KENYA– There was excitement as the winners of the new products category were announced at the just concluded Africa Food Industry Excellence Awards ceremony that took place on September 14, 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya.
On an evening full of pomp and colour, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) and Bio Food Products showed their innovations credentials by scooping several awards at the ceremony ahead of several companies that had entered products across the categories, from dairy, milled, beverages and more.
A new category at the 2018 edition of the Awards, in arriving at the winners and finalists in this new products category, the judges were on the look out for new products that demonstrated the most unique application of ingredients, packaging, nutrition and health, labelling, value and market proposition.
Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA), Kenya, won the soft beverages product of the year award for its Minute Maid Fruity Boost with Milk and Nutrients, which is a blend of fruit juice, milk powder plus vitamins and minerals, a first in the region.
CCBA also took home the number two position for its Minute Maid with Fruit Bits, that incorporates fruit pieces into its mango and orange juice products, thereby improving the fibre content and provides a unique texture profile to the consumer.
Squishy juice drink, made by Squishy Drinks, also made it to the final list of the most outstanding soft beverage products in the region.
The product stood out for its unique packaging and ease of use by its target consumers, who are largely young kids in the family.
In the dairy category, Bio Food Products took number one and three positions for its Bio Fruit Yoghurt on the Bottom and its Bio Barista Milk, which is targeted at the foodservice and restaurants trade.
Bio Fruit Yoghurt on the Bottom is the first dairy product in the region to incorporate real fruit filled separately from the yoghurt white mass, allowing the consumer the indulgence of mixing for themselves at the point of consumption.
Brookside Dairy took the second position in the dairy category for its re-launched version of Delamere Fruit Yoghurt in a cup, which according to the judges, stood out for its incorporation of new fruit mix varieties in the market (lemon biscuit, pear caramel and choco chips) and convenient packaging on the go.
The brand also scored highly on its value proposition that has enabled the product to be more accessible and affordable to a larger group of consumers.
In the alcoholic beverages category, EABL took home all the awards for its new beer and spirits brands.
The company’s Orijin AHS Spirit, Zinga spirit infused beer and Tusker Cider grabbed the three positions available, showing the brewer’s focus on innovations is paying off.
Coca-Cola Beverage Africa’s Minute Maid Fuze Tea led in the Hot Beverages category due to its convenient pack and unique blend of juice and tea extracts, enabling consumers to take a new look at tea.
Gold Crown’s Attitude Teas, a range of naturally flavoured packaged tea products took the number two position due to the products’ unique packaging and consumer market positioning.
The products are targeted at the young Millennial consumers who have no time, and attention span, to consume regular tea products.
In chilled and fresh product category, Aunty Bettys Ready Meal Rice, which provides consumers with a ready meal in a microwavable packaging in minutes, topped the charts, emerging number one.
Quality Meat Products’ chicken and fish nuggets emerged as the finalist in the category due to the products’ convenience positioning and great taste.
It was a big win for Nootri family of nutritious flours from Rwanda in the Milled and Cereals category.
Available as Nootri Mama, Nootri Toto and Nootri Family variants, the judges were impressed with the unique positioning and value placed on each product variety that meets the specific needs of each consumer segment.
They were also impressed with the packaging of the products.
The team of 10 who travelled to Nairobi from their ultra modern plant in Kigali to receive their award could not hide their excitement when their product was announced as the winner.
Noodies Ugali Noodles with Sukuma wiki was a delightful win for Bidco Africa Ltd team who took the number two position for their ingenious incorporation of the common staple food sukuma wiki (kales) in noodles, a first one in the region.
Judges were also impressed with the addition of maize meal to the wheat flour base in the product.
Mhogo cassava flour won the judges heart for their innovative packaging and branding of an old staple cassava into a product that is available on the shelves across Kenya, the region and Europe.
Glacier products Ltd had a double win and double celebration as they were feted with two trophies for winning the number one and two slots in the Sugar and Confectionery category amid loud cheers from the guests at the event.
The company’s Dairlyand Chocolart bars and Dairyland Compound chocolates, the only chocolate brands made in the region stood out for their value proposition and packaging.
About the Awards
The Awards ceremony, which are Africa’s most prestigious food industry awards, celebrate some of the most outstanding people, new products and company initiatives in the food, beverage and milling industry in Africa.
Now in its second year, the Awards ceremony attracted the who-is-who in the food manufacturing, retail and foodservice industry in the region, with over 400 people attending the event, which took place from 14.00 hours till late.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Co-operatives sent its Acting Director of Agroprocessing, Mr. Simon Atebe, who was the Chief Guest, and the Acting Managing Director of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Mr. Benard Nguyo, also made an appearance as one of the main guests.
Other notable attendees included the Barclays Kenya CEO, Mr. Jeremy Awori, several Managing Directors and CEOs from the industry, government agencies, supplier companies and other stakeholders.
This year’s Awards had a larger and expanded category profile, with new categories (new plants, new products, sustainability and training initiatives) added on top of the individual award categories from the 2017 edition of the Awards.
The next edition of the Africa Food Industry Excellence Awards ceremony will be held on July 12, 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda.
Individuals and companies are encouraged to enter their applications for next year’s Awards process, which open on November 1, 2018.
More information about the Awards can be found on www.awards.foodbusinessafrica.com