The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) announced the winners of its first-ever Penguin Pitch: Emerging Brand Contest. Designed to identify the next big name within the frozen or refrigerated aisle, the competition vetted entries down to eight top finalists, who impressed judges with innovative products and creative approaches.

The competition included a diverse range of entries, with a judging panel tasting and evaluating samples of the following finalists:

  • Armored Fresh: Oat milk sliced American cheese that easily melts.
  • Big Mozz: Offering a fresh take on mozzarella sticks with a cleaner label and delicious taste.
  • Laoban Dumplings & Wow BaoBoth offering restaurant-quality frozen bao buns, capitalizing on the steamed dumpling trend.
  • Lopaus Point: Showcasing frozen blueberry waffles with an emphasis on wholesome ingredients.
  • MingsBings: Celebrity Chef Ming Tsai’s Supreme Pizza Bings, a unique twist on pizza rolls.
  • Mona’s Curryations: Authentic yet easy to prepare Chicken Tikka Masala entrée. 
  • Unlimeat: Plant-based Korean BBQ sliced “beef” for a plant-forward option.

Taking home the “Most Unique Promotional Campaign” award is MingsBings, praised for its crispy and flavorful taste, great size, and innovative fusion meal solutions. Its multi-serving packaging and diverse cooking options, along with engaging marketing tactics, impressed the judges. Lopaus Point’s focus on wholesome ingredients and attractive packaging earned them the “Creative Packaging” win. For the “Most Disruptive Product” award, Wow Bao takes the win for its buns’ restaurant-ready appeal and authentic taste. The Grand Prize, awarded for ”Overall Excellence,” goes to Big Mozz for their giant-sized, authentically crafted, made with clean ingredients, mozzarella sticks.

“The Penguin Pitch is a unique way for us to celebrate the industry’s constant innovation, while recognizing emerging brands looking to make a big impact,” said Tricia Greyshock, NFRA president and CEO. “These products represent a taste of the future, offering options that consumers can really get excited about.”

In winning top honors, Big Mozz will receive a coveted table spot at Café NFRA during this year’s NFRA Convention, October 5-8, in National Harbor, Maryland. This unique opportunity will allow Big Mozz to showcase its product directly to industry retail leaders and decision-makers, positioning them for further success in the frozen foods market. 

About National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA)
 NFRA is a non-profit trade association representing all segments of the frozen and refrigerated foods industry. NFRA sponsors national promotions ReDiscover Dairy & Frozen (January), March Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month and Summer Favorites Ice Cream & Novelties (June/July); and provides consumer information such as food safety guidelines, meal preparation tips, recipes and sweepstakes opportunities through its Easy Home Meals consumer website and social media properties.