2016 Food and Beverage (FABI) Award Recipients Announced

Health-conscious products and natural ingredients from across the globe to be found with this year’s FABI Award recipients, says Tatiana Vieira Green

The National Restaurant Association has announced the recipients of the 2016 Food and Beverage (FABI) Awards, recognizing progressive food and beverage products that make a significant impact in the restaurant industry. Each award recipient and their product will be showcased throughout the exhibit halls at the 2016 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show®, held from May 21-24 in Chicago at McCormick Place.

An independent panel of experts, representing a variety of both commercial and non-commercial industry segments, selected this year’s 26 FABI Award recipients based on their exciting benefits to restaurant operators as well as the end consumer.

“The FABI Awards provide restaurant operators a sneak peek at innovative menu items that address the desires customers are seeking, as well as meeting operators desire for cost effective solutions says Lisa Ingram, convention chair for NRA Show 2016 and president and CEO of White Castle System, Inc. “The FABI award recipients demonstrate the craftsmanship and creativity today’s world increasingly demands – from creating more flavorful dishes for the end consumer to offering ingredient alternatives for gluten-free, paleo, and additional dietary restrictions.”

Registration is now open to attend the NRA Show for $59 (until April 9) at https://show.restaurant.org/Attend/Registration.

The 2016 FABI Award recipients include:

Atalanta Corporation

L’Estornell Smoked Oil

This olive oil is the perfect marriage of the native extra virgin olive oil with cold smoke. The delicate processing creates a beautiful balance between the Arbequina olive oil’s classic fruit flavor profile with hints of subtle smokiness to round out this carefully crafted product.

Atalanta Corporation

Peruvian Sauces

These incomparable sauces bring authentic Peruvian flavors to adventurous palates looking for exciting new global flavors. These sauces offer up bold, diverse flavor profiles ranging from spicy and creamy to piquant and fresh and add depth in bases, sauces, and as a finisher.

Australis Aquaculture, LLC

Skin-On Barramundi

Australis offers a pre-scored 6 oz. skin-on barramundi that is consistently priced, convenient and sustainable. Each thoughtfully raised, hand-trimmed center cut portion is flash frozen within hours of harvest and individually vacuum-packed for the best quality.

Bai Brands

Bai Bubbles®

Bai Bubbles® are sparkling fruit flavored beverages infused with the antioxidants from coffeefruit. With only one gram of sugar, five calories, and no artificial sweeteners, Bai Bubbles® serves up a low calorie beverage boasting bold fruit flavor without any unwanted sweeteners.


Ciabatta Bites

Perfectly portioned Ciabatta Bites are non-GMO Project Verified and do not contain additives, preservatives, or added sugar, making them a perfect snack on their own or for dipping. They’re made with the purest ingredients and are available in a variety of flavors.

Brands of Britain, LLC

Fever-Tree Naturally Light Ginger Beer

This naturally brewed reduced calorie ginger beer uses natural fruit sugars and three types of ginger. It maintains the distinctive ginger character of Fever-Tree Ginger Beer with 42% fewer calories, making it a perfect mixer for cocktails or a refreshing soft drink on its own.

Bulsara Foods

“Bulsara’s Original” All Natural 15 Minute Easy Tandoori Wet Rub Marinade

This is the world’s first one-step 15 minute tandoori marinade made for foodservice. Add authentic Indian flavor to your menu items ranging from appetizers to entrees and everything in between. This product slashes marinating time to just 15 minutes and results in complex, fully flavored food.

Corto Olive®

La Padella™

La Padella™ is precision-blended cooking oil specifically made for high performance and high heat sautéing or pan frying where fresh olive flavor is wanted. It provides a higher smoke point and adds an authentic essence to dishes thanks to its robust olive flavor.

Earnest Eats®

Hot & Fit® Superfood 15 Lb. Bulk Hot Cereal

The first hot cereal made with non-GMO ancient grains–quinoa, oats, amaranth–for more protein, fiber, and texture than traditional oats. Unsweetened and easily customizable, it cooks in less than 5 minutes and are pre-blended with superfood nuts, seeds and dried fruits.

fgf brands

Stonefire® Naan Dippers

Stonefire® Naan Dippers are the only bite-size naan made with buttermilk and ghee baked in a Tandoor oven. These authentic naan are a canvas for a chef’s creativity and allow operators to serve up a twist on an old favorite, or add a unique shareable appetizer or dessert to their menu.

Flavors of Lonato del Garda, LLC

Apple AMEA Balsamic Vinegar

The Apple AMEA Balsamic Vinegar has a classification of Amea Egocalo XX and is a highly complex apple vinegar aged traditionally in small wooden barrels for long periods of time to develop a rich, velvety flavor. Its perfect balance of sweet and sour notes paired with a distinct but smooth apple flavor makes this vinegar a palate pleaser.

G.S. Gelato

Guava Sorbetto

Guava Sorbetto, made from pure guava fruit imported from Brazil, fits into many alternative diets and comes ready to serve. It’s naturally free from fat, dairy, gluten, and any allergen or artificial flavor. Use as a standalone dessert or as a refreshing addition to any drink or dessert.

Gourmet Garden

Lightly Dried Herbs & Spices

Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Herbs & Spices are dried using a patented lightly dried process that allows them to last for two weeks after opening. They completely refresh in cooking, showcasing the flavor, appearance, and aroma of fresh herbs, which reduces food waste and labor.

