Food Manufacture Excellence Awards 2023: Past winners speak up

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Nimisha Raja speaks to Food Manufacture on her company's win at the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards
Nimisha Raja speaks to Food Manufacture on her company's win at the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards

Related tags FMEAs Ambient

As the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards 2023 rapidly approach, we speak with past winner Nim's Fruit Crisps to find out what it meant for them and their team.

The Food Manufacture Excellence Awards recognise the hard work and successes within the industry throughout the past year through the highest profile set of free-to-enter, independent awards, which focus on manufacturing excellence rather than products. 

The awards have been celebrating the latest innovations and greatest achievements within the UK's fast-growing food and drink industry for more than 20 years, and this year we are planning our biggest celebration yet on Thursday 9 February 2023 at London Hilton Bankside. 

Key dates

Entry Deadline:​  12 September 

Awards Ceremony:​ 9 February 2023 at the Hilton Bankside hotel, London 

Nim’s Fruit Crisps took home the award for Ambient Food Manufacturing Company of the Year at this year’s ceremony, a packed black-tie dinner held at the London’s Hilton Bankside Hotel. 

Founder and chief executive Nimisha Raja told Food Manufacture​ that the awards were a great way to celebrate the achievements of all the production staff and fostered a great deal of camaraderie among members of the food and drink manufacturing industry. 

“It just makes it all worthwhile,” ​said Raja. “Secondly, it gives us a lot of recognition as well – the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards are really well respected. 

“It means a lot to us and even our suppliers and every time we’ve won we’ve advertised it and promoted it on our social media and some of our customers will write back and say, ‘well done and well deserved’. To get that feedback from our customers who we supply is fantastic. 

“We're still very young compared to some of the other manufacturers who enter, so to have won awards like this mean so much and makes all our hard work worthwhile. And it's one night when we can get all dolled up and come out and really, you know, let lose on the dance floor.” 

Headline sponsor: Menzies

Event Sponsors:  

  • Aptean 
  • Columbus 
  • DDK 
  • Nvolve

Reminiscing on the company's first time at the awards, Raja was aware of what it was like to be the ‘new kids on the block’ and the huge confidence boost winning an award can have for a business. Nim’s Fruit Crisps took home the prize for Small and Medium-sized enterprise of the Year at the 2016 awards.  

“It's not about showing off,”​ she explained. It's about just being recognised from time to time for the hard work you put in – it's time well worth invested, if only to get a night out with your team members in a really plush place. 

“The recognition is something – people do recognize ​[The Food Manufacture​ Excellence Awards] and come to you and we've had business coming soon after we've won every single year.” 

Entries are now open for the 2023 Food Manufacture​ Excellence Awards, with more chances to win with the launch of another new category, Pet Food Manufacturing Company of the Year. 

Entrants can enter as many categories as they like. More information on all the award categories, last year's winners and how to enter can be found on the dedicated awards website,​.​ 

Moo Free: Free-From Manufacturing Company of the Year 2022

"Winning the Free-From Company of the Year award at the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards 2022 was an incredible achievement for the entire team to celebrate. We were extremely pleased to be recognised for this prestigious award, which reflects all that we do at Moo Free.

"Our mission is to make chocolate that everyone can enjoy, whether you’re dairy free, vegan or just seeking great tasting, ethical chocolate that doesn’t use palm oil or soya. We are proud to be a dedicated free-from brand that makes award-winning and innovative choccy creations that are consumed all around the UK, and the world, using Rainforest Alliance cocoa to help support sustainable farming. We have a zero-waste policy and champion those who have autism within our wonderful team.

"Awards like the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards, are a great accolade for a small, family-run business like ours, which can help to support conversations with our new and existing customers and continue to spread the word of Moo Free and all that we offer."

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