National Restaurant Association Calls for Food and Beverage Innovations for 2014 FABI Awards

Award recipients to gain industry-wide visibility with breakthrough innovations impacting the foodservice industry

CHICAGO, Sept. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Restaurant Association is now accepting applications for the 2014 FABI Awards. The FABI Awards program recognizes and celebrates food and beverage manufacturers who advance the industry through innovation in ingredients, preparation, processing and/or packaging. An independent panel of expert judges will select the Award recipients, which will be showcased at NRA Show 2014, taking place May 17-20 at Chicago's McCormick Place. 

"Successful operators continually seek and adopt new products that reflect consumer trends, are highly marketable and can add incremental value and benefits to their operations," said Mary Pat Heftman, Executive Vice President, Convention & Strategic Alliances, National Restaurant Association. "The FABI Awards were created to identify emerging products that operators can use to enhance their business."

"We are looking for trailblazing products that will help drive customer satisfaction and profitability for restaurants," said John Li, Senior Vice President, Research & Development, Bloomin' Brands, Inc. and FABI Awards judge. "I have seen how introducing a FABI Award can contribute to improving operators' businesses. That is why it is so important to bring these cutting-edge innovations to the forefront of the industry."

The deadline to apply for the 2014 FABI Awards is January 10, 2014. To be considered, all food and beverage products (new food or beverage product can include the packaging or delivery system) must be introduced in the U.S. foodservice marketplace between January 1, 2013 and May 17, 2014. The innovative product must meet four criteria:

  • Unique with meaningful differentiation
  • Superior to directly competing products
  • Documentation for claims made and proof of performance
  • Deliver significant benefit(s) to targeted operators as judged by the panel

Visit to view the online application and to see a list of previous award recipients.

All applications are judged by an independent panel of experts, representing both commercial and non-commercial industry segments, including Carlyn Berghoff (CEO, Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group), John Li (Senior Vice President, Research & Development, Bloomin' Brands, Inc.), Jeff McClure (Director of Culinary Services, Sodexo Education Market), Deborah McDaniel (Senior Director, Product Innovation & Development, McDonald's USA, LLC), Mary Angela Miller (Administrative Director, Ohio State Wexner University Medical Center), Brad Nelson (Vice President & Corporate Chef, Marriott International), Linda Sceurman (National Director of Nutrition & Menu Development, ARAMARK Education), William J. Spencer (Chief, Air Force Appropriated Fund Food & Beverage Operations), Brian Wilson (Senior Culinary Development Chef, Bob Evans Farms Inc.) and Ed Wronski, (Director, Culinary & Concept Development, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts).

The annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice, and lodging professionals. NRA Show 2014 will be held May 17-20 at McCormick Place in Chicago, and the 2014 International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event held in conjunction with the NRA Show will take place May 18-19. The events attract 62,000+ attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100+ countries, and the event showcases the latest products, services, innovative ideas, up-to-the-minute information about trends and issues, and more growth opportunities than any other industry event. For more information, visit the NRA Show and IWSB Websites at and, and find the NRA Show on Twitter @NRAShow, Facebook, Instagram @NRAShow, YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest and its widely read NRA Show Blog.

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 980,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry's largest trade show (NRA Show May 17-20, 2014, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids' menu options. For more information, visit and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.

SOURCE National Restaurant Association


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