Products Featuring AI, Other Tech Earn 2024 KIs

Eight makers earn back-to-back honors, with some building new capabilities into products recognized last year.

KIA Showroom Opt

The latest batch of Kitchen Innovations recipients announced today, Feb. 21, showcase advancements in automation, efficiency, safety enhancements and sustainability.

“The evolving landscape of technology—including developments in AI, robotic solutions, autonomous ordering and customer service—has elevated the KI Awards to expand beyond back-of-house operations to also recognize innovations that offer labor, waste and energy savings,” says Tom Cindric, president of the National Restaurant Association Show.

The recipients were selected by an independent panel of judges, including leaders from Aramark, Cracker Barrel, Walt Disney World Resort and the U.S. Air Force.

“There’s no such thing as a ‘basic’ kitchen anymore,” says judge Foster F. Frable Jr., president of Clevenger Frable LaVallee. “Menus and cuisine now incorporate ingredients, cooking and preparation methods that were unimaginable a decade ago. The KI Awards serve as a gateway to explore new products evaluated by unbiased industry experts, not just for novelty, but for genuine innovation and practicality.”

The 2024 recipients are as follows:

• Aniai—Alpha Cloud “patty quality assistant”
• Apex Order Pickup Solutions—OrderHQ Exterior Smart Food Locker
• Atosa—Auto Seasoning and Auto Packaging Station
• Blodgett—ImVection IMV-4E oven
• Broaster Co.—E-Series 24G high-volume pressure fryer
• Ecolab— Nexa Concentrates 2.0 hand hygiene system; rapid multi surface disinfectant Cleaner
• Evo America—Evo EVent open canopy hood
• Franke Coffee Systems—Mytico Due fully automatic coffee machine
• Henkelman—Aura vacuum packaging system
• Hobart—CL rack conveyor dishmachine
• Kwick Cool—Tri-Temp Kold Pak pizza prep tabletop
• Lab2Fab—PizzaBot automated pizza-making system
• Newton CFV—Discrete constant flow valve
• Pentair—Everpure EZ-RO reverse osmosis system
• Pitco Frialator—TorQ fryer
• RATIONAL—iCareSystem AutoDose combi cleaning system
• T&S Brass and Bronze Works—Y-Valve spray valve
• TechMagic Inc.—I-Robo cooking robot
• True Mfg.—True Ice machine
• Unox—Cheftop-X combi with digital ID
• Varimixer—ERGO series mixer
• Waring—Xpress multipurpose cooktop
• Wild Goose Filling—Cervizi draft beer system
• Wunder-Bar—M5 bargun

Products will be showcased in the Kitchen Innovations Showroom at the National Restaurant Association Show, taking place May 18-21 at McCormick Place in Chicago. The show also will include a session titled “The Kitchen of the Future: Kitchen Innovations Awardees Paving the Way for What’s Next” at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 18.

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