Created to help get more fantastic Scottish food and drink products onto more Scottish retail shelves, the winners of the inaugural Scottish Retail Food & Drink Awards have already started gaining new listings!
With interest in local sourcing arguably higher than ever, a new industry awards has recognised and rewarded some of Scotland’s finest food and drink products.
Created specifically to help get more of Scotland’s fantastic food and drink products onto more Scottish retail shelves, the Scottish Retail Food & Drink Awards have already seen winners gaining new listings, despite the winners of the inaugural awards only being announced very recently.
After almost three weeks of intensive judging involving hundreds of products and more than 60 expert judges from across the food and drink sector, the results include a selection of outstanding Scottish products targeting retail listings in Scotland.
Scottish Retail Food and Drink Awards Director, Helen Lyons, said: “We were delighted to see so many fantastic Scottish food and drink producers take part in the awards which have one very simple goal: to get more of Scotland’s fantastic food and drink products onto more Scottish retail shelves.
“The Scottish Retail Food and Drink Awards were created not only to help producers secure listings but to help retailers unearth fantastic Scottish products to stock in their stores.
“With interest in locally, regionally and nationally sourced products arguably higher than ever among Scottish retailers and consumers, this has been a fantastic time to win a Scottish Retail Food and Drink Award. I would like to congratulate all of the winners on their fantastic achievement.”
While the Scottish Retail Food & Drink Awards are centred on Scottish products, a small number of categories allowed UK producers targeting listings in Scottish store to highlight their products.
Among the UK Producer winners at the Awards was Northern Ireland’s Thompson’s Family Teas for its Scottish Blend product. Still blended by cousins Ross and David Thompson at their state of the art tea blending facility in Belfast, Thompson’s Family Teas have collected numerous awards over the years, including more than 100 Great Taste gongs.
Each blend is taste tested by a Thompson to ensure that it meets the exacting standards set by the Thompson family which have been passionately adhered to for over 120 years.
Ross Thompson said: “To win a Scottish Retail Food & Drink Award is very exciting and is an acknowledgement of our dedication to importing and blending the world’s finest teas. Only the best leaves, which are highly prized and command a greater price, find their way into our award-winning blends. It takes a certain amount of courage to choose what is best over what is most profitable; we stay focused on sourcing leaves with superior taste and flavour, and simply can’t be persuaded to do it any other way.”
Awards secure new Spar listings for McGhee’s
Glasgow-based McGhee’s Bakery has secured new listings in Spar Scotland as a direct result of winning Scottish Retail Food & Drink Awards. Spar Scotland will be listing McGhee’s award-winning Hand Crafted Ginger & Marmalade Slice from this month.
The listing came as a direct result of the product winning a Scottish Retail Food & Drink Award and sees it go on sale in all of Spar Scotland’s 107 company-owned stores as well as being offered to over 300 independent Spar retailers in Scotland.
“When we first got involved with the Scottish Retail Food & Drink Awards it was because the Awards shared the same goals and aims as we hold dear in Spar Scotland,” says the company’s Head of Food-to-Go Stephen Brown. “We are both committed to getting more fantastic quality Scottish products onto more Scottish shelves and we are delighted to be listing McGhee’s Hand Crafted Ginger & Marmalade Slice.”
Gordon McGhee says: “We were delighted to win and also over the moon that winning an Award has led to this new listing with Spar Scotland. We absolutely look forward to sharing this delicious and award-winning product with a much wider audience across Scotland.”
And that wasn’t the only good news for McGhee’s. The discussions with Brown and Spar Scotland also led to an initiative which will see the bakery’s iconic Crispy Morning Roll spreading its wings beyond its Glasgow heartland. The product secured a Highly Commended prize at the recent Scottish Retail Food & Drink Awards.
“We will be trialling the Crispy Morning Roll in regions like Fife and Dundee,” explains Brown. “In Glasgow, the product is an absolute institution – and for very good reason. It’s a perfect example of a simple product done really, really well – and we are aiming to establish whether customers outside of Glasgow will be similarly enchanted.”
Fresh take on Scottish favourite
Scottish confectionery business Tilly Confectionery was among the winners this year, securing an Award for its innovative take on a Scottish classic: Mrs Tilly’s Malt Whisky Tablet.
Launched last year as a variation the company’s award-winning Scottish tablet, the product was available in a themed Burns Night box format and features a subtle hint of Malt Whisky blended through it.
The tablet – with its medium-hard, melt in the mouth texture coupled with a creamy flavour – certainly hit a sweet spot with the judges, who described it as “utterly delicious” and “very hard to put down”.
It is also gluten-free as well as being free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives.