FDF Awards 2018

Our awards are fast becoming the industry benchmark of excellence for innovation, competitiveness and talent.

***Please note most categories are now closed for entry***

Each year, companies from across the food and drink supply chain enter the FDF Awards and over 500 guests come together to celebrate the winners at the FDF Awards ceremony.

Did your company lead a successful project that you are really proud of? Do you have an outstanding colleague that deserves recognition?

Emerging Business is still open for entry until 3rd May 2018. All other categories are now closed for entry and shortlist will be announced in the Summer.

How to enter?

Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on 20 September 2018.

Who can enter?

  • Food and drink manufacturers
  • Retailers, producers, growers, hospitality
  • Sectors working with the food and drink supply chain including researchers, distributors, health, local authorities, education providers

2018 Awards Categories

Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by AKTRION FOOD)

There are more apprentices than ever in the food and drink supply chain. These are the potential industry leaders of the future. Our Apprentice of the Year will have shown exceptional progress in both their skills development and studies or have made an exceptional contribution to the business through a one-off project.

Those nominated must be undertaking their apprenticeship at the time of nomination. The nomination can be made by a line manager, HR representative or college tutor.

Brand launch of the year – NEW FOR 2018!

Have you launched an exciting new brand, whether a single product or a range? Or is your business strengthening an existing brand or rebranding an existing range?

This category will look at food and drink manufacturers launching a new brand, launching a new initiative to strengthen an existing brand or launching a rebrand. In all three cases, the brand may relate to a single product or a range of products.

Judges will look at the brand positioning, communication, differentiation, protectability and the initiatives taken to build consumer engagement, whether rational, emotional or both. Entries will need to show why a specific brand approach has been adopted, the steps taken to protect and communicate it, with metrics demonstrating consumer engagement.

Campaign of the Year

Companies are becoming ever-more innovative in communicating with their audiences. This category is for in-house or agency teams to enter campaigns centring on sales, driving behaviour change, launches, research or increasing awareness. The campaign can utilise a variety of media including digital, PR or marketing.

The judges will be looking for campaigns that are strongly evaluated against their original aims. Success will be considered against the original objectives and should include a variety of measurements, not just AVE or 'likes'.

The judges will be looking for a campaign that is creative, achieves its objectives, is clearly evaluated and robustly demonstrates its value for money.

View the 2017 winner's case study

Community Partner (sponsored by General Mills)

Are you making a difference in your community?

Many food and drink supply chain companies work closely with their communities and this can either be a physical community, such as those living close to the factory; a specific sector of society or even an online community.

We are looking for companies that have carried out outstanding work with their chosen community and made a positive difference.

View the 2017 winner's case study

Diet & Health

Has your company made a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of its customers? FDF will award projects that have improved diets and health either through:

  • Product reformulation, changing recipes to help people achieve dietary goals*, for example by reducing salt, fat and sugar content or increasing fibre or vegetable composition
  • Focusing on portion sizes and offering a range of smaller or more adaptable products to encourage appropriate consumption
  • Creating new products – helping people achieve dietary goals*

The category is open to all sizes of companies and achievement will be judged on the following criteria:

  • The business case. As well as being the right thing to do, how did your project fit in with the organisation's wider objectives and business plan
  • Research and evidence. All submissions should clearly show not only the need for the project but also the research, evidence and testing used to support the project
  • The reach of the project. Each submission should clearly show the audience reached and how the change benefits the consumer
  • The development process. Whether it is an original concept or extension of existing work, the judges need to see the steps from concept to final project delivery

*This award is aimed at recognising where companies are helping the general population achieve dietary goals by changing products or introducing new products. Judges will be considering the UK dietary guidance for both nutrients (e.g. salt, sugars, saturated fat, energy, fibre) or foods (fruit & vegetables, oily fish). Foods that are designed to help consumers with specific medical conditions, e.g. gluten free, will not be considered.

Education Initiative

Many companies work positively with schools and colleges to encourage interest in food and drink manufacturing and help to facilitate employment opportunities for young people. Nominations could be for a one-off event, an ongoing contribution to lessons, schemes to experience the world of work or develop employability skills.
Entries can be made for local or national initiatives.

