""MILFORD, IN  (November 4, 2009) — Maple Leaf Farms fully cooked Duck Wings received a Spirit of Innovation Award at the Prepared Foods New Products’ Conference 2009 held in September. The Duck Wings were awarded third place in the Foodservice category.  
The Spirit of Innovation Awards recognize exceptional and innovative product development teams for their pioneering work on exciting new products in two categories: Foodservice and Retail.

Maple Leaf Farms Duck Wings expand the category, offering operators a new protein option which lends itself to a myriad of flavor combinations.  The wings come fully cooked – produced in a unique cooking procedure that tenderizes the meat but retains the crunchy outside coating. The tender duck meat in a crispy coating creates an appealing contrast in texture and flavor.

The Maple Leaf Farms Duck Wings allow restaurants to add a duck application to their menus that prepares in 4 minutes and can be offered at an attractive price point. The new prepared duck wings, paired with signature sauces, help operators heighten their guests dining experiences and cash in on the growing sophistication of their customers’ palates.  .  
Maple Leaf Farms research and development team for Duck Wings was headed by Carmen Darland as the product and formulation lead. The production and launch of the product was a team effort, involving employees from across the company and an outside co-packer. Working together, the team created a product that provides customers with the uniqueness of duck in a familiar format.  
A panel of industry experts evaluated products nominated for Spirit of Innovation Awards on a variety of criteria, including coordination among the company’s departments and/or vendors; the ingenuity of the product’s concept; and sensory quality of the nominated food or beverage.  
Past Spirit of Innovation Award winners include Hormel Foods, Tyson Foods, Kraft Foods, ConAgra Foods and General Mills. Maple Leaf Farms is proud to be among these industry leaders.  

The Spirit of Innovation Award was created by Prepared Foods magazine and Ventura Foods

About Maple Leaf Farms:  Maple Leaf Farms is America’s leading producer of quality duck products, supplying foodservice and retails markets throughout the world with innovative, value-added foods.  The company also produces a line of chicken patties, strips, nuggets and gourmet entrees.  Founded in 1958, Maple Leaf Farms is a third generation family-owned company that employs more than 1,200 people at operations in Indiana, Wisconsin, California, and Michigan. For more information, please visit www.mapleleaffarms.com.

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