KENYA – Individuals and companies in Kenya’s food industry have an opportunity to be feted at an elaborate dinner ceremony in front of their peers as the nomination window for the 2018 edition of the region’s only award process has been announced.

Now in its second year, the Food Business Africa (FBA) Industry Excellence Awards aim to highlight and celebrate innovation and excellence in the growing sub-Saharan Africa manufacturing, retail, academia and foodservice industry.

“We are excited to announce the beginning of the official nominations process for the 2018 edition of the FBA Industry Excellence Awards,” says Francis Juma of FoodWorld Media, the organizers of the Awards, and which also publishes Food Business Africa magazine, the region’s leading industry publication.

“The first edition of the FBA Industry Excellence Awards, which was held last year, was a real eye-opener to the importance of appreciating the individuals and companies in the region, and how these Awards can be the catalyst to renewed spirit and vigour in the industry,” he added.

In the first edition, held in 2017, the organisers bestowed upon 15 industry veterans the coveted Industry Champion Award, which is similar to a Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Project of the Year Award, which celebrates recent investments in factories/facilities, went to Buhler’s African Milling School in Nairobi, Kenya.

Announcing the start of the official nominations process, the organisers have announced that the 2018 edition will be have a new category that will seek out the most outstanding new products launched over the last one to two years, putting the spotlight on the innovations side of the food business.

“The pace of innovations has picked up pace in the region, with some new products absolutely standing out not only in the region but in Africa as well.

This new category will aim to give these outstanding new products the recognition they – and the great teams that are behind the thought process, formulation and launch – truly deserve,” explains Juma.

The most outstanding new products with unique formulation, processing, packaging, nutrition and health, market positioning and social impact will be crowned the winner in each of the categories.

Two special categories will highlight the most outstanding packaging and products that have made the most innovative use of an ingredient.

The Industry Champion Awards category continues to be part of the process, while the Project of the Year has been suspended to next year, to give the organisers time to plan as they intend to make it a competitive process as well.

Only companies based in Kenya, and which manufacture branded, retail focused products, are eligible to compete this year for the New Product of the Year award, before the organisers open up the award process to companies from the greater East Africa from the 2019 edition.

Categories 2018

The 13 Award categories include

  • Industry Champion Award
  • Dairy Product of the Year
  • Milling, Cereals & Pulses Product of the Year
  • Bakery & Snack Product of the Year
  • Alcoholic Beverage Product of the Year
  • Soft Beverage Product of the Year
  • Hot Beverage Product of the Year
  • Meat, Poultry & Fish Product of the Year
  • Chilled & Fresh Produce Product of the Year
  • Sugar & Confectionery Product of the Year
  • Culinary & Condiments Product of the Year
  • New Product with the Most Outstanding Package
  • New Product with the Most Innovative use of an Ingredient

Independent judging panel

This year’s Awards process has introduced a panel of judges to manage the nominations and judging process, adding an extra layer of assurance to the process.

Nominations for the two categories, the Industry Champion Award and the New Products of the Year are open

The following individuals are part of judging panel for the 2018 awards:

  • Lois Ndiba – Food Safety International
  • Thomas Ochieng’ – Consultant
  • Colm D’Olier – Promaco Ltd
  • Charity Magwenzi – Capwell Industries
  • Marvin Murphy – Mane Flavours
  • Cyprian Kabbis – SGS
  • Virginia Nyoro – Brookside Dairy
  • Gideon Rono – Unilever
  • Micah Wanyama – Coca-Cola
  • Joseph Nyongesa – IOPPK
  • Chirag Tak – Ramco Plexus.

“This judging panel, which is made up of professionals with various skill sets and many years of experience in the industry in Eastern Africa and beyond, aims to boost the profile of the judging process, ensuring that final winners really have a distinct attribute that make them true winners,” explains Juma.

The nominations process ends April 12, 2018, with applications done through the event website,

The glitzy award ceremony is planned for April 27, 2018 at the Nairobi Convention & Conference Centre, Mombasa Road, Nairobi Kenya from 6pm at the end of AFMASS Conference & Expo Kenya edition.