Performance Awards Shortlist
This year, more than ever, we are so pleased to be celebrating the hard working individuals in the Irish food and drink industry, who have worked tirelessly to support their companies and communities during the pandemic.
Congratulations to everyone who made the shortlist.
Best COVID-19 Response Initiative by a Producer/Retailer
Great Northern Larder, Boyne Valley Food Box
Great Northern Larder teamed up with the Boyne Valley producer network to create a veg box with products from local producers enabling online sales and deliveries. Ruairi had this scheme up and running within 24 hours, the first in the country to have such a service.
Lidl was the first Irish retailer to introduce priority hours for elderly and vulnerable customers. Lidl Community Gift Cards were designed for customers shopping for cocooners, with the addition of a ‘Cocooners Shopping List’ for family and friends to use. A dedicated WhatsApp chatbot allows shoppers to text to find out how busy their local store is at any given time, along with a traffic light system to manage customer numbers in store. Additionally, Lidl has donated more than €800,000 to their charity partner Jigsaw.
Phytaphix, Immune Phix Immunity Support
Dr Conor created Immune Phix to contain key nutrients for immunity including vitamins B12, C and D as well as magnesium, selenium, zinc and flavonoids. Phytaphix is 100% Irish owned, manufactured and packaged as well as containing Irish ingredients, with nutrients derived from food sources such as Irish mushroom, berries, cherries, Irish Sea minerals etc.
Vegan Sandwich Co: Rapid Growth in the Midst of a Pandemic
The Vegan Sandwich Co flipped from two people selling at markets to a new e-commerce platform, enabling click and collect, seeing so much growth they were able to employ seven more people, and open a sandwich shop in Smithfield.
Best Initiative by a Foodservice Provider
Using social media and the creation of an ecommerce platform to advertise and sell patisserie products direct to consumer, facilitating the retention of the whole team of patisserie chefs.
Pizza Si Distribution
DIY Pizza Kits created and delivered direct to customer homes, enabling restaurant quality pizza in the home, with the ingredients to make 4 Margherita pizzas and 2 garlic breads delivered anywhere in Ireland for €24.99.
COVID-19 Response Frontline Hero
Set his business to helping the local community with several schemes: with home vegetable delivery; donation of over 3000 food parcels to NHS workers; restaurant vouchers to spend in local restaurants; sponsorship of a grassroots sports team; and offering temporary employment to 30 local people.
The creation of an online free producers directory, oonagheats.com, featuring over 240 food producers who don’t necessarily have online sales facilities, enabling them to gain sales and maintain revenue in new markets, reaching new customers.
As Occupational Nurse at the Birdseye factories, Patricia moved to create COVID – safe working conditions for more than 500 people across two factories, including distancing measures, thermal imaging and more to enable the continued production of more than 100million pizzas annually.
Own Label Range of the Year sponsored by
Dunnes Stores Simply Better Range
Dunnes Stores Simply Better is a cross category collection spanning all major food categories including bakery, confectionery, coffee, cheese, meat, and occasion-specific products. The range has a key focus on provenance, source and quality produce, working closely with producers from all over Ireland and abroad to source and develop products. The producer story is absolutely intrinsic to the Simply Better brand.
Lidl Ireland Beef Range
One of the key highlights of Lidl’s private label assortment development this year is the retailer’s revamped beef range. With a focus on sustainability Lidl has become the first retailer to roll out FSC-certified paper packaging for beef products, and across the range using 75% less plastic saving more than 70 tonnes of plastic per year. In addition, Lidl will receive fresh beef deliveries from Liffey Meats using new Biogas fuelled trucks cutting the carbon emissions by more than a fifth. They have secured an export deal to the value of €14m.
Lidl Ireland Dundalgan Whiskey Range
As part of their 2020 private label development strategy, Lidl worked closely with their long-term supplier, West Cork Distillers, to rebrand their range of affordable, award-winning Dundalgan Irish Whiskeys. Although the rebrand reflects the high-quality of the Dundalgan brand, the 5 delicious varieties of whiskey are still widely affordable at less than €20. Lidl has invested more than €12 million into West Cork Distillers to date.
Evelyn Garland & Luke Judge, Simply Fit Food
Evelyn and Luke founded Simply Fit Food, providing healthy meals and soups. In 2020 they raised €11,000 for frontline staff and elderly people. At 26 and 28 they have secured an acquisition from one of the UK/ROI’s largest food to go manufacturers.
Rebecca McCaul, Heineken
Rebecca completed a degree in Food Science from the University of Limerick and since then has worked for Aurivo, Good4U Foods and now is a sales representative for Heineken, and is praised for her willingness to learn, consideration and decision making.
Supplier of the Year
Doreen and her husband, Wilfred, opened Carleton Cakes in 1994 while raising four children. They have grown their business based on traditional values and home style recipes to create innovative and delicious bakery products, using other Irish suppliers for butter, eggs, and preserves.
Rock A Doodle Do
Created a range of hot sauces for the band Snow Patrol, where all the profits go to help a great charity called 'Music For All', whose goal is to provide instruments and lessons to those who need help.
The Gluten Free Kitchen Company
Supply food freshly made to order in a fully gluten free, Coeliac safe environment free from oats, rye, wheat and barley, after finding some gluten free branded products were not fully suitable for coeliacs.
The Village Dairy
Works with local farms to supply to homes, hotels, cafes and supermarkets, aiming to always get the milk from the farm to the customer in just 24 hours, supplying customers with fresh, great-tasting, quality milk products with full traceability from farm to fridge.
Wexford Home Preserves
Tom and Laura took over the reins from a family member to run this small family business, making artisan sweet and savoury preserves and conserves by hand using traditional recipes with the open pot boiling method.