Food Manufacture Excellence Awards finalists announced

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Last year’s overall winner was SK Chilled Foods
Last year’s overall winner was SK Chilled Foods
Coca-Cola European Partners, PepsiCo, Weetabix, Tulip, ABP, Finsbury Food Group, Synergy Flavours, Greencore and Soanes Poultry are among the finalists for this year’s Food Manufacture Excellence Awards. And what better platform to cover the full list of finalists than Food Manufacture’s first Editor’s Spotlight newsletter, which will be published every Tuesday and Thursday from now on, highlighting key industry themes?

To celebrate with top managers and staff from these and other leading food and drink processors at the Big Top-themed black-tie awards night at London’s Hilton hotel on Park Lane on 7 November, book your tables now​. Don’t delay or you may find you miss out. 

Past attendees have found the event to be an essential chance to keep track of the latest trends, reward and motivate teams and customers, forge new partnerships and raise their company’s profile. 

Everyone who comes along to the gala ceremony, not just the winners, enjoys the benefit of considerable coverage on the night in terms of pictures and videos. Take a look at the image gallery​ from last year’s event. Or for the full list of last year’s winners, click here​.

After coming along to the 2017 awards night, Abbie Crawford, new product development manager at SK Chilled Foods, said: “A brilliant night. It is great to win one of these awards and be recognised that goes into making great quality products.”​ 

‘Great entertainment’​ 

Iba Jaggi, head of operations and exports at Nom Noms World Food, who also attended last year’s awards, said: “Fantastic event for the industry and great entertainment post awards … Thank you for a brilliant event.”​ 

The 2018 awards, which are sponsored by KDH Projects​ and Systems Integration​, will kick off with a drinks reception at 7pm and feature themed entertainment and sumptuous three course dinner. 

A host of entries flooded in from a range of product categories and disciplines and in the end were whittled down to 48 finalists across 11 categories. Scroll down for the full list. Watch this space for the six Business Leaders Award finalists, voting for which will commence online shortly. 

Chilled, fresh and dairy​ 

The chilled, fresh and dairy sector attracted so many entries that they were split to create two sets of finalists reflecting small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large businesses, with turnovers below and above £10m. 

In recognition of the difficulty in judging big businesses alongside SMEs, for the first time awards were created for overall Large Company of The Year and Small Company of The Year. 

A judging panel of industry luminaries, expertly chaired by Iain Ferguson, former boss of Tate & Lyle and joint chairman of the Food and Drink Sector Council, found picking the winners a real challenge. But after hours of debate, weighing up the relative merits of all the entries, the decisions were made. 

Excellence, creative thinking and team work shone through all the entries, showcasing talent and trailblazing initiatives and exemplifying the industry at its best. 

Amazing stories​ 

Amazing stories of entrepreneurial spirit, triumph over adversity, business recovery and emerging leaders breaking new ground proved especially inspiring against the political backdrop of gloom as Brexit looms. 

Judges boasting backgrounds in food science, regulation, manufacturing, retail and logistics heaped praise on all the finalists for their innovation, ability to transcend their limitations and commercial successes. 

New categories for 2018 included Ingredients Manufacturing Company of The Year, Export Award, Partnership Award, Apprentice of the Year and Site Team of The Year.

One overall Food Manufacture Company of The Year Award is given to one of the winners from among the main Category Awards. Last year’s winner was SK Chilled Foods​, which was also the winner of the Chilled Foods Manufacturing Company of The Year Award. Be there on the ground when this year’s overall winner is announced.

Full awards finalist list

Category Awards


Ambient Manufacturing Company of the Year

Hilltop Honey

Mr Lee’s Pure Foods

Nim’s Fruit Crisps

Sleaford Quality Foods


Bakery Manufacturing Company of the Year

Butt Foods

Cake Brands

Finsbury Food Group

Terry’s Patisserie


Chilled, Fresh & Dairy Manufacturing Company of the Year


Large Companies

JC Althams & Sons

Mash Direct

SK Chilled Foods

Willowbrook Foods


Small Companies

Chunk of Devon

Davison Canners

Tideford Organics

TS Foods


Frozen Food Manufacturing Company of the Year

Beechdean Dairies


New Forest Ice Cream


Ingredients Manufacturing Company of the Year

Meadow Foods

Pecan Deluxe Candy Company

Sleaford Quality Foods

St Ewe Free Range Eggs

Synergy Flavours


Meat, Poultry and Seafood Manufacturing Company of the Year


JC Althams & Sons

John Ross Jr

Soanes Poultry

St James Smokehouse


Industry Initiative Awards


Award for Export

Lincoln & York

Pecan Deluxe Candy Company

St James Smokehouse


Partnership Award

Lancashire Farm

SK Chilled Foods



Training Award






People Awards


Apprentice of the Year

Coca-Cola European Partnerships: Sophie Paveling

Davison Canners: Claire Baird

Ice Co: Zac Faetz

Weetabix: James Bell


Site Team of the Year


SK Chilled Foods

Soupreme Foods



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