NOSH Best of 2021 Awards

NOSH’s annual Best Of awards honor the individuals, brands and products that have demonstrated excellence during the year and resonance that will extend far beyond the last twelve months.

Following another year of pandemic-induced challenges and the continued importance of brand action on issues ranging from sustainability to diversity and inclusion, 2021 marks a year where food companies were charged with reenergizing and sometimes rethinking their entire approach. The result is a handful of companies, products and people that stand out for going above and beyond while remaining resilient with efficacious missions and values behind their great products.

Our brand of the year, Lily’s, is notable for its engagement with consumer interests. The low sugar chocolate maker experienced record growth this year while influencing and revitalizing the confection and chocolate category at large.

Our people of the year award honors two brand leaders, Miyoko’s founder and CEO Miyoko Schinner and Tofurky president Jaime Athos, who have been at the helm of the fight to give plant-based brands a voice in conversations around legislation aimed at restricting the labeling and marketing of plant-based foods. NOSH’s marketing campaign of the year recognizes one of these brands for taking this fight one step further and honors Tofurky’s “mini-billboard” packaging that gave consumer’s an actionable way to enter the broader fight against climate change.

For all of these reasons, and many more, out of a pool of hundreds of nominated brands, we have selected the winners for this year’s NOSH Best of 2021 Awards in recognition of their continued efforts to improve our food system, grocery store shelves and communities -- one bite at a time.

See the full list of NOSH Best of 2021 Nominees.

Brand of the Year

Reserved for companies whose work throughout the year has created lasting, substantial, positive change through innovation and high quality.



Low sugar chocolate brand Lily’s has had a pretty sweet year, expanding distribution, launching new products and landing a deal that set the industry a buzz.

Person of the Year

Reserved for individuals whose work throughout the year has created lasting, substantial, positive change through innovation and high quality.

Rising Stars

Companies whose work has great potential to shift or open categories, create new ideas about products or brands, and have shown growth that indicates they will have an enduring presence in the industry.

Best Packaging

The brand or product with innovative package design that stands out amongst the rest on shelf, which can include either a new product on the market or a brand that has undergone a major packaging refresh.

Mauna Loa Rebrand

Mauna Loa Rebrand

As part of its goal to make Mauna Loa a nutritional powerhouse, the 74-year-old Hawaiian macadamia nut brand launched a new look this year. The new look, with brand strategy from Purely Righteous and design by Moxie Sozo, kept the brand’s signature blue background but added new illustrations of Hawaiian landmarks and a fresh logo emblematic of Mauna Loa mountain.

Best Marketing Campaign

Awarded to the company that broke through the noise with its marketing campaign which grabbed the attention of both consumers and industry peers

Tofurky Burger Packaging

Tofurky Burger Packaging

With new burger packaging this year, plant-based meat brand Tofurky posed an important question: Can a burger save the world? While many alt-meat brands tout their benefits to the environment, Tofurky used its precious label space as a “mini billboard” to advocate for action on climate change.

Best New Products

Lines or SKUs that have been introduced in the previous year that have at least one outstanding quality in terms of taste, design, cause, formulation, or that generate interest over their disruptive potential.

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