Northern Ireland companies scoop top titles at FreeFrom Food Awards
15 June 2016
In an impressive feat, the two top titles in the inaugural FreeFrom Food Awards were both scooped by Northern Irish companies.
‘Product of the Year 2016’ was won by Antrim-based Rule of Crumb for its Gluten Free Salted Caramel & Chocolate Profiteroles, while Armagh-based BFree walked away with the ‘Product Range of the Year 2016’.
In fact, Invest NI reports these were far from the only pleasing results recorded by Northern Ireland companies at the event. As well as the two overall awards, they bagged five golds, five silvers and four bronzes out of 37 categories.
According to Invest NI, these achievements reflect the strength of the free-from category in Northern Ireland, where companies are increasingly exploring the business opportunities being presented by the developing market demand for such products.
Strong performance by Aldi
Aldi was another big winner at the awards which celebrate the very best in gluten-free food from across Europe.
Aldi’s winning line up was as follows: Has No Gluten Free Irish White Bread (€1.89) won gold, Has No Irish Coffee Cake (€2.29) won silver and Specially Selected Gluten-Free Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies (€1.99) won bronze. Aldi’s Harvest Kitchen Irish Curry Sauce (€2.99) and Carlos Gluten-free Pepperoni Pizza (€2.49) both received merits.
Finbar McCarthy, Aldi Ireland group buying director, said the retailer was “extremely proud” about the result. “ Our gluten-free range has been developed to provide the best tasting products without the premium price that is usually attached to buying gluten-free,” McCarthy said.
The FreeFrom Food Awards Ireland were founded by John Burke, a coeliac and businessman from Dublin, who has been a judge in the UK awards for a number of years. The purpose of the awards is to reward the producers of gluten free products for quality and innovation and also, importantly to provide feedback to those producers.