The awards, which were organised by the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF), recognised the most innovative and creative new frozen food products launched in retail and foodservice in the last 12 months.
Aldi scooped the Retail Product of the Year category for its Specially Selected 4 Cheese & Onion Quarter Pounders. Whilst Heron won the Innovation Award for its Chippy Curry Battered Chicken Strips.
On the night Aldi was the biggest winner and collected five Gold Awards, closely followed by Iceland which won two Gold and three Silver Awards. M&S also gained a Gold Award for its Plant Kitchen No Chicken Gyoza as well as collecting a Silver and a Bronze Award in other categories.
The retail awards are judged by panels of independent consumers from across the UK who mark the products blind for appearance, taste, and aroma before moving onto assess them for innovation, packaging, preparation instructions, likelihood of purchase and value for money.
In foodservice, KK Fine Foods claimed the Foodservice Product of the Year for its Mixed Arancini and Bannisters’ Baby Hasselback Potatoes claimed the Innovation Award. Billington Food Group celebrated with two Gold Awards and KK Fine Foods also collected a second Gold Award for its Sri Lankan King Prawn & White Fish Curry.
The foodservice awards are judged by representatives of the Craft Guild of Chefs, who include executive chefs, catering managers and recipe developers.
Richard Harrow, BFFF chief executive, said: “I am incredibly proud of the hard work and creativity demonstrated by all the entrants and the BFFF team. The impressive innovation happening across frozen is incredibly encouraging, especially considering the important role the sector has to play as we look towards a future of increased value for the consumer and decreased food waste for us all.
“The range and diversity of products entered into the awards this year was fascinating to analyse, with over 137 products entered. We were also delighted to see M&S enter our awards for the first time in many years.
In addition to the product awards, a number of individuals were recognised for their contribution to the frozen food sector.
They included Declan Henderson, category development manager, specialist nutrition, at Apetito, who claimed the Rising Star award. Lee Sheppard, director of corporate affairs and policy, and his team at Apetito won the Sustainability Champion award and Iceland Foods managing director Nigel Broadhurst won the Lifetime Achievement Award.
BFFF People Awards winners
- Adaptability Champion: Wiltshire Farm Foods team
- Special Award for Innovation: David Lennox and Lauren Metcalfe, Iceland Foods
- Supply Chain/Logistics Team of the Year: Top Bank Team, The Ice Co
- Rising Star: Declan Henderson, Apetito
- Sustainability Champion: Lee Sheppard & team, Apetito
- Digital Champion: Ellie Shreeves, Birds Eye
- Key Account Manager/Commercial Champion: James, Buckingham, Birds Eye
- Outstanding Contribution: Jonathan Whiteley, Birds Eye
- Charity/Community Champion: Yvonne Bennett, Cargill
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Nigel Broadhurst, Iceland Foods