Hail Merry® LLC

Salted Brownie Merry Bites

Salted Brownie Merry Bites are loved by all, including gluten-free, dairy-free, and Paleo folks. Tapping into trends of eating plant-based fats, these rich, chewy dark chocolate treats are made with organic virgin coconut oil and dehydrated instead of baked.

Hollandia Produce

Grower Pete’s® Organic Living Baby Butter Lettuce

Organic, nutritious, versatile, and sweet, this “perfect portion” unique 5 oz. head of lettuce is a perfect wash-and-serve option. This hydroponically greenhouse-grown variety delivers unmatched uniformity as well as a longer shelf life thanks to its attached roots.

Kiki’s Gluten Free Foods, LLC

Individual Quick Bake GF Deep Dish Pizza

Kiki’s offers the first commercially-available premium quality frozen gluten-free individual size deep dish pizza. These artisan-quality pizzas are packaged in oven-able packaging to eliminate cross-contamination and its buttery crust offers a light, yet satisfying texture that’s super craveable.

Manicaretti Italian Food Importers

90’’ Rapida Spaghetti, Rustichella d’Abruzzo

90’’ Rapida Spaghetti from Rustichella d’Abruzzo cooks to a perfectly al dente texture in just 90 seconds. Made with excellent semolina and dried using a slow, controlled process, this artisan- quality pasta has wonderful texture and flavor that surpasses any pre-cooked pasta.

Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company

Squeezed Fresh Tomato Juice

There’s only one ingredient in this juice: fresh tomatoes. Natalie’s Squeezed Fresh Tomato Juice is minimally processed to retain the quality and nutrition of the fruit in its natural state. Unlike most tomato juices, Natalie’s is squeezed fresh and has no added sodium, no preservatives, no GMOs, no concentrates, and no flavor packs.

Nutricopia, Inc.


Brio is a revolutionary ice cream packed with antioxidants, protein, probiotics, micronutrients, and calcium. This rich and creamy nutritional powerhouse is low glycemic, non-GMO, r-BST-free, made with organic milk from pasture-raised cows, and has half the fat and 20% fewer calories than premium brands. Brio is available in six pleasing flavors.

OM Spirits

OM “Organic Mixology” Liqueurs

Organic Mixology is a line of certified organic, socially-conscious liqueurs designed by famed mixologist and cocktail book author Natalie Bovis. These liqueurs, available in four on-trend flavors, drastically cut down on signature cocktail prep time, thereby increasing turnover and simplifying the process mixology in your bar program.

PepsiCo Foodservice


STUBBORN SODA™ was developed to deliver an elevated soda experience that uses the best ingredients. Unexpected pairings like Wild Black Cherry with Tarragon and, Orange Hibiscus, and Lemon Berry Acai take traditional soft drink flavors to the next level, while Fair Trade Certified Cane Sugar and natural flavors highlight a commitment to providing the high quality ingredients.

Prince Waffles™

Sweet Filled Authentic Belgian Waffles

This fine authentic Belgian pastry has a crispy outside with very subtly flavored, yet dense and satisfying fillings like real fruit, custard, or Belgian chocolate. It’s a versatile treat that can be served for breakfast, as a snack, or be the highlight of a dessert menu.

Sevillo Fine Foods

Fire Roasted Artichoke Hearts

Sevillo Fire Roasted Artichoke Hearts are lightly dipped in balsamic vinegar, fire roasted to intensify their natural flavor, and marinated in fresh garlic and herbs. Cut into easy-to-serve quarters and quick-frozen for freshness, they save chefs hours of prep and cook time.

Sevillo Fine Foods

Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Sevillo offers a delicious, year-round alternative to fresh and sun-dried tomatoes. Sevillo Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes are roasted to perfection in our proprietary ovens to intensify their natural sweetness. They’re marinated in our simple recipe of the finest oil, oregano, garlic and salt, and quick-frozen for freshness.

Sevillo Fine Foods

Slow Roasted Red Tomatoes

Sevillo Slow Roasted Tomatoes, a delicious year-round alternative to fresh and sun-dried

varieties, are vine-ripened to perfection and roasted in our proprietary ovens to intensify their natural sweetness. Once marinated in the finest oil, oregano, garlic and salt, they’re quick-frozen for freshness.


USDA Prime Smoked Beef Brisket

Wagshal’s, a Washington, DC institution for over 90 years, selects only the best USDA Prime whole briskets for curing and smoking, a 50+ day process resulting in tender meat reminiscent of Montreal-style smoked brisket. It comes to you as ready-to-serve whole brisket and portion- controlled packages.

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 2016 FABI judges include:

  • 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, The School of Culinary Arts, Kendall College
  • John Li, Senior Vice President of RD, Bloomin’ Brands
  • Jennifer Pollhammer, Global Procurement Director, Aramark
  • Robin Rosenberg, Vice President, Chef de Cuisine, Levy Restaurants
  • Bret Thorn, Senior Food Editor, Nation’s Restaurant News

Each recipient and their product will be showcased at the 2016 NRA Show. 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 Restaurant.org/Attend/Registration. For more information about the FABI program and this year’s award recipients, visit http://show.restaurant.org/Exhibit/FABI-awards.

A video of the 2015 FABI award-winners can be viewed here.

Tatiana Vieira Green