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Yesterday the co-founders of the Future Food Awards met at the FoodTalk offices in Ashford to judge the shortlisted finalists in each of the nine categories. After much deliberation due to the high standard of entries, the judges – Speciality Food magazine editor Holly Shackleton, FoodTalk founder Sue Nelson and Bread & Jam founder Jason Gibb – have unveiled the finalists and winners in each category.
These nine winners will now go on to pitch to the full panel of expert judges at the Bread & Jam festival on 3rd October 2019 at the Institute of Directors in London’s Pall Mall to be in with the chance of being crowned the Supreme Champion.
FARM TO FORK – CATEGORY WINNER
The judges had never tasted snails like this before; juicy with a great texture and a real ‘snail’ and ‘garden’ taste and were impressed by the farming and quality control of the natural product from hibernation all the way through to dispatch. The judges were impressed by the search for alternative sources of food which is an important part of the future of food - trying to get the public to consider new alternative protein rich options such as these oven ready snails baked in garlic butter will be key.
The judges were impressed by the dedication of the team to source truly authentic ingredients from Mexico to ensure their sauces have a depth of flavour not usually found in the category. The Mexican Mole Pipian was singled out for praise giving a complex slightly chocolatey savoury flavour with its use of guajillo and ancho chillies.
Juicy 100% natural sausages and nitrate free bacon. The judges loved the Sicilian sausages made with 100% free range Yorkshire pork and the work that had gone into the natural, honest and authentic production.
The Willy’s range of apple cider vinegar and their dedication to their 300 year old orchards and ‘mother’ culture. It is difficult to make cider vinegar palatable in ‘short form’ despite the health properties, but the judges believed that the shots, particularly the apple cider vinegar with honey and turmeric, managed to achieve this.
The Phished Fish
Using the finest sustainably sourced Scottish, sushi grade salmon the team keep tight control of their sources. The judges particularly fell for the Old Fashioned smoked salmon - slow cured in whisky to draw out moisture giving a wonderful firm texture and rich flavour. Smoked in small batches over oak chippings, left overnight then glazed with maple syrup and orange zest. Yum.
DRINK INNOVATION – CATEGORY WINNER
There are lots of healthy drinks and smoothies on the market but Luhv Drinks have been created using scientific research in partnership with King’s College London. The drinks take one area of bodily health, such as heart, and a drink is created to specifically benefit that area making it easy for consumers to make healthier decisions. The judges loved the way the team started from a health issue and designed the product backwards with the help of scientists at King’s. Perhaps one day all health-based consumables will be made this way.
Smith & Sinclair
The judges loved these edible alcoholic cocktail gummies that give a real alcohol hit in a chewy pastille. Considerable innovation and trial and error has gone into making these the world’s first edible cocktail at 8% alcohol. Five and you can’t drive!
Authentic ingredients and no nasties as you would expect, but these fruit ciders are naturally low in sugar and have less calories. The judges were impressed with their cranberry and lime cider that had a complex natural flavour and didn’t taste too sweet.
These superfood tea powders with added probiotics provide 1 billion colony forming units (CFUs) for improved gut health per cup. Can be added to lattes, soups and in baking - a real advance on the traditional capsules and supplements that by their nature are full of preservatives.
The rise in popularity in bone broth has given birth to some truly awful products, but Ossa continue to passionately produce grass fed organic beef bone broth extracting all the meaty goodness slow cooked for 48 hours. Can be used in soups but tastes wonderful as a soothing, comforting drink and just makes you instantly feel better!
WILD CARD – (impossible to categorise) – CATEGORY WINNER
A truly outstanding innovation marrying 3D printing technology which can combine 27 different active ingredients into personalised nutritional snacks. The consumer can choose their preferred vitamins or supplements (or can complete a health questionnaire for these to be determined) and the technology creates a small individually packaged snack, which allows the active ingredients to coexist without destroying each other to enhance body absorption. Wow!
Bespoke lollipops that look incredible and bring real luxury to an old fashioned and overlooked category. The judges loved these sweet treats as gifts or for weddings and
Natural and reusable food wraps made from beeswax and organic cotton. A great replacement for cling film and plastic with eyecatching designs and a more malleable material than competitive products.
