November was an exciting month for us here at Fuchs! We hosted our first ever Fuchs Favorites Contest – an internal contest where employees submitted their most innovative snack seasoning ideas. We received over 100 submissions from our staff, with almost every department in the company participating. A panel of judges narrowed it down to the top five ideas, which were created by our R&D team and presented at a company-wide tasting event on November 6th. Our employees voted to determine the winner. Read below to learn more about the winning seasoning and our four fantastic finalists!
Winner: Lisa Bookhultz, QA Supervisor – Cream of Crab Soup Crackers
A huge congratulations to our winner, Lisa Bookhultz, the QA Supervisor at Fuchs, for her Cream of Crab Soup Cracker idea! Seeing as we’re a Maryland based company, just miles from the Chesapeake Bay, it was no surprise that our employees loved her idea. Lisa worked with Senior Food Scientist Darla Byerly on bringing her idea to life.
“My inspiration was the cream of crab soup that my brother cooks. He worked his way up the ranks and is now a restaurant manager of two different restaurants in Federal Hill. He even sent in a batch of his soup for us to taste test and compare,” Lisa explains.
“His recipe is extra creamy with just a hint of Maryland seafood seasoning and a dash of heat. It is truly the best crab soup I have ever tasted. This flavor is what Darla and I tried to recreate on a cracker. It has all the components of traditional cream of crab soup with a few surprise ingredients. It offers the usual comfort food appeal of cream of crab soup but with hometown roots,” she describes.
Finalist: Tom Cossentino, Assistant Controller – Goan Curry Pita Chips
When our judges were faced with narrowing down the list of over 100 submissions, Tom Cossentino’s Goan Curry stood out immediately. Inspired by a recent visit to an Indian restaurant, this flavor profile is both adventurous and authentic. Goan Curry is a spicy and sour Indian curry that is usually served over fish or shrimp. Our employees stepped out of their comfort zones to give these pita chips a try, and they were instantly a fan favorite. Crafted by Chef Elizabeth Landry, this snack seasoning is truly innovative.
Finalist: Kara McConnell, Northeast Sales Manager – Irish Cream Popcorn
Not only is this sweet, beverage inspired flavor perfect for fall, but it is also particularly on-trend. Our employees loved the rich flavor, which really transformed basic popcorn into a treat. Associate Food Scientist Brian Swing partnered with Kara to develop this delightful seasoning, which is sure to be a favorite in our R&D lab all season long!
“With the ski season approaching, Irish Cream is one of my favorite flavors to add to my hot coffee when hanging out with friends watching our children ski race. Popcorn happens to be my favorite snack and I felt it would allow the full flavor to come through,” Kara describes.
Finalist: Stephanie Salter, QA Technician –Wine & Cheese Cracker Sandwiches
Another idea inspired by beverages, Stephanie’s Wine & Cheese Cracker Sandwiches were another fan favorite. Stephanie’s coworkers encouraged her to participate in the contest, and we’re glad she listened! Food Technologist Courtney Stokes captured Stephanie’s vision perfectly. Cheesy crackers were paired with a red wine flavored cream cheese filling that looked, smelled and tasted exactly like wine and cheese.
Finalist: Kathryn Svendsgaard, Regional Sales Manager, West Coast – Hot Jam Smoked Almonds
Kathryn’s idea for a Hot Jam Smoked Almond was truly innovative – and on-trend. Our employees loved the smoky and spicy combination, developed by Associate Food Scientist Mia Andrisani. Through her work with customers, Kathryn has already demonstrated that she is full of fantastic ideas, perhaps due in part to her culinary background. When she was brainstorming ideas to submit to the contest, she thought about what flavors she seeks when she’s snacking.
“When I eat a snack I am going for flavor. Big flavor. The idea of Hot Jam Smoked Almonds is loaded with dimension and makes my mouth water. The sweetness of Jam along with the heat of chili gets even more interesting when smoke is added,” Kathryn explains.
Interested in trying one of these five fantastic seasonings? Contact Rebekah Wicke at email@example.com to request a sample.