MICE2020 Product Innovation Awards

MICE2020 launches Product Innovation Awards

MICE2020 will highlight the best and brightest the industry has to offer with its biggest Product Innovation Awards to date.

Imagine the next big technological breakthrough in the coffee industry. Could it be a device that raises quality to new levels? Or will it embrace new technology like automation and telemetry? These are questions that the 2020 Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) will ask during its Product Innovation Awards.

MICE provides a platform for dedicated members of the coffee sector to congregate and share new ideas and technology. These annual awards bring these new developments to the forefront.

“The Product Innovation Awards shine a spotlight on the great and creative work being done in coffee,” says MICE Show Director Lauren Winterbottom.

“Past winners have included energy systems, water filters, and coffee destoners that truly had something new to offer the industry, and the awards drew attention to these innovations.” 

With nearly 200 brands set to be on display at MICE2020, Lauren says the next Product Innovation Awards will be to most competitive and impressive yet.

MICE2020 Product Innovation Awards
The Milkit Dual Tap won People’s Choice in the 2019 Product Innovation Awards.

“There is going to be an increased international presence and many first-time exhibitors at MICE2020, so we’ve decided to broaden the scope of the Product Innovation Awards and can’t wait to see what ground-breaking products the industry has to offer,” Lauren says.

In past years, a panel of industry leaders judged all of the finalists and determined a top three to be awarded in the Judge’s Choice category. In 2020, however, a single award will be given out in four categories:

  • Coffee preparation equipment – espresso machines, brewers, roasters
  • Ancillary electrical equipment – such as grinders and milk steamers
  • Coffee accessories – such as cups, tampers and cleaning products
  • Specialty beverages – syrups, spirits, dairy and dairy alternatives, and other items used in conjunction with coffee beans to create a specialty beverage.

Attendees at MICE2020 will also be able to vote in the People’s Choice category for the finalist they find most innovative.

The 2019 People’s Choice went to United Supplies for the Milkit Dual Tap System. The unit is capable of dispensing two types of milk in measured doses at once, improving productivity, consistency, and hygiene, while minimising waste. United Supplies Marketing Director Nicole Saleh says winning the award provided the Milkit Dual Tap system with an exciting launch into the marketplace.

“We entered the awards as we knew it would be a fantastic way to demonstrate the benefits of the Milkit milk tap system to the specialty coffee industry and we were really honoured to win People’s Choice and be recognised by our peers,” Nicole says. 

“Milkit connected with the coffee community because it delivers a fast and cost-effective solution for cafés to achieve milk dose consistency, maintain milk integrity, and improve barista workflow. We had both the dual and single milk tap models on display at MICE, showcasing a variety of colours and running
demos that allowed potential customers to experience firsthand the benefits
of the system.”

The 2019 Judge’s Choice winner was the Energy Bar system by BrewBar. The Energy Bar allows coffee machines and equipment with significant energy requirements to operate from a 240-volt 10-amp supply, or without a power supply for short periods of time.

BrewBar Director Brett McKimmin says winning the award, and resulting coverage, generated significant interest in the product.

MICE2020 Product Innovation Awards
Rancilio impressed judges with its advanced temperature profiling.

“We’ve experienced a great wave of interest and, after making a few further upgrades to the system, are gearing up to start providing the Energy Bar to customers around Australia,” Brett says.

“The goal with Energy Bar was to make specialty coffee more mobile and accessible. Winning the award was confirmation that the idea of taking specialty coffee anywhere and everywhere without power restrictions is provable and something the community would love to see.”

Brett encourages MICE2020 exhibtors to take advantage of the platform the Product Innovation Awards offer.

“It’s a great way of showcasing a new product,” he says. “It also means you can gauge the market’s response to new technology as well as the wider need for innovation.”

Last year’s runner-up was Rancilio Specialty for the RS1 espresso machine, which was recognised for its advanced temperature profiling system.

“Advaced temperature profiling allows us to explore and control flavour by dynamically changing the extraction temperature,” says Paul O’Brien, Area Manager – Australasia for Rancilio.

“Performance and innovation are what drives our business. Rancilio was a bit late to the market with a specialty-oriented machine, but that’s because we wanted to wait until we had something truly innovative and different. The timing of the launch was perfect to take part in the Product Innovation Awards.”

With Rancilio presenting several new machines and pieces of equipment at HostMilano in October 2019, Paul is excited to share this technology at MICE2020, and again take part in the award.

“Coffee is a highly competitive market and people always want to see the latest and greatest. For us, the awards drive the industry. Without innovation, we don’t progress, and we at Rancilio want to see how far we can take this,” Paul says.

“There’s no such thing as a perfect cup and trying to get there is a journey. The faster we innovate, the quicker we move along.”

This article appears in the December 2019 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

For more information, visit www.internationalcoffeeexpo.com/product-innovation-award

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