For those of us who get excited every time the food industry announces a new product, the 10 food and drink finalists in SIAL Canada's Trends and Innovations Contest are certainly reasons to start getting giddy.
From maple syrup balls to olive oil in spray bottles, the contest, currently in its fifth year, saw more than 60 companies submit 100 products, with 10 finalists narrowed down this week. The grand jury was led by BSA Food Ingredients in Montreal.
Food trends are a perpetually favourite topic, and fresh-off-the-shelf products give both professionals and your everyday cook a chance to experiment in the kitchen. Earlier this week, a Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association survey revealed chefs' favourite ingredients and practices, like the use quality salt, gluten-free products, and mini desserts. Others have forecasted inhalable energy and hybrid crops as the up-and-comers in 2012.
The panel of judges at the contest, which included designers, publishers and a "sensory evaluation specialist," based their decisions on products that had market appeal, creativity and natural ingredients. The winner will be announced May 9.
Hungry yet? Check out the 10 finalists:
Jellied maple pearls by <a href="http://www.citadelle-camp.coop/maple-syrup/New-Products-and-Promotions/news/New-products/A-WORLDS-FIRST-FOR-MAPLE.aspx" target="_hplink">Citadelle</a> was selected for its contemporary twist on a traditional Canadian product.
This Effet Bleu by <a href="http://www.optibleu.com/NotreEntreprise.html" target="_hplink">Opti Bleu inc.</a> is a frozen blueberry juice bar. The bar contains 90 per cent blueberry juice and is rich in antioxidants.
This <a href="http://www.vergerduhaime.com/produits-caramel.html" target="_hplink">Vergers Duhaime</a> spread comes in in several varieties, including caramel, butter and rum, and maple and sea salt.
Ninette Ice Cream range in a variety of original flavours including thyme and lemon, raspberry truffle, and crunchy gingerbread. This product was noted for their interesting recipes, intriguing flavours and textures.
This <a href="http://www.skotidakis.com/en/products/" target="_hplink">Greek style probiotic yogurt </a>is also fat free.
Maple sap water by <a href="http://delaubier.ca/" target="_hplink">de l'Aubier </a> is natural still water stemmed from maple sap and separated from its sugars. This product was chosen for its original and unique concept for a natural product.
Anti +, a fruit drink by Novidev Santé Activ has bioactive compounds and no additives or preservatives.
<a href="http://www.basilurtea.com/" target="_hplink">Basilur Winter Book tea</a> was noted for its book shaped packaging.
<a href="http://www.laitnutrinor.com/" target="_hplink">Le Complait's lactose-free beverage</a> is enriched with probiotics and was selected due to the increasing demand for lactose-intolerant products in the market.
The last finalist was a line of balsamic <a href="http://maisonorphee.com/en/" target="_hplink">vinegar and olive oil</a> products in spray bottle form. The products use of modern packaging is what caught the judges eyes this year.