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Slovenian food companies innovate to make food more sustainable

The Nutrition Institute has announced the most innovative foods of 2023, introduced to the market in the last year.

It has been presenting awards for innovation for nine years, and the main purpose of the project is to raise consumer awareness so that new or improved foods can be more easily recognised, and to encourage the economy in the development of sustainable foods, especially those with a more favourable nutritional composition and a favourable impact on the environment. The project is co-funded by the Ministry of Health under the National Programme on Diet and Physical Activity for Health – Dober tek Slovenija, and supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food.

The modern era poses particular challenges for food producers, such as high consumer expectations, intense international competition and current developments related to the management and consequences of pandemics and war. Research shows that consumer habits and attitudes towards food are changing at this time. Food purchases have become more deliberate, while interest in locally produced food is increasing, which is reflected in an even more diverse range of quality food produced in Slovenia. The increase in supply is also the result of stakeholders' efforts to strengthen and establish new links between local suppliers, the food industry and retail chains. In addition to quality, price competitiveness and local origin of raw materials, consumers expect producers to innovate in order to improve the composition and taste of food.

The availability of quality food produced in Slovenia is also promoted by the state

A key objective of the Innovative Foods project is to encourage producers to offer consumers quality foods with a favourable nutritional composition. Dr Marjeta Recek, Head of the Health Protection Division at the Public Health Directorate, Ministry of Health, said at the announcement of the results: "The selection is an example of excellent cooperation and exemplary integration of health recommendations into the development of quality, health-enhancing foods that are part of a daily protective diet that shields us from the diseases of modern civilisation. We welcome the networking between producers, retailers, consumers and journalists to raise awareness that a healthy and balanced diet is important for our health. It is encouraging to see innovative products being joined each year by new, sustainable and delicious products that follow the modern trends of reducing salt and sugar, saturated fat and increasing the amount of vegetables and fibre. All the award-winning products perfectly follow the guidelines of the National Programme on Diet and Physical Activity - Dober tek Slovenija, Eat Healthy and Move More! This is why the Ministry has been financially supporting and facilitating the selection of innovative foods since 2015."

Many newly developed foods can be very innovative and have a wide range of benefits, but the information about these benefits often does not reach the consumer. You can read more about this year's Most Innovative Foods project and the 2023 winners on the Nutrition Institute website.

The prizes were awarded to:

  • Don Don for wholemeal bread with flax,
  • Spar Slovenia for leavened bread with seeds,
  • MVP for cup with chicken and Time Out cup,
  • Ljubljanske mlekarne for MU kefir natural, lemon and vanilla and the EGO Proteins line,
  • Planika Dairy for yoghurt with spruce tops syrup,
  • Barbio's for Biogetta organic pasta spelt rosettes with flax seeds and spelt fuži with pumpkin seeds, Delamaris for fish salads,
  • Mercator IP for the products of the Minute line "Chef's Choice": meals with black rice, wholemeal couscous.

The special award for innovation in sustainability went to Atlantic Droga Kolinska for the Argeta Sustainability Programme.

All companies participate in the competition at no cost and the prize gives them the opportunity to promote their products using a special logo.