Shortlist announced for Speciality & Fine Food Fair Awards 2023

1 August, 23
The shortlist has been announced for the third edition of the Speciality & Fine Food Fair Awards, which celebrate innovative products and inspiring independent retailers in the world of artisan food & drink.

The shortlist has been announced for the third edition of the Speciality & Fine Food Fair Awards, which celebrate innovative products and inspiring independent retailers in the world of artisan food & drink.

The results of the awards will now be opened up to public industry vote, with the ultimate winners decided by a combination of the judges ranking and the public vote. The winners will be celebrated in a special ceremony on the evening of the first day of the Fair, which returns to Olympia London on 11-12 September.

This year’s awards are comprised of seven categories:

• ‘Not Yet on the Shelf’
• New Product of the Year – UK
• New Product of the Year – International
• Sustainability Pioneer of the Year
• Small Independent Retailer of the Year, in partnership with BIRA
• Large Independent Retailer of the Year, in partnership with BIRA
• Outstanding Industry Champion

The Not Yet on the Shelf category, new for 2023, is open to products that are not yet listed in any retailers: truly new products representing an exciting future for the food & drink market.

“The introduction of the ‘Not Yet on the Shelf’ award is a fantastic idea for both the brand and the retailer,” comments Adrian Boswell, Food Buyer at Selfridges and awards judge. “In an industry where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to have a point of difference, a focus on this area plays an important part of given retailers the opportunity to be first to market and provide a launch pad for exciting new brands.”

The shortlist for this category is:

• Cherry and Almond Jam by Winnie’s Original
• Truffle Hot Sauce by Truffle Guys Ltd
• Chestnut Gnocchi by Cornwall Pasta Co
• Spherika Date Pearls by Pescaviar S.L.

The New Product of the Year – International category celebrates products from international businesses taking part in the Fair, with entries from all around the world sampled by the panel of industry judges.

The shortlist for this category is:

• Truffle Chocolate by chocoMe kft.
• 16 Chocolate Tasting Box by Culinaris UK Ltd
• Dark Chocolate with Jerk Seasoning by Pure Chocolate Jamaica
• Marshmallow Crunchies by Turtle

New Product of the Year – UK showcases exciting new products being launched at this year’s event by producers at the Fair.

The shortlist for this category is:

• Goldstone Rum by Goldstone Rum
• Tiny Tee’s Dirty Martini by Whitebox Cocktails
• Non-Alcoholic Ginger Wine by Jackson Roze

Sustainability Pioneer of the Year is a category which can be entered by businesses, individuals or initiatives demonstrating a pioneering, industry-leading approach to ESG and environmental concerns.

The shortlist for this category is:

• Date Sultan
• Bay Coffee Roasters
• Golden Hooves
• Two Farmers

The Small Independent Retailer of the Year Award, in partnership with BIRA, is presented to a pioneering smaller retailer at the heart of their community. The winner will be a forward-thinking independent retailer with less than £500k annual turnover and/or 10 or fewer employees.

• Usman Shah
• Martin Dupee
• Refill Therapy Ltd
• Drapers Lane Delicatessen

The Large Independent Retailer of the Year Award is presented to a pioneering retailer with over £500k annual turnover and/or more than 11 employees. The winner is a forward-thinking retailer, a real advocate for independent businesses, and leads by example to push for change and development for the industry on key agendas.

• Flourish at Glenavon Farm
• Cobbs Farm Co Ltd
• Grasmere Gingerbread®
• The De Beauvoir Deli

Outstanding Industry Champion, nominated by leading professionals in the sector, will be announced alongside the award winners on day one of the Fair on 11 September at Olympia London.

The judges for this year’s event were Adrian Boswell, Food Buyer, Selfridges; Stephen Minall, Co-Founder, FDReviews; Vhari Russell, Managing Director, Food Marketing Experts; Tara Mei, Founder, Mahalo Supplies; Steve Walpole, Culinary Consultant and Laura Roberts, Owner, Laura’s Larder.

Roberts comments: “It was a wonderful experience being a judge for the Speciality & Fine Food Fair Awards, the session was emotional and opinionated – as it should be! We were challenged and excited in equal parts by an array of interesting, fun, and purposeful products. I’m looking forward to the year ahead!”

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