Mercabarna has launched a programme of annual awards to encourage the creation of innovative projects by the companies in its Alimentary Unit.
Barcelona’s wholesale food complex thus aims to reward innovation in diverse areas, such as the development of new products, formats and packaging, the use of new technology, and the search for more sustainable processes. In the words of Mercabarna CEO Josep Tejedo, “innovation is the engine for constant improvement on order to adapt to the changing needs and tastes of consumers, and is a key factor for competing in the current market.”
The first ‘Mercabarna Innova’ awards were presented on November 25 and recognised the work of the Fruit Friends and Laumont companies, whose entries were a dehydrated fruit bar and a mushroom app for chefs, respectively.
The first prize of €6,000 went to Fruit Friends for its Born GO bars, which Mercabarna said were the first on the market to be made entirely out of fruit.
It said the product is healthy, tasty and easy to eat, and makes for the ideal snack between meals or while doing physical activity.
Meanwhile, the second prize of €4,000 was for an app developed by Laumont, a company that specialises in the mushroom and truffle trade.
Called Naturchef, the app is designed to keep restaurateurs and chefs informed about product availability, making menu planning easier.
A first class jury
Formed by experts and representatives from the university, business, administration and research worlds, the jury chose the two winners from seven projects entered. The most highly valued aspects were how much of an improvement had been made in relation to product quality, processes and customer service.