Food innovation awarded in Shire

The 2012 winners of the Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards were revealed at a special awards dinner last week.

A total of 11 category award winners were announced at the event, which was held at the Thainstone Exchange in Inverurie on Thursday, March 15, with prizes being presented by Peter Marks, Group Chief of Executive of the Co-operative Group.

Mr Marks judged products along with Craig Stevenson, owner and managing director of Braehead Foods Ltd, and freelance journalist Karen Peattie. They spent the day tasting and assessing entries from 28 North East food and drink companies.

More than 180 guests from the local food and drink industry attended the dinner, where Mr Marks addressed the audience.

He said: “I didn’t know what to expect as it’s my first time at this event but I have been hugely impressed with the ingenuity and entrepreneurship of all the entrants we have seen.

“It’s been truly wonderful to see so many great, new and innovative products. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some of these products on our shelves in the near future.

“We often hear from our politicians and economists that we need manufacturing businesses to lead us out of the recession and I have seen strong evidence that the enterprising food and drink sector in Grampian is well placed to lead the way in helping the country with its recovery.”

Nor-Sea Foods Ltd, which has a factory in Fraserburgh, took first place in the ‘Best new Retail Product for businesses with more than 25 employees’ category.

They claimed the award for their Tesco Finest Piri Piri Mackerel Strips.

Other winners in this category were Dean of Huntly Ltd’s Dean’s Cheese Oat Nibbles Range in extra mature cheddar, extra mature cheddar and chive, and extra mature cheddar and chilli flavours, which came second.

Inverurie’s Mackie’s of Scotland finished third, with their Mackie’s Indulgent Dairy Ice Cream in the flavours rum and raisin, butterscotch, and toffee apple.

A full list of award winners is available on the Aberdeenshire Council website.