Ten Cool New Products from the 2014 NRA Show
Self-serve smoothie machines, sriracha chicken bites among new products at this year’s show
CHICAGO -- Faster cooking technologies, a steady flow of dispensed treats and unique breads both gluten-free and gluten-full were among the trends that percolated at the 2014 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, held May 17-20 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.
Convenience Store Products was there to capture some of the biggest food, beverage and equipment breakthroughs of the year—all with applications to the c-store industry.
For more coverage from the 2014 NRA Show, watch for the July issue of CSP magazine, and the July/August issue of Convenience Store Products. You can also click here for a feature on the top 10 trends from this year's show from the editors of our sister publication, Restaurant Business.
Next year's NRA Show will be held May 16-19 at McCormick Place in Chicago.
Hormel showcased its Bacon 1 fully cooked bacon product, which cooks in three minutes on a flattop and four minutes in the oven. Also highlighted at the show was its fully cooked Fuse Burger, made with lean turkey and brown rice for a better-for-you burger option that’s under 90 calories.
Blendtec debuted the latest version of its self-service, self-cleaning, ice-making smoothie machine at the NRA Show. The convenience-store industry is one of the target segments for the machine.
Keurig launched its new Bolt system, which makes 64 ounces of coffee in 2 minutes using premeasured large pods. The Bolt was the recipient of an NRA Food and Beverage Innovations award at this year’s show.
Another new entry to the blended treats category, the Magna Blend from Taylor Co. can make shakes, smoothies and even cocktails in nine seconds. It features a rinsing platform within the footprint, and recipes can be updated via flashdrive.
Brakebush was sampling a few new, flavor-forward products, including potato-chip-encrusted chicken tenders—which the company recommends serving in a “chicken wafflewich”—and sriracha chicken bites.
The Broaster Co. was showing off its new branding across the company, from corporate to its Genuine Broaster Chicken and Broaster Express brands. It also debuted the SmartTouch touch-screen controller for its pressure fryers, and a smartphone app for consumers looking for the closest Broaster location.
Among Hatco’s product spotlights was a multicontact grill with removable, dishwasher-safe platens that make it easy to clean and swap out textures based on menu needs.
Manitowoc put the spotlight on advancements to its Convotherm 4 combi oven, including an advanced close system for more efficient cooking. The company won a Kitchen Innovations award this year for a new iteration of its Blend-In-Cup machine that allows for manual ice fill (vs. onboard ice making).
Ovention won its second consecutive Kitchen Innovations award this year for the Shuttle, a conveyor variation on its revolutionary Matchbox. The patented Precision Impingement allows operators to control time and blower speeds for each item.
Drawing a crowd on the floor was TurboChef’s colorful new Fire oven, which cooks raw-dough, Neapolitan-style pizza in as little as 90 seconds. This countertop convection oven can reach up to 800 degrees.