The 2022 Scottish Retail Food & Drink Awards

Mark your calendar – food and drink producers from Scotland are invited to enter the 2022 Scottish Retail Food & Drink Awards (SRFDA).

Launched last year, the Scottish Retail Food & Drink Awards celebrate the vast array of quality food and drink products locally produced in Scotland.

Hundreds of food and drink producers from small artisan producers as well as larger businesses, who were keen to get listings in Scottish retail outlets, took part last year and winners proved that Scottish food and drink has its deserved reputation for quality and taste.

Helen Lyons, Co-founder of the Scottish Retail Food & Drinks Awards, attributes the success of awards to the exceptional selection of products available throughout the length and breadth of Scotland.

“After three weeks of intensive judging involving hundreds of products and more than 60 expert judges from across the Scottish food and drink sector, we were delighted to recognise 53 products with a Scottish Food & Drink Award.

“This year we are looking to bring even more producers from the Scottish food and drink community together and extend their opportunity to get listings in more retail outlets around Scotland.”

Lyons said the number of nominations last year was outstanding with submissions in various categories to fit every producer’s specialisation.

Six Scottish products were recognised with a Scottish Retail Food & Drink Platinum award:

· Small Producer – Thule Ventus, Salt Cod Pate from Shetland Islands

· Small Producer – Lunun Gin, Lunun Gin from Fife

· Large Producer – Mackie’s of Scotland, Traditional Dairy Ice Cream from Aberdeenshire

· Large Producer – GM Spirits, Edinburgh Rum

· Own Label – Aldi, Specially Selected Steak & Ale Pie

· Own Label – Aldi, 12 Year Old Speyside Scotch Whisky

Renowned Scottish chef Dean Banks, former winner of the Masterchef Professional competition and the man behind Platinum Award-winning Lunun Gin, said: “We put a lot of time, effort and passion into creating Lunun Gin so it was absolutely fantastic to receive a Scottish Retail Food & Drink Platinum award, not least because of the quality of the judging panel. Our award-winning gin is proudly available in all of our restaurants, as well as in many retail outlets, and the Award has helped open new doors for us. We are thrilled.”

Lyons added: “We only recognise the best of the best and we know the awards are going to be bigger and better this year. We are grateful for the support of our judges and sponsors who keep us motivated.”

A leading panel of distinguished experts judge the awards led by internationally-renowned food expert Jane Milton. Official ambassador for the awards will be Bruce Langlands, a highly esteemed figure and former Director of Foods at Harrods and Director of Food & Hospitality at Selfridges.

When looking for the award winners, the judges look specifically for Scottish producers who have been truly innovative and focus on product quality, taste, packaging and value for money.

Research commissioned by 56 Degrees Insight as part of the 2022 Scottish Retail Food & Drink Awards programme said the Scottish food and drink sector is key to Scotland’s economic growth, employing over 115,000 people and contributing £14billionper year to Scotland’s economy.

Sustainability is an increasing concern for Scottish consumers, which is why the SRFDAs will once again strive to recognise products with strong sustainability credentials through the judging process. The research has also shown that 56% of Scots seek products where food miles are reduced as far as possible, with 61% noting that clear display of sustainability information (e.g. no palm oil) on the product is important. What is more, 66% will choose products which are plastic-free and recyclable.

Lyons said: “As we adapt to a post-pandemic normal, new eating and consumer shopping habits have surfaced as a result. Eating healthy food is now important to 90% of Scots, while the boom in free-from, meat or dairy-free products is set to continue throughout 2022 as retailers put increasing emphasis on allergens communication in-store due to consumers seeking out more of these products.

“Buying Scottish and locally has boomed in the past couple of years. We know that 65% of those researched prefer the Saltire branding on their food and drink packaging rather than the Union flag which leaves us in no doubt that promoting Scottish branding on products is an important factor.”

The Scottish Retail Food & Drink Awards are the ultimate platform to recognise and showcase innovation, with the primary goal to help more Scottish producers get their brand on retail shelves.

Headline sponsor for the event is Reflex and other sponsors also include Invest NI, SWA and SPAR Scotland. The team at the Scottish Retail Food & Drink Awards are also proud to work with Partners 56 Degrees Insight, The Scottish Sun, The Times in Scotland, The Sunday Times in Scotland, SLR and TWIR.

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