SAN FRANCISCO–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan. 8, 2004–American Culinary Institute (ACI), the leading independent, chef-based organization that judges and awards the best-tasting food products in America, today unveiled its new ACI Award medallion design, the most visible element of the organization’s new brand identity launched in September 2003. After extensive consumer research, the award medallion has been refreshed to help shoppers more quickly identify the best-tasting foods, saving them time at the grocery store.
Recently, a national consumer survey indicated that what consumers still want most when it comes to food is good taste. ACI Awards are given to America’s best-tasting everyday, organic and gourmet foods, and also to the best culinary housewares. The judging is conducted by a rotating panel of independent, professional and accredited chefs who follow a rigorous and unbiased process in ACI’s state-of-the art judging facility in San Francisco. Among the requirements for judging is that the product must be widely available throughout the U.S. so a majority of consumers can easily find category winning products.
The ACI Award Medallion
The new ACI Award medallion features a more eye-catching gold and black design and highlights the award category and year. The design also reflects the role of the professional chef-judges. Each medallion also carries the ACI Web address (http://www.chefsbest.org) so consumers can find more information about the organization, the judging process and recent product winners.
“We believe the professionalism and integrity of the independent chefs and the judging process is reflected in the design of the new ACI Award medallion,” said John Parker, ACI chairman and CEO. “Every ACI Award medallion that appears on store shelves is an expression of our reputation and must signify the very best in food and food-related products.”
ACI Award Winners
A few well known examples of ACI Award winners that are now displaying the new ACI medallion on their packaging, promotional materials and advertising include Mrs. Dash Seasonings, Brianna’s Gourmet Salad Dressings, Chicken of the Sea Tuna, Dole Pineapple Juice, Dreyer’s/Edy’s Grand Premium Ice Cream, Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Bars, Kraft’s Bull’s Eye Barbecue Sauce, Kraft’s Stovetop Stuffing, Lifestream Organic Frozen Waffles, Mott’s Applesauce, Russell Stover Chocolates and Sara Lee’s Jimmy Dean Bacon. In the coming year, hundreds more award-winning products bearing the new ACI award medallion will be seen on supermarket shelves. To view a full list of current award-winning products, visit the ACI Web site: http://www.chefsbest.org.
The Evaluation Process
All products selected for the rigorous testing are identified and purchased by ACI at local supermarkets. In the testing lab, products are stripped of all brand identification and presented to the chef judges with no identification except a bar code. Together, the chef-judges establish the judging criteria for the category, and then evaluate the products independently in private cubicles using proprietary software. The judges’ scores are captured electronically and tabulated by the computer to determine the category winner. Only one product in each food or food-related category is selected as an ACI Award winner.
Each year ACI’s chef-panels judge hundreds of categories containing thousands of products to bestow the ACI Awards for Best Taste (retail food and beverage), Best Product (retail food-related equipment) and Best of Class (professional foodservice food and equipment).
About American Culinary Institute
Headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., American Culinary Institute judges’ food products and culinary equipment via panels of accredited, independent professional chefs to determine the best food and culinary brands in America through secure, blind testing procedures. The ACI chef-based organization was founded in 1985 and has established both a highly trained Chef-Judging Panel and a National Chef Board of culinary leaders, who voluntarily support the organization’s mission of honoring the best products in America. When consumers and culinary professionals see the ACI Best Taste, Best Product or Best of Class Award on food and culinary products for retail and foodservice products, they know that it has passed the rigorous tests applied by the ACI chef-based judging panel to uncover and honor the best products in the marketplace. For more information, please visit http://www.chefsbest.org.
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American Culinary Institute
Millie K. Lee, 415-248-5100
Jane Herzog, 415-274-7910