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NEXTY AWARD WINNERS NAMED

Here are frozen/refrigerated honorees.

This season’s NEXTY Awards winners were announced last month at Expo East in Philadelphia. The awards recognize the most progressive, impactful and trustworthy products in the natural products industry, according to New Hope Media, the show sponsor. Here are winners in the frozen and refrigerated categories.

Atlantic Sea Farms Spicy Gochujang Seaweed Salad won for best new plant-focused product. It is made from fermented Maine kelp and crunchy daikon radish enlivened by fresh ginger, sesame, and gochujang, the popular Korean fermented chili paste which adds a rich, gently-sweet heat. Uses of the refrigerated product include salads, stir fries, noodle dishes, tacos, pitas, and grain bowls and as a topper for hot dogs and hamburgers. It’s also good as a snack straight out of the jar. The woman-owned company is based in Biddeford, Maine.

Afia Foods Mediterranean Falafel Bowl with Roasted Peppers and Tomatoes won for best new frozen product. Inspired by Burghul bi Banadoura, a classic dish that has both Lebanese and Turkish roots, it features pearl onions, roasted peppers and zucchini as well as Afia falafel over rice infused with a rich za’atar tomato sauce. It is one of four new varieties of 10-ounce bowls from the Austin, Texas-based company. The meals are certified non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free and preservative-free.

Painterland Sisters Plain Organic Skyr Yogurt won for best new meat, dairy or animal-based product. The product has 21 grams per serving (3/4 cup) and three carbs. Made with 6% healthy milk fat, it is lactose-free, sweetened with organic fruit and cane sugar and free of additives, fillers and preservatives. It has billions of probiotics, including BB12. Milk is sourced from small, regenerative family farms in Pennsylvania and neighboring regions, and made using an ultrafiltration process to yield more nutrient-dense yogurt. Sisters Stephanie and Hayley Painter launched the women-owned business to help preserve, showcase and utilize their family’s West- field, Pa., organic dairy farm, Painterland Farms.

Happy Wolf Apple Cinnamon Fridge-Fresh Bar won for best new special diet food. The bar was co-developed by a founder mom who had a tough time finding healthy bars for her kids. It uses refrigeration to keep the bars fresh, so it has no preservatives. The organic, non-GMO, allergen-free and Clean Label Certified bars use dates and honey as sweeteners, as well as seed-butter for heft and flavor. Each bar has two grams for fiber, three grams of protein and six grams of healthy fats. Happy Wolf is based in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Smallhold Mushroom Pesto won for best new condiment, sauce and/or dip. The organic product is made with imperfect mushrooms which would normally be tossed as waste. Each plastic-neutral-certified container holds a half pound of mushrooms, along with savory aromatics and oil. The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Certified B corporation has a distributed network of urban farms, allowing it to grow mush- rooms closer to the end-consumer. Locations include Brooklyn, Austin, Texas and Los Angeles.

Three companies won Editors’ Choice Awards from New Hope’s journalists, based on creativity and su tainability. The winners within frozen and refrigerated categories were:

Jinka Plant-based Calamari, made from chia seeds and pea protein said to taste remarkably like the squid version. It is the first product in a new clean-label, minimal-ingredient portfolio from Jinka, a BIPOC (Black, indigenous and people of color), woman-owned company based in Burlingame, Calif.

Arya International LLC Spinach Roti was an Editor’s Choice for Tasty Discovery. The ready-to-eat traditional Indian flatbread (think naan) are vegan and made with spices, veggies and whole grains. The spinach roti is a vibrant green, infused with whole cumin seeds. It has a blistered surface and a soft, chewy texture with paper-thin layers good for scooping up rich sauces or stews. It is shipped frozen and sold chilled. Arya International is in Parsippany, N.J.

Prime Roots Koji Foie Gras Torchon won an Editor’s Choice Award for innovation. The plant-based charcuterie is 89%-92% more sustainable than conventional animal proteins, according to the Berkeley, Calif.-based Certified B Corporation. Its meat analogues are made without nitrates and other preservatives common to the deli case.

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