Innovative Food NI ‘stars’ at Irish Quality Food Awards

More than a dozen innovative products from Northern Ireland companies were successful in the Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards 2017. Six Food NI members were successful in the awards which influence major retailers across the island.

The prestigious awards, held in Dublin, recognised the quality and originality of Irish food and drink supplied, in particular, to retailers across the island.

Winners from Northern Ireland ranged from smaller artisan businesses such as Clandeboye Estate Yogurt for a product supplied to Aldi Ireland’s Select Range – Greek Style Yogurt with Mango and Lime – to major manufacturers such as Dale Farm, Northern Ireland’s largest dairy company, for its Lidl Ireland Rathdarragh Extra Mature Cheddar in the cheese category. Both are active Food NI member companies

Other Food NI winners were:

Rich Sauces, Newtownards, county Down for its chipotle sauce in added ingredients for foodservice;

Golden Popcorn, Antrim for Sweet and Salty Duo Popcorn;

Deli Lites, Warrenpoint, county Down and Applegreen for Vitality Salad; and

White’s Speedicook Oats, Tandragee, county Armagh and Aldi Ireland for Organic Porridge;

Launched in 1979, the Quality Food Awards are the most prestigious awards for food and drink products on sale in UK grocery outlets, and this is due in large part to the transparency and robustness of the judging process.

Due to huge demand from the Irish market, the Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards were launched in 2013 for the retail sector and the Irish Café Quality Food Awards launched in 2015 to recognise the foodservice sector. They were  rebranded in 2017 as the Irish Foodservice Quality Food Awards  to better represent the marketplace.

Expert judging panels are comprised of chefs, chef-lecturers, home economists, food writers, and consultants, restaurateurs, food technologists and representatives from regional food groups, all of whom bring their extensive knowledge to bear in the process.

The Irish Quality Food Awards are unique in that they reward great tasting products, with the finest of flavours, textures and aromas. They reward nutritious products, with the finest ingredients lists, while also recognising innovation, great packaging and presentation.

The awards not only reward achievements in new product development, but also point the way for future success through continual innovation and creativity. Each year the awards demonstrate the capacity of retailers and manufacturers to create marvellous new products.