Last Thursday saw this year’s search for foodservice’s most innovative food and drink products (as well those of us involved in food and drink marketing) culminate in a glittering ceremony, as the highly prestigious UK Foodservice Quality Food Awards celebrated the very best of the industry. Held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, the event welcomed hundreds of the foodservice industry’s key players and of course as the leading food and drink agency with a raft of clients up for awards the we were there in force. Along with the beans and some of our lovely clients, including The Real Soup Company, Manilife and Savse, there was everyone from nationwide wholesalers to ground-breaking independents – all keen to see whose products had been judged good enough to receive a highly coveted Quality mark.

From vegan alternatives and punchy new flavour combinations, to simple but effective meal solutions and innovative on-the-go options, 2018’s stable of winners had it all. To make it through to the final shortlist, each product was put through its paces by an independent judging panel of development chefs, consultants, nutritionists and industry experts (including myself). The judging, which took place back in the high of the heatwave in July, was a rigorous process which we were there to cover on social media (something you can read all about here on Jess’ blog) but it was all worth it for the big reveal! The night was hosted by Kim Reddick, Commercial Manager along with guest comperes from sponsor brands to announce the winners, one of which was us. Representing Jellybean, I took to the stage to announce the first six winners and managed not to do a Judy Finnigan or similar (thankfully!).

In all, 32 gongs were awarded on the night. Four further Gold Awards – given for best outright Free-From product, best Meat product, Small Producer of the Year and Foodservice Operator of the Year – were also handed out to rapturous applause from the room.

The winners in full:

La Boulangerie 20 – Bakery – Bread
La Boulangerie Big Lemon & Elderflower Cake – Bakery – Cakes & Pastries
Savse – Super Green Smoothie – Cold Beverages*
Country Range Jamaican Jerk Seasoning – Cooking Ingredients
Chef’s Larder Tuxford & Tebbutt Blue Stilton – Dairy Products
Brakes Smoked Houmous with Harissa – Delicatessen
Brakes Hazelnut Tart – Desserts & Puddings
Chef’s Larder Premium Luxury Seafood Cocktail – Fish & Shellfish
Chef’s Larder Premium Beer Battered Onion Rings – Frozen Food – Savoury
The Great British Ice Cream Company Blood Orange Sorbet – Frozen Food – Sweet
Simply Lunch, Asian Slaw Salad – Grab & Go
threesixty° Elevation Coffee Blend – Hot Beverages
Essentially Catering Tuna in Sunflower Oil – Meal Components
Brakes Cauliflower, Kale & Ford Farm Oak Smoked Cheddar Burger – Meat-Free Alternatives
Brakes Mexican Style Quinoa and Turtle Bean Salad – Pulses, Rice & Grains
Chef’s Larder Cooked Smoked Streaky Sandwich Bacon – Meat
Chef’s Larder Lightly Salted Tortilla Chips – Bagged Snacks & Biscuits
Chef’s Larder Premium Gourmet Crackers – Bagged Snacks & Biscuits
Asda Raspberry Viennese Finger – Bagged Snacks & Biscuits
Turkey and Stuffing Pie – Christmas Q
Costa, Shimmering Yule Log – Christmas Q
Vegan Mayonnaise Alternative – Free From – Savoury
Ooh-la-la Double Chocolate Hazelnut Tea Biscuit – Free From – Sweet
Chef’s Larder Premium Super Crisp Sweet Potato Gourmet Fries – Free From – Savoury
BlackGate Signature 6 Ultimate British Beef Burgers – Free From – Savoury
Premium Selection Vegan Chocolate and Raspberry Torte – Free From – Sweet
Chef’s Larder Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Added Ingredients
Chef’s Larder Beef Lasagne – Pre-prepared Meal Solutions
BlackGate Signature Premium Traditional Pork Sausages – Meat
The Real Soup Co., Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Soup – Pre-prepared Meal Solutions*
ManilifeManiminis portion packs – Added Ingredients*
Birchstead 21 Day Aged Sirloin – Meat

Gold Winners:

Bidfood Premium Selection Vegan Chocolate and Raspberry Torte – Free From
Brakes Birchstead 21 Day Aged Sirloin – Meat
Manilife – Maniminis Portion Packs – Small Producer*
Booker – Foodservice Operator of the Year

With three winning clients* – The Real Soup Company, Savse and Manilife; who also walked away with a Gold in the small producer category (WooHoo!); it was a triumphant night for Jellybean and our fabulous clients. Whilst, as official PR agency for the awards, it was great to see the culmination of months of hard work with such a great turn out and excitement in the room.

Helen Lyons, Publishing Director at the Foodservice Quality Food Awards, commented: “What a night! Innovation in the foodservice industry is something that should be roundly celebrated, and celebrate we did! Congratulations to the all the winners and to every company that took the time to enter. Having been part of the judging process I can attest to just how stringent our judges are and how seriously they take the job in hand. Their commitment to excellence mirrors that of our entrants. Separating the good from the great was no mean feat but we’re confident that we are now left with the standout products of 2018.”

The UK Foodservice Quality Food Awards are supported by headline sponsor Graphic Packaging International.

It is safe to say that this new addition to the Q stable, now in its second year, is certainly making its mark on the industry. The night continued with the Local Shop Quality Food Awards and later the same night the Retail Industry Awards

To find out more about the 2019 scheme visit:

Also, you might be interested to read about the results of the Retail Industry Awards 2018.

Jellybean Creative is a leading food and drink marketing and communications agency. We help top brands with foodservice pr, foodservice and drink marketing, digital and design. If you feel we could help you with your marcomms, strategy, public relations, creative or digital then drop us a line today.