World Food Innovation Awards judging panel announced

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World Food Innovation Awards judging panel announced

January 25
13:39 2016

WFIA-judging-panel-1The judging panel for the  World Food Innovation Awards 2016 has been announced.

Now in its second successful year, the World Food Innovation Awards are designed to celebrate excellence and innovation across every category of the global food industry.

The finalists and winners of the 2015 Awards were announced at a special awards ceremony during IFE in London in March 2015. The awards attracted over 340 entries from 30 countries in 16 categories.

Finalists and winners in this year’s competition will be announced during a special event on Tuesday 1st March at Hotelympia in London’s ExCel exhibition centre.

Meet the panel

Dr Gail Barnes

Gail is an independent packaging and sustainability expert at ‘personify’

Dr Barnes is a technical expert and strategic partner to processors, manufacturers and packaging suppliers, providing insights on sustainability, product innovation, consumer insights, food safety and regulatory processes and procedures. She has previously served as vice president of technology and packaging for the Innovation Center for US Dairy and Dairy Management Inc

Myles Ritson

Myles is CEO and founding partner at Fusion Learning

After graduating from Cambridge University, Myles went on to become the first NPD dedicated brand manager at Procter & Gamble UK. In 1990 Myles moved into food brands with Homepride before returning to household cleaning with Reckitt Bensicker. He was marketing director of Central Europe and then global category director where he led the creation of the Global Marketing Learning Programme. Myles founded Fusion Learning in 2000 – a brand and innovation consultancy.

Mina Booth

Mina is group marketing & content director at Fresh Montgomery

Mina is an experienced consumer and B2B marketing and events specialist with worldwide experience in many different industries including: food, wine, retail, aviation, risk management, telecoms, IT, call centres, libraries, art, incentives, security, building, environmental issues and travel. Prior to working in the media industry she worked as a retail marketing specialist and worked for many of the UK’s largest retailers.

Fresh Montgomery is the organiser of Hotelympia and IFE, as well as many other successful international food and beverage industry events.

Claire Nutall

Claire is CEO of The Brand Incubator

With an entrepreneurial approach, Claire has over 20 years experience in agencies and blue chip FMCG companies. She speaks at industry seminars giving talks about innovation, NPD, future trends and the ever changing health agenda. In 2015, she founded The Brand Incubator which helps businesses ranging from entrepreneurial start ups to small and medium sized businesses needing to scale and grow, through to retailers and big blue chips needing to cut through with more transformative fresh thinking.

Steve Osborn

Steve is senior partner at The Aurora Ceres Partnership

Having graduated as an Analytical Chemist, Steve completed a Research Masters on Maillard Reaction Flavours, with the University of Reading. This was followed by many years in commercial and technical roles with Nestlé, Northern Foods, Ashbury Confectionery and Leatherhead Food Research where he became a recognised food industry expert contributing to many international conferences. In 2015, Steve established The Aurora Ceres Partnership with his wife, Naomi, providing innovation management, product development, change management and business support for the food and beverage industry.  Steve is Fellow of the IFST and chairs the Consultancy Special Interest Group.

Claire Rowan

Claire is Group Technical Editor with FoodBev Media

With over 30 years’ experience in the global food and beverage industry, Claire is an expert in the technologies, processes and packaging used in the manufacture of food and beverages. As one of FoodBev Media’s trends experts, she writes for FoodBev’s range of publications and FoodBev.com as well as speaking at international industry events.

Gerard Klein Essink

Gerard Klein Essink is managing director and owner of Bridge2Food

Having worked internationally in the food industry for over 20 years after graduating in food chemistry from Wageningen University & Research Centre, Gerard set up Bridge2Food in 2002. His career has included being: vice president sales and business development manager with a Pan-European FMCG company; and general manager, global business manager, Asia Pacific marketing manager as well as research and application manager with an international food ingredient company.

Hamish Renton

Hamish is managing director at Hamish Renton Associates

Hamish is a food and drink expert with over 20 years’​ experience working with global brands. Hamish Renton Associates offers results focused marketing, commercial consulting and research to: up and coming food and drink brands looking to capture the attention of today’s consumers; ambitious challenger brands looking to launch their new products into the British market; and market leaders looking to stay on top by understanding their shoppers and competitors better.

Peter Wennstrom

Peter is president of the Healthy Marketing Team

Peter is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts in food and health marketing and is the author of The FourFactors of Success – how to innovate healthy brands, and co-author of The Food & Health Marketing Handbook. Peter founded the Healthy Marketing Team in 2008 – an international and multi-cultural strategy consultancy focused on innovation, marketing and branding in food and health. Peter is a popular speaker and chairman, who is constantly delivering workshops and seminars to companies across the globe.

Bill Bruce – chair of panel

Bill is Group Editorial Director at FoodBev Media

Bill co-founded FoodBev Media in 2000 and has been instrumental in the company’s evolution from a traditional magazine publisher to the world’s leading multi-media food and beverage communications business – with the largest social media following. Bill speaks on trends and innovation at industry events and seminars worldwide.


Entries are still open for the 20 categories which include: Best New Food Concept; Best New Beverage Concept; Best Convenience Food Innovation; Best Snacking Innovation; Best New ‘Free-from’ Product; Best New Food Service or Catering Product; Best New Health or Wellness Product; Best New Brand or Business; and Best New Packaging Design

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