An app connected sous vide cooker with a whole range of new technological features. The judges were particularly impressed by its achievement of being the world’s first IPX7 water resistant cooker, which means it can be completely submerged in water to be cleaned.
FOOD TECH INNOVATION – CATEGORY WINNER
A food service system that allows the vendor to provide a fully customisable experience for the consumer providing transparency into the ingredients and macro nutrients of a meal. The judges were impressed by the application of the system to their own food outlets to prove functionality and usability, before launching into the wider market. The judges believe this is the future of customised food.
A clever automated food waste tracking system. The judges loved the way this clever system fights food waste by engaging front line food service staff to achieve sustainable results.
This ingenious software allows food service operations to cope with the increasing difficulty of managing allergens in their food chain and giving customers information on ingredients. The judges were keen on its simplicity and how it is solving a big headache for food operators.
The Smart Container Company
The judges were struck by just how obvious this problem is for the industry and yet no one has come up with a solution until now. Kegtracker allows breweries to track the volume and temperature of each keg of beer giving important marketing data and helping manage stock control far more efficiently.
Hugely impressive technology developed over a number of years to kill weeds using electricity. With the herbicide industry facing increasing pressure from resistance, regulation and litigation this is a very real sustainable and scalable solution to manage weeds without reverting to dangerous pesticides and herbicides.
FOOD PACKAGING – CATEGORY WINNER
Producing fully recyclable ‘pouches’ for baby food purees is still 2 or 3 years away, but the team at Little Freddie didn’t want to sit back and wait for the technology to improve. They use the lowed carbon footprint laminates they can find to give the right barrier properties for baby food, and work with specialist laminate recycling technology provider Enval to recycle the used pouches so none of their products go to landfill. Parents use the Little Freddie recycling back which holds up to 15 empty pouches and these can be sent for recycling for free to Enval via their local postbox. The judges were impressed by the ‘closed loop’ approach to the whole manufacturing and post consumption process.
A simple idea – delivering a single bottle of wine to people’s homes that could fit through a letterbox which is almost impossible to achieve but Garçon have done it. A huge investment in time and prototyping to successfully develop a flattened wine bottle made of 100% recycled and recyclable PET.
An impressive investment in the development and production of a non-plastic, 100% GM free compostable packaging to house their vegan and organic Greek meals. It is almost
impossible to tell that the packaging is not plastic and yet it returns as nutrients back into soil in 12 to 15 weeks.
Successfully overcoming the very difficult problem of producing truly recyclable coffee cups, the team at Frugalpac have produced the UK’s first fully recyclable coffee cup, made from 100% recyclable paper. The two elements (the water resistant inside liner and cardboard outer, can be separated in the standard recycling process and both recycled again and again. The lid is recyclable too of course!
Blue Goose Coffee
GM-free compostable coffee pods using renewable energy, packaged in sustainably sourced, recyclable FSC cardboard and printed using vegetable inks. Although the judges found the credentials of these ‘nespresso compatible’ eco-friendly coffee pods hugely impressive, they are also the first to source with speciality grade coffees from Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance produce.
FOOD INNOVATION – CATEGORY WINNER
Bee Approved (Veganista)
Strict vegans cannot eat honey as it is considered an animal product. Bee Approved have managed to make something which looks, smells and tastes like honey that unbelievably is actually made from rice. Yes, just rice. The judging panel thought this was a real game changer for vegans who cannot eat honey. A highly deserved winner.
The UKs first handcrafted smoked salmon skin crisps. The judges were impressed by the use of industry waste being turned into the highest natural protein snack on the market and giving all the omega 3 needed in a day.
Badgers Vegan Kitchen
Badger manages to achieve the taste profile, mouth feel, visual appeal and smell of tuna mayonnaise (or tunah mayo as its called) without using fish, eggs or dairy products. A clever vegan dish to make a great tuna mayonnaise sandwich or to top a jacket potato.
AirWraps (Zinda Foods)
The judges were bowled over by these stunning tortilla wraps that taste like no other on the market. Beautifully made and with a great taste and texture the team have invested substantial time and money getting the process right to produce these wonderful wraps for supermarkets and the restaurant sector.
