The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has released the shortlist of finalists for 2021, which includes new and established brands, individuals and teams who have shone and campaigns that have made a significant impact.
The annual awards honour the dedication and commitment of those working in the industry, from farm to fork. This year’s awards are particularly noteworthy following the challenges of the past 18 months, and is scheduled to take place in person on 16 September in London, hosted by celeb restaurant critic, journalist, writer and broadcaster Jay Rayner.
This year, the FDF has introduced two new awards: the Digital Transformation Award acknowledges how pivotal the move to digital has been, while the Business Resilience Award recognises companies that weathered the considerable storms of 2020.
This year’s category sponsors include the Institute of Food Science and Technology and PepsiCo UK.
“With over 200 nominees across 18 categories, these are the biggest ever FDF Awards,” said Ian Wright CBE, CEO of the FDF.
“Those nominated exhibit the extraordinary vibrancy and resourcefulness of the food and drink industry as it faced the twin challenges of Covid-19 and the UK’s EU exit. All of those nominated are heroes. The judges have a herculean task to decide the winners.”
The players to watch
A number of players in the bakery and snack sectors have made the FDF Awards 2021 shortlist:
Brand Launch of the Year: Jason’s Sourdough; Old El Paso Tortilla Pockets; McVitie’s V.I.Bs (pladis UK&I); Walkers MAX Brand Re-Stage including New MAX Double Crunch and New KFC Flavours.
Campaign of the Year: Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s ‘We Eat Balanced’; Aunt Bessie’s ‘Caring is the hardest thing we do’; PepsiCo’s ‘Quaker Oats. Stay Home. Go Forridge’; and FareShare and Marcus Rashford’s partnership to tackle childhood holiday hunger.
FareShare’s Suplus with Purpose scheme is also up for Environmental Leadership.
Goodfella’s (pizza) non-HFSS innovation and optimisation, Graze’s (flapjack) sugar reduction and OptiBiotix’s GoFigure Blueberry & Raspberry Flapjacks are shortlisted for the Diet and Health Award.
Nairn’s Oatcakes Ltd is on track for the Exporter of the Year, while We Love Purely and The Basic Ingredients Ltd are slated for the Emerging Business Award.
Robert Jabangwe from Jordans Dorset Ryvita (part of Associated British Foods) is a finalist as the Food and Drink Engineer of the Year, while Muriel Vanoli from St. Pierre Groupe is in the running for Food and Drink Technologist/Scientist of the Year. Julie Foster from Cereal Partners UK is in line as the Registered Nutritionist/Dietitian of the Year.
Rising Stars include Alex Brown from Goodfella’s Pizza (Birds Eye UK), Premier Foods’ Beulah Davies and Huel’s Daniel Clarke.
Aunt Bessie’s 10 Glorious Golden Yorkshire Puddings from Nomad Foods and Slightly Different Foods with a food solution to improve gut health and IBS symptoms are among the Innovation finalists.
KP Snacks and Made for Drink are shortlisted for the Business Resilience Award. KP Snacks is also up for the Digital Transformation Award, as well as the HR Initiative.
The full shortlist can be accessed here.