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Iceland Foods had a great night (9 June) at the 2016 BFFF Annual Awards culminating in them claiming the star prize of Retail Product of the Year for their ‘Slimming World’ Chicken Tikka Masala.

Iceland’s drive for innovation and authenticity pleased the consumer panels, which judge the awards, in all categories and saw them pick-up Gold Awards in the Best New Poultry, Best Meat and Best Pizza, Savouries & Savoury Bread categories.

Organised by British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF), the awards were the highlight of the trade association’s annual gala dinner dance at the London Hilton on Park Lane hotel. Sponsored by the Yearsley Group, the UK’s largest frozen food logistics service provider, the awards are recognised as the frozen industry’s top accolade.

Gold Award category winners included: Aldi Stores which won Best Fish Based Product for its Specially Selected 2 Mini Salmon Wellingtons and Lakeside Food Group which won Best Vegetable Based Product for Specially Selected 2 Mushroom, Cranberry & Brie Wellingtons made for Aldi Stores. Whilst the Gold for Best Ice Cream, Dessert or Confectionery product was won by Coppenrath & Wiese.

Product of the Year: Slimming World Chicken Tikka Masala, is part of Iceland’s exclusive frozen Slimming World range which includes eight pre-prepared meals developed in line with Slimming World’s Free Foods concept. It has become the retailer’s most successful range ever.

Now in their twenty ninth year, the awards are unique in that the winners are judged by panels of independent consumers from across the UK who mark the products for appearance, taste, innovation, packaging, preparation instructions, likelihood of purchase and value for money.

Commenting on the awards, Brian Young, BFFF chief executive said: “This year’s awards are a real triumph for Iceland. and its collaboration with Slimming World.

“All of the finalists should be rightly proud of their achievement. This year we have had a record number of entries. The quality of products submitted for judging has been outstanding and once again, demonstrates the on-going innovation and creativity of frozen food producers.

He added: “Consumers continue to recognise that frozen food is nutritious and tasty as well as providing value for money, minimal waste and convenience.”

Peter Allan, BFFF President, Sarah Russell of Iceland Foods Ltd. and Harry Yearsley of the Yearsley Group (l-r)

Peter Allan, BFFF President, Sarah Russell of Iceland Foods Ltd. and Harry Yearsley of the Yearsley Group (l-r)

Contact  Simply Photography for presentation photos.


Best New Poultry-Based Product:

‘Slimming World’ Chicken Tikka Masala from Iceland Foods Ltd.

Best New Fish-Based Product:

‘Specially Selected’ 2 Mini Salmon Wellingtons – Prawn, White Wine and Cheese Sauce from Aldi Stores Ltd.

Best New Vegetable-Based Product:

‘Aldi Specially Selected’ 2 Mushroom, Cranberry & Brie Wellingtons by Lakeside Food Group

Best New Meat-Based Product:

Perfect Crackling Pork Leg Joint from Iceland Foods Ltd.

 Best New Pizza, Savouries and Savoury Bread Product:

‘Luxury’ 2 Vintage Somerset Cheddar Soufflés from Iceland Foods Ltd.

Best New Ice Cream/Dessert/Confectionery Product:

‘Tesco’ Salted Caramel Gateau by Coppenrath & Wiese (UK) Ltd.

 (NB: Winners details including Silver and Bronze Award winners are listed separately)

Brian Young, BFFF Chief Executive, says, “The Retail Product of the Year is a triumph for both Iceland Foods and their collaboration with Slimming World”.

Iceland have teamed up with the UK’s leading slimming organisation to create their first ever selection of convenient, delicious and healthy meals – they are only available from Iceland. The range includes 8 pre-prepared meals that have been developed ‘in line’ with Slimming World’s Free FoodsTM concept, which offers delicious everyday foods. You don’t have to be a Slimming World member to enjoy them – with meals so delicious, they’ll make the perfect tea for anyone.

Slimming World’s new frozen ready meals has become Iceland’s most successful range ever launched. Demand for the Derbyshire-based firm’s meals were so high that one meal was sold every minute in each of Iceland’s 850 UK stores in the first four hours of trading.

The most popular item in the range has been the Chicken Tikka Masala ready meal which is made from tender chunks of marinated chicken breast in a tantalisingly spicy onion and red pepper tikka sauce and sells for the very attractive price of just £3.00.

Not only are Iceland delivering fabulous products but they are also judged to be one of the top companies to work for. In 2014 Iceland were judged the best big company to work for in the UK and their charismatic leader, Malcolm Walker, was runner up in the best leader category.

There really is no stopping Iceland, with their people delighted to work for one of the best employers in the UK, and their association with Slimming World delivering an incredibly successful product launch.

The frozen food retail market is now worth £5.8 billion based on data currently supplied by Kantar Worldpanel for year ending 27th March 2016 and shows a very small decline year on year for both value and volume. This is hardly surprising as retailers generally have struggled to show any kind of growth over the last year whilst the discounters led by Aldi and Lidl continue to show impressive growth.

Traditionally as the economy improves frozen food in retail finds life more difficult whilst in foodservice sales tend to pick up. The current trends are very typical of what we would expect from the economic cycle.

The range and variety of products that were entered into the awards in 2016 showed that innovation is alive and well in the frozen food category with a wonderful range of inventive, mouth-wateringly good, delicious products being offered to consumers.

As the economy improves attention turns to factors other than simply price and the benefits of frozen delivering minimal wastage, locked-in goodness and great value will undoubtedly continue to be relevant and important to consumers in 2016.

Editors Notes:

The winners in the retail sector are decided by panels of consumers throughout the UK, who mark the products for appearance, taste, innovation, packaging, preparation instructions, likelihood of purchase and value for money. The BFFF Retail awards represent ‘the people’s choice’ and many consumers have endured a very difficult two years through the credit crunch and the recession. However, there is no doubt that consumers continue to be aspirational in their needs and that the frozen food sector is able to meet many of those aspirations.

This is the 29th year of the BFFF Awards which started in 1988.