Environmental Leadership (sponsored by Kite Packaging)

Everyone is looking to produce more with less and with less impact on the environment. Our Environmental Leadership category is for companies that can meet either of the criteria below:

  • Embedding sustainability throughout a product from development right through to customer use and disposal
  • Ground-breaking initiatives to reduce your company's impact on the planet

View the 2017 winner's case study

Exporter of the Year

British food and drink has never been more popular and exports continue to be a key area for growth. This category is for companies that are entering new markets, creating targeted products or growing sales in established markets. It is open to manufacturers but also to intermediary companies. The judges will look at achievement and ambition relative to the size of the company, not just the largest sales figures!

View the 2017 winner's case study

Food and Drink Engineer of the Year (sponsored by Sheffield Hallam University)

Engineering skills are essential for our industry to grow and we want to recognise the people that will make this happen. Entrants can be nominated by a colleague, line manager or self-nominate.
Nominees must:

  • Be currently employed within the UK food and drink manufacturing sector
  • Have contributed to product development over a sustained period or be a promising new entrant to the industry who has led at least one significant project
  • Be a positive role model/ambassador within the company and externally
  • Go 'above and beyond' as an exceptional employee in both their work and behaviours

Supported by the Year of Engineering

View the 2017 winner's case study

Food and Drink Scientist of the Year

Scientific developments help to give our industry its competitive edge and we are fortunate to have many talented scientists working within our sector. This award will recognise someone who has made an exceptional contribution to the food and drink sector.

Nominees must:

  • Be currently employed within the UK food and drink manufacturing sector
  • Have contributed to product development over a sustained period or be a promising new entrant to the industry who has led at least one significant project
  • Be a positive role model/ambassador within the company and externally
  • Go 'above and beyond' as an exceptional employee in both their work and behaviours

View the 2017 winner's case study

HR Initiative

Employee recruitment and retention is important to a successful company, so show us how your company is a great place to work. Initiatives under this category must specifically benefit your employees and could include employee support, innovative training, workplace wellbeing or an 'above and beyond' approach to flexibility.

View the 2017 winner's case study

Innovation (sponsored by Omron)

Many companies within our industry do exceptional work, creating products or developing new ways of thinking and working. Entrants must show either of these:

  • Significant development achieved over the past three years in either product research and/or Development in the food supply chain eg developing new ingredients to cut waste or improve yield
  • A significant and innovative change to the way you do business eg processes, factory design or logistics

View the 2017 winner's case study

Rising Star (sponsored by PepsiCo UK)

We're looking for the bright sparks of the food and drink industry with this brand new award category. Open to entrants within their first five years in the industry at any academic and training level, the Rising Star category is for the people with the potential to go far. Nominations can be made by line managers or HR managers.

View the 2017 winner's case study

Emerging Business (sponsored by Grant Thornton UK LLP)

Have you started your business and experienced a significant growth in the past few years? Are you proud to be a thriving food or drink company in your area? This year, we will be recognising a winner from each region and country of the UK in our Emerging Business award category. We are looking to find the best inspiring and thriving food or drink producer from each area.

UK regions mapThe five regions are:

1. Southern England
Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Channel and Scilly Isles, London, Hertfordshire, Essex, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Northamptonshire, Surrey, Kent, Sussex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Isle of Wight
2. Northern England
Northumberland, Cumbria, Durham, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, West Midlands, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire
3. Wales
4. Scotland
5. Northern Ireland

We will be awarding our winners based on achievement relative to company size and we will also be looking at the sustainability and ambition of growth.

Growth can be through increased sales, capacity and resource expansion, developing new and innovative product lines or even impressive first-year achievements after starting from scratch. In short, if you think your business is fabulous, enter and tell us why.

View the 2017 winner's case studies:

Tweet us!

Follow us at @Foodanddrinkfed . If you want to catch up with our FDF Awards tweets, then simply search Twitter by for the hash tag #FDFAwards.