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CHICAGO — Foodservice players from around the world have gathered in Chicago for the 89th annual National Restaurant Association, Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, and our coverage of the event's first day led us to many interesting and innovative new products. 
 
We've compiled a list of five of this year's new items to give you an idea of the industry's emerging trends.
 
  1. Twirl Pasta Company Twirl Pasta System — Booth #3293 This brightly colored self-service pasta machine has been awarded the NRA show's Kitchen Innovations award for 2008 for its unique design and original concept. Because it only requires an attendant to ensure its mechanism is stocked with product, the system is sure to reduce labor costs and eliminate waste, as well as any variances in portion size.
  2. GLK Corporation Kurb Zide Service system — Booth #9010 This weatherproof communication post is the first of its kind that caters to brands offering curbside pick-up. Its wireless capability simplifies communication between customer and employee, while eliminating the need for a guest to leave the car when picking up a carryout order. 
  3. Brooklyn Bagel Slicer — Booth #9561  This all-new product, which won the ERA Inventor of the Year award and has been featured on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, will help fast casuals reduce employee and customer injuries with its safety-minded design. Its recessed, serrated blade and ergonomic construction are meant to make smooth bagel slicing easier and safer than ever.
  4. Podia Tabletop Display — Booth #7452 This all-new curved, plastic display capsule has a unique design and will make complicated table displays a thing of the past for any foodservice establishment. The capsule holds a simple 8 ½ x 11 document and can be displayed horizontally in addition to the traditional display on a flat surface. The product boasts a magnetic base for display on patio furniture as well.
  5. APTIV Incorporated Bio-friendly Bug Traps — Booth #9190 This innovative insect solution features designs that work to eliminate house flies, fruit flies, moths and "creepy crawlers." Its earth-conscious design includes a non-toxic, FDA-approved method of luring insects and has an 80 percent rate of effectiveness.

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