Good Work Deserves Recognition

INC Awards program comprises the Golden Nut Award, the Award for Excellence in Gastronomy, the Award for Excellence in Research and Innovation Awards.

This information is not final. It will be subjected to continuous updating until the holding of San Diego 2016 Congress.

Golden Nut Award


The Wonderful Company

Corporate Golden Nut Award

Headquartered in Los Angeles, The Wonderful Company is a privately held $4.8 billion global company dedicated to harvesting health and happiness around the world through its iconic consumer brands. The company’s 7,800 employees worldwide are dedicated to bringing consumers everywhere the freshest, most wholesome pistachios, almonds, citrus and pomegranates; bottling the finest water and wines; and creating colorful bouquets that are sure to touch the heart. This commitment is reflected in the company’s market share: Wonderful Pistachios is America’s No. 1 tree nut brand and one of the top-selling salty snacks; Wonderful Halos is the No. 1 mandarin orange in America; POM Wonderful is the No. 1 100% pomegranate brand in America; FIJI Water is America’s No. 1 premium bottled water brand; Teleflora is the No. 1 floral delivery service through local florists; and JUSTIN Wine has the No. 1 Cabernet Sauvignon in California.



Jack Mariani

Individual Golden Nut Award

Jack Mariani has been member of the INC since 1984. He served as INC Chairman from 2007 to 2011. During Jack’s chairmanship, he oversaw and instigated the whole Mas Barrufet project, an historical building restored by the contribution of over 70 INC members that hosts INC’s headquarters. Previously, Jack Mariani chaired the DFA of California. He is a partner in Mariani Nut Company. Jack Mariani is also on the board of directors of the California Walnut Board, DFA of California, California Walnut Commission, INC-NREF and University of California-Davis Foundation. He has been chairman of the Macadamia Working Group since its inception in Budapest in 2011.

Excellence in Research

Penny_Ktis Etherton_picture

Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton

Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton is distinguished professor of Nutrition at Penn State University. Dr. Kris-Etherton’s clinical nutrition research program has focused on understanding the role of nutrition in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD).  Her research has evaluated the effects of different nutrients, bioactive components and specific foods on established and emerging risk factors for CVD. She has evaluated chocolate/cocoa, dairy, lean red meat, nuts (including walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and the legume peanuts), mushrooms, and avocados. Understanding how specific foods affect CVD risk within the context of a healthy dietary pattern is useful for issuing food-based dietary guidance.

Excellence in Gastronomy


Christopher Kostow

Christopher Kostow is a Chicago native, trained in kitchens far and wide: from a Paris bistro to the Michelin-starred Le Jardin des Sens in Montpellier. He soon became top toque at Chez TJ in Mountain View, California, garnering the restaurant many accolades including two Michelin stars. Upon arriving at The Restaurant Meadowood in February of 2008, Christopher maintained two Michelin Stars, was nominated for Best Chef: Pacific by the James Beard Foundation and named as one of Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs 2009. In February 2010, Christopher garnered a rare four stars in the San Francisco Chronicle and was soon awarded with the highest ranking of three Michelin Stars from the esteemed 2011 Guide. Christopher is the second American-born chef and third youngest chef ever to receive three Michelin stars. Christopher and The Restaurant at Meadowood team have since retained the three stars from Michelin in the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 editions of the San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country Restaurants Guide; as well as the four stars in San Francisco Chronicle. He has made his debut as a writer with the book A New Napa Cuisine.

Innovation Award


Innovation Award Candidates

Blue Diamond Growers has won the Innovation Award by its product Sriracha Almonds. “I think this award specifically recognizes our specific flavor of Sriracha, which is the most successful flavor of bold almonds that we have launched since our very iconic wasabi and soy flavor”, said Mark Jansen, CEO and president of the company. “We are very honored and look forward to continue innovate all things good from almonds”.

INC wants to thank the other candidates for submitting their products and services for the Innovation Award:

  • American Pistachio Growers: The Power of Pistachios
  • Besana: Resealable Pot Solution
  • John B. Sanfilippo & Son: Fisher Nut Exactly Snack Bites Entry
  • Key Technology: VERYX Digital Sorter
  • Novolyze: The Kit of Dry Surrogates
  • Nuts for Life: Storehouse
  • The Bühler Group: SORTEX E BioVision
  • The Rising Pili Nuts of the Philippines: The Cracking Monkey
  • Woodside Electronics Corporation: WECO AgTrack


San Diego 2016

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