We scooped a whole host of awards last week at the prestigious Quality Food Awards, a mark of excellence for the finest food and drink on the market. More than 40 Co-op products were winners, highly commended or commended. With products tested by industry professional judges, the awards champion and celebrate the best food available.
Co-op products winning on the night were: Irresistible Lemon Drizzle Cake, Irresistible Chaource, Irresistible Sticky Toffee Pudding, Irresistible Brown Butter Pecan Ice Cream, Lemon Drizzle Cake Kit, Irresistible Sundried Tomato, Parmigiano Reggiano and Aubergine Cappellacci, Irresistible Chicken Makhani with Beetroot Rice, Irresistible Beef Bourguignon with Dauphinoise Potatoes, and Red Thai Chicken Soup.
Christmas winners included: Irresistible Luxury Award Winning Cheese Selection (in stores from 13 December), Co-op Smashing Dome Dessert, Turkey and Trimmings Box (both in stores from 20 December) and our Irresistible Cheese Board Hand Cooked Crisps (in stores from 13 December).
We also had 5 winners in the Good Choice Q Awards, which focus on healthier options for customers, including the overall Gold Award for our Mango and Lime Coconut Water Lollies. The other winners were our Cauliflower and Coconut Vegan Meal Pot, Free From Chocolate Ganache Pot, Free From Coffee Dessert, and our Gluten Free Breaded Mini Fillets.
Breige Donaghy, Director of Delicious Food said:
“Co-op has long championed food that not only tastes great but that does good and is sourced responsibly. Our teams go to great lengths to source amazing ingredients and investigate growing and processing techniques to develop products with the very best flavour profiles.
We spend time getting to know our customers and understanding their shopping behaviours, to allow us to really innovate within the market. The industry is recognising our focus and investment on delivering great quality products that differentiate us from competitors, surprising and delighting those who shop with us.
Winning these awards is a great privilege but also recognises the hard work that the team has put in to be able to offer our shoppers high quality products, conveniently.”
The evening also saw the search for the Small Producer of the Year reach its conclusion, the award is in partnership with Co-op as part of our commitment to championing local producers.
Winners following the search for the nation’s Small Producer of the Year, are: Love Brownies Hand Made Gluten Free Double Chocolate Brownies (Ambient category); Condessa Welsh Liqueurs – Sloe Gin (beer/spirit winner); Tea Rex Wakey Wakey Rise and Rawr (drinks winner); Brown Cow Organics Live Vanilla Yogurt (fresh/ frozen winner) and, Yossi Classic Falafel – the Gold Q Winner.
Speaking about the small producers, Simon Dryell, our Head of Local Sourcing, said:
“It was a proud night for the Co-op, great recognition for great product development. We were also pleased to champion and provide a platform for smaller, local, producers. British food is world renowned and the standard of entries has been truly amazing. It’s been a real pleasure to explore the diversity and creativity of produce and we’d like to congratulate all of the finalists.
We know that food provenance, quality and trust are key for our customers, and we’re proud to give local producers pride of place in our stores. It’s exciting to collaborate with smaller producers with their innovation, quality, pride, passion and traditions. The Co-op is dedicated to championing and showcasing local producers, and we’re now keen to work with the finalists of the Small Producer category and offer the technical support and guidance that could help to see their product on the shelves of their local Co-op.”
Congratulations to everyone involved.