The judges were amazed by the complex and delicate flavour of this Thai satay sauce that has been made without using nuts. A real treat for anyone with a nut allergy.
A new and unusual addition to the ketchup market – a lovely unctuous and deep flavoured ketchup made using black garlic. Unusual and delicious.
YOUNG PRODUCER – CATEGORY WINNER
A closely fought category, the judges loved the chocolate and maca lava cake which had a great texture and taste. It would be almost impossible to tell this was a plant-based pudding, without refined sugar. A real treat for vegans or those on a gluten-free diet, not that you would be able to tell!
Helping non-cooks to start making meals in their own kitchens, these sauces are simple to use, tasty and the judges particularly liked the fun branding and funky website. The judges singled out the curried sun dried tomato paste as a winner.
An interesting idea for parents carrying snacks for children while travelling. All products are baked, with natural ingredients and available in fun packaging. The judges particularly liked the salt and vinegar almonds.
Popped lotus seeds influenced by their travels to India and aimed at consumers bored with popcorn snacks. The judges were impressed by the way they overcame a number of supply chain problems and the high fibre, high mineral and low calories count.
Hunter & Gather
The judges loved the avocado oil mayonnaise which had a much smoother texture and mouth feel than mass produced mayonnaise. They were also impressed by the range extensions being rolled out by the team.
MISSION DRIVEN – CATEGORY WINNER
Seaweed & Co
The company harvest wild Scottish seaweed using patent pending technology that protects the environment and allows mass collection of this nutritionally dense super food. The team have developed seaweed capsules as a health supplement and infused oils for the home cook. The judges believe that the team are approaching the production of their products in a truly responsible way, protecting the environment in the process and not harming it.
Oast to Host
This company continues to win more awards every year for their gluten free pastry blends and baked products. Their real achievement is creating pastry that is malleable and doesn’t crack or break as well as being deliciously buttery. They continue to campaign and educate about cooking for children with very specific dietary requirements while supplying great alternatives to those who have to live without gluten.
Bird & Wild Coffee
Most coffee producers have poor growing practices that adversely affect the ecosystem and migrating bird populations. Bird & Wild incentivise their small holder farmers to use sustainable agricultural practices and campaign to protect migrating birds by promoting shade grown coffee.
Barn Farm Drinks
All the fruit on their farm is picked, pressed and packed to Red Farm Tractor standards with full traceability and is LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) Marque certified ensuring that all activities on the farm work in harmony with the environment. The farm harvests rain water, generates power through an anaerobic digestion electricity system and solar farm, producing enough energy to 1,400 homes saving 2,400 tonne of carbon a year.
Morocco Gold is Morocco’s first exported extra virgin olive oil. For authenticity the results of the annual harvest testing is shown on each bottle and the harvesting is carried out sustainably, hand-picked and cold pressed within 24 hours. The company has supported the employment and empowerment of women in the agriculture sector in Morocco giving them greater influence over household income and expenditure which typically helps to reduce household poverty and benefit children.
NEWCOMER – CATEGORY WINNER
The judges loved this new take on beer produced by two women who hailed from the brewery sector. They have produced a new type of beer that uses infusion from hop leaves to give a prosecco-like flavour to a very refreshing ‘table’ beer giving a tangy rather than bitter flavour profile. The judges believe this will be a pioneer in the attempt to wean restaurants off only providing wine pairing options with food.
A salted maca and peanut date caramel bar with raw dark chocolate with an oat and ashwaganda biscuit made with cordycep mushrooms. A truly different but delicious vegan and gluten-free snack.
The judges were impressed by the determination of the team to overcome the horror of losing their family barn in a fire and to take the event as an opportunity to forge a new product from the fire and smoke of that day. The smoked rum is cold smoked using apple wood from their family orchards producing the first smoked rum on the market.
Sustainable packaging and frozen vegan ‘ready meals’ that are healthy and convenient. The vegan rich bourguignon wowed the judges with its texture, smell, colour and mouthfeel which really did conjure up a rich bourguignon but without any meat or dairy.
A chocolate made without artificial sweeteners, colourings or GMOs that tastes really good and contains low-GI unrefined coconut sugar. But it is the packaging that particularly impressed the judges which is compostable and plastic-free.
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