The best new frozen food products in both retail and foodservice have been recognised at a glittering awards ceremony in London.
The annual British Frozen Food Federation’s (BFFF) Product Awards showcase the finest innovations and product excellence across the frozen category, culminating in an awards event and Gala Dinner Dance at the Park Lane London Hilton on 13 June.
Yorica UK Ltd scooped the prestigious Retail Product of the Year for its double chocolate cookie frozen dessert, which is free from 14 allergens.
Meanwhile, Paramount 21 Ltd took home the Foodservice Product of the Year with its headed and gutted coated whitebait, which is Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified.
The BFFF competition received entries from across the industry with the overall winners being selected from categories across both retail and foodservices, including Best New Ethnic or World Cuisine Product, Best New Bakery Product, Best New Starter Product, as well as special awards for innovation.
The retail awards are unique in that the winners are judged by panels of independent consumers from across the UK who mark the products for appearance, taste, innovation, packaging, preparation instructions, likelihood of purchase and value for money.
The winning products in all retail categories received high praise from the judges, with Aldi’s mince pie and brandy butter ice-cream – which picked up the Gold Award for Best New Ice Cream – described as ‘perfection’ and ‘a must-have for Christmas’.
Strong Roots Food Company made such an impact with its broccoli and purple carrot bites it was honoured with the Special Award for Innovation within retail, with one judge saying: “Loved everything about this product.”
Meanwhile in the foodservice awards, the Gold Award for Best New Ingredient, Component, Accompaniment Product went to Patchwork Foods Ltd for its bacon jam. The same product also picked up the Special Award for Innovation. Praised for its ‘unique flavour’ and ‘strong, balanced bacon taste’, the judges were impressed by its versatility as a savoury accompaniment.
The foodservice awards are well respected throughout the catering industry as all the entries are impartially judged by representatives of the prestigious Craft Guild of Chefs, who, as executive chefs, catering managers and recipe developers, are expert in their field and uncompromising in their assessments of the entries.
Richard Harrow, BFFF chief executive, said: “This is my first awards event as chief executive and I am incredibly proud of the hard work and creativity demonstrated by all the entrants and the BFFF team. The impressive innovation happening across frozen is incredibly encouraging, especially considering the important role the sector has to play as we look towards a future of increased value for the consumer and decreased food waste for us all.
He added: “Our Product Awards are testimony to the dynamism and development within the frozen category. Standards were exceptionally high, showcasing the very best in new product development and innovation. I’ve been really encouraged by the number of businesses and brands putting their products forward, which speaks volumes about the confidence they have in their offering, as well as the future of frozen.
“We are looking forward to being able to further recognise and reward the people behind the products with the upcoming BFFF People Awards, entries for which open later this summer.”