to everyday meals and menus. This versatile and addictive condiment boasts a complex and unique flavor profile enhanced by the nuttiness of roasted garlic, Indian spices, lemon and sugar. At once savory, spicy, sour and a tad sweet, it can be added to any number of dishes to boost flavor and add international excitement.

Brooklyn Delhi: Tomato Achaar

This artisanal, Indian-inspired chutney and spread is made from locally grown tomatoes, tamarind, Indian spices and red chili powder. Its unique combination of savory, spicy and tangy flavors adds complexity that outdoes harissa, ketchup or salsa in any recipe. Versatile and richly textured, this tomato achaar can transform any dish into something extraordinary.

Earnest Eats: PRO: Protein + Probiotic Oatmeal

The world's first high-protein superfood oatmeal boasts more than 15 grams of grass-fed whey that works with one billion heat-activated probiotics to increase protein utilization and enhance gut digestion. Its blend of quinoa, oats and amaranth will appeal to consumers looking for the benefits of superfoods. Restaurant operators will appreciate the ease of preparation.

Gator Pears: Guacamole Mild 100/1.27 oz. portion packs

The 1.27 oz. portion easy-to-open pack allows operators to offer on-demand flavor throughout the day. Made with 100% Mexican Hass avocados, Gator Pears Guacamole gives the operator year-round consistency and ripeness. Its intense, fresh flavor is delicious, and the convenient portion size has industry potential from concessions to fast food to table service.

Grecian Delight Foods: Falafel Fritters

Grecian Delight's new Falafel Fritters provide operators a trendy and versatile authentic Mediterranean street food and plant-based protein. Quick and easy to prepare, they can be used across a number of dayparts and menu applications from sides and snacks to sandwiches, salads and platters to even breakfast. Falafel Fritters are clean label, vegan and kosher.

Grecian Delight Foods: Garlic Sauce

This authentic Middle Eastern sauce and dip is one of the official accompaniments to Shawarma. Made with labna (strained Lebanese yogurt), its rich texture and robust garlic flavor offer endless versatility, whether as a topping for meats, a delicious sandwich spread, a craveable dip for fries or vegetables or something of chef’s own invention.

Impossible Foods: Impossible Burger

This plant-based burger is made from simple, natural ingredients including water, wheat protein, coconut oil, potato protein and the “magic” ingredient, heme. With the rich, decadent taste of beef, it satisfies carnivores while at the same time appealing to vegans because of its plant-based proteins. The Impossible Burger performs like beef and can be used as a creative substitute to appeal to all diners.

Kronos Foods Corp.: KronoBROIL Gyros Slices

KronoBROIL eliminates the need to invest in a vertical broiler in order to serve authentic gyros. Slices are created by a revolutionary manufacturing process that flame-broils and carves a colossal gyros cone replicating the taste, texture and hand-carved appearance of old world gyros. The result is a high-quality, delicious easy-to-use and versatile product from an industry leader.

La Colombe: Draft Latte

This revolutionary cold coffee beverage delivers a unique, café-style drinking experience. The InnoValve can, a patent-pending process, enhances the ready-to-drink Draft Latte with the foam traditionally found in a hot latte for a quality, on-the-go treat.

Love Beets: Beet Salsa

Love Beets’ Beet Salsa creates its own niche in the crowded salsa market with this versatile, ready-to-eat product. Love Beets’ Sweet Chili beets are combined with fresh green peppers, onion, jalapeño and cilantro for a light, spicy salsa with a unique balance of sweetness. Healthy, trendy and convenient, Beet Salsa can be used in myriad dishes or on its own with no need to cook and peel the beets or make homemade salsa.

Mama La's Kitchen: Beef & Chicken Pho Concentrates

Add water, noodles, vegetables and meat to make authentic Pho and capitalize on the health and wellness trend. USDA-approved bones are cooked for more than 15 hours, reducing the broth to a rich concentrate that is frozen and sealed.

Natalie’s Juice: Matcha Lemonade

Bartenders and mixologists looking for exotic ingredients and healthy lemonade alternatives will like this authentically clean juice. Made from only four minimally processed ingredients — water, Florida pure cane sugar, lemons and brewed matcha — it is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.

 Nona Lim: Shiitake Beef Bone Broth

Nona Lim Shiitake Beef Bone Broth is a delicious clean label bone broth packaged in a 10 oz. heat-and-sip cup. Simmered for more than 30 hours, the grass-fed, organic beef bone stock is spiced perfectly with shiitake mushrooms and ginger. Nona Lim Shiitake Beef Bone Broth makes a healthy, attractive addition to meals with all the benefits and superior flavor of on-trend slow food.

PepsiCo Foodservice: Naked Bars

The new Naked Bars are a game-changing line of chilled fruit, nut and veggie bars packed with high-quality ingredients, including real fruits and vegetables you can see. Offering the convenient nutrition and delicious taste for which Naked is known, the bars contain no preservatives, are excellent sources of vitamins A, C, E and iron and are verified by the Non-GMO Project.

Pete's Living Greens: Salicornia or “Sea Beans”

Sea bean enthusiasts love the normally foraged green — related to amaranth — for its signature crunch, intensely salty sea flavor and grassy asparagus aftertaste. Pete’s Living Greens has developed hydroponically greenhouse grown sea beans with roots attached for extended freshness and quality, bringing this coastal farmer’s market delicacy to restaurants everywhere.

Sabatino Tartufi: Truffle Soy Sauce

This truly unique take on traditional soy sauce adds the luxurious taste of truffles for a heightened umami experience. Truffle soy sauce can transform a traditional dish into something a bit more interesting, creating new flavor profiles for rice, sushi, dumplings, edamame, marinades and more.

