On June 16th we will announce the winners of the British Frozen Food Awards. This prestigious event showcases the best products in frozen food in both retail and foodservice.
The process for the judging took place over several weeks with both consumer panels and an expert group of chefs.
The range and diversity of products entered into the awards this year was fascinating to analyse, with over 137 products entered from 28 different companies. We were also delighted to see M&S enter our awards for the first time in many years.
These products were tested by groups of consumers, who rated them organoleptically before finding out who supplied them as well as the price. We also asked consumers to score the products against a range of questions covering;
- Appeal of packaging
- Functionality of packaging
- Ease of use
- Value for money
- Overall opinion
- Likelihood to purchase
After they had been evaluated by the consumer panels, the products were tested by an expert panel to provide more insightful analysis. We first started using the expert panel in this way during the judging of the 2020 awards when our consumer panel process was interrupted by the pandemic. We found it added additional insight on products when combined with consumer panels. Thus, we retained this as part of the judging process. Whilst our expert panel provide valuable insight on the products, we weight the scoring so that the views of our consumer panels have a bigger impact on the final score a product achieves.
Across the seven retail product categories, we saw both family favourites to luxury innovation plus quite a few plant-based products. Within each category, we also asked panellists to nominate which products they considered to have shown the highest level of innovation. All scores were then analysed to find the overall product that showed outstanding innovation.
In foodservice, we had 73 products entered from 22 different companies. These products were assessed using an expert panel of chefs drawn from the Craft Guild of Chefs.
We had a slightly different method of judging the foodservice category as we used the expertise of the Chefs to assess the products across the following criteria.
- Suitability of packaging
- Environmentally friendly e.g., not over-packaged
- Ease of service
- Eating quality
Finally, we also asked them to rate products in each category based on which products showed the greatest level of innovation.
For the first time this year, we used 2 types of automated data capture systems for our Foodservice and Retail panels. Both were linked to a central data sheet which was tracked by one of the panel hosts throughout the judging process. This ensured all results were properly recorded before the next products were brought out. The new systems required all judges to comment on each of the products which were automatically captured and collated ready to be sent to members with a feedback form that will include the scores achieved by their products.
These reports will be issued once we have announced the results of the awards on 16 June at the Gala Dinner.
Book your tickets to attend the Gala Dinner Dance HERE