Seascape Foods: French Fried Butter Beans

The ever-popular butter bean meets the best-loved french fry. Huge butter beans, battered and fried make for a crunchy, protein-packed alternative to french fries. A perfect addition to meals, French Fried Butter Beans also make a healthier alternative side dish.

Seascape Foods: Fresh Vegetable Falafel

This product adds vegetables to the traditional chickpea falafel recipe to arrive at an authentic-tasting, moist product that needs no sauce. Appealing to the falafel aficionado or a newbie, these frozen falafels are quick to prepare and pack nutritional punch.

Smart Flour Foods: Gluten Free Hoagie Roll

Smart Flour Foods offers a sandwich roll made with Smart Flour, delivering a high quality, premium eating experience intended for both hot and cold applications. They are pre-sliced, shipped frozen and have a seven-day ambient shelf life.

SomPriya Fine Spirits: SomruS Original

The world’s most awarded cream liqueur blends handcrafted rum with cardamom, saffron, almond, pistachio and rose for an exotic tasting spirit. An Indian-inspired liqueur named for the elusive “nectar of the gods,” SomruS Original shines on its own, mixed in a beverage, baked into dessert or even added to a cup of tea for a decadent hard chai latte.

Sud’n’Sol: Pepper Spread

With ingredients sourced from the Mediterranean region, this delicious pepper spread stands out for its 100% clean label ingredients and bright, homemade taste. Its smooth, colorful and addictive blend of roasted red peppers and Mediterranean spices will add distinction to many dishes, from soups, sauces, dips and spreads.

Sud’n’Sol: Tomato Spread

Made from Sud’n’Sol’s own roasted red tomatoes, this spread captures the flavors of the Mediterranean in a smooth, all-natural spread, dip, sauce or even soup base. Delivered ready to serve and easy to use, it adds a fresh homemade taste to any number of dishes.

Sweet Street: Manifesto Gluten-Free Brownie, individually wrapped

Made with dark Honduran chocolate sourced from a women’s cocoa collective, a proprietary own gluten-free flour mix, and cage-free eggs, this fudgy brownie tastes divine. Even better, diners will love that it supports the advancement of the farmers, their families and their village.

The Eli’s Cheesecake Company: Florentine Honey Almond Bar

Handmade in small batches, this decadent, chef-created bar combines sliced almonds drenched in a housemade honey glaze and Eli’s signature all-butter shortbread cookie crust. Eli’s honey is harvested by students from The Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences. Proceeds from honey sales fund college scholarships for deserving high school seniors.

Venice Bakery: Gluten-Free Low Carb Cauliflower Pizza Crust

This slightly chewy, fluffy ready-to-cook pizza crust is a healthy alternative base for the ever-popular pizza. One 10” crust packs 26g of protein and only 3g of net carbs per serving, appealing to consumer demand for high protein foods without sacrificing flavor.

Venice Bakery: Plant Based Gluten-Free Crusts (Broccoli Cheddar and Seasoned Cauliflower)

Taking vegetable-based pizza crusts to the next level, Venice Bakery has brought two tasty additions to the market: A broccoli and cheese crust that evokes fried cheese, with subtle notes of broccoli and cracked black pepper, and a seasoned cauliflower crust with a crispy, lightly cheesy, satisfying bite.

Wagshal’s Imports: Minioliva

Exclusively from Alcalá Oliva™, the family-run Spanish olive oil company, this elegant olive-shaped package adds to the market a unique dripless single-serving package that is easier to open than a small bottle. Customers will appreciate the variety of flavors and remember the distinctive experience.

Weston Foods Foodservice: ACE Bakery® Mini Schiacciatas

ACE Bakery Mini Schiacciatas are premium Tuscan flatbreads. One-inch thick and pre-sliced, they can become operators’ new sandwich workhorse, and are versatile enough to double as the foundation for an authentic flatbread, an open-face sandwich or even a folded taco.

Wild Flour Bakery: Gourmet Gluten-Free Cookie Dough

This gluten-free frozen cookie dough can be baked into cookies and desserts that are soft-baked or crisp. By altering the add-ins, spices or technique, chefs can easily make dozens of homemade desserts whose taste and texture diners will love.

The FABI Award recipients are chosen by an independent panel of expert judges. They come from across foodservice and represent some of the industry’s most well-known brands and organizations. The 2018 FABI judges are:

• Timothy J. Dietzler, Director of Dining Services, Villanova University

• Lori Estrada, Senior Vice President of R&D, Wendy’s

• Christopher Koetke, CEC, CCE, HAAC, Vice President, Category Management, Culinary Art, The School of Culinary Arts, Kendall College

• John Li, Group Vice President, Bloomin’ Brands

• Robin Rosenberg, Vice President, Chef de Cuisine, Levy Restaurants

• Lee Ann Shaw, Global Procurement Director, Hot Beverages and Snacks, Aramark

• Bret Thorn, Senior Food & Beverage Editor, Nation’s Restaurant News; Senior Food Editor, Restaurant Hospitality

As the global restaurant and hospitality industry’s premier trade show, NRA Show brings together more restaurant and hospitality buyers and equipment manufacturers than any other industry event. To register, please visit For more information about the FABI Award program and this year's award recipients, visit

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises more than 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15.5 million employees. Together with 52 State Associations, we are a network of professional organizations dedicated to serving every restaurant through advocacy, education, and food safety. We sponsor the industry's largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart). For more information, visit and find @WeRRestaurants on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.