In one of the biggest award ceremonies in the food industry, Yorkshire-based The Ice Co has won SME Brand of the Year.
The Grocer Gold Awards are held annually by the industry leading publication ‘The Grocer’, and mark the achievements of companies and businesses in the food industry. Previous winners have included Fever Tree, Lily’s Kitchen, Child’s Farm and Bulldog.
This year’s event was held on Friday, 13 November, and due to the coronavirus pandemic was held virtually, with the ceremony filmed for people to watch.
The Ice Co, Europe’s leading ice manufacturer, was commended for its ‘brilliant’ and ‘incredibly smart’ strategy that capitalised on wider trends.
Like many other food and drink categories, ice is undergoing a premiumisation movement – led by people who want quality, premium drinks with equally superior accompaniments.
The Ice Co spotted this trend and added two new lines to its ice portfolio, including Super Cubes and Premium Ice. Super Cubes really impressed judges because of their superior quality, size and premium feel.
The Ice Co’s Premium Ice Cubes were also singled out as being for the more discerning ice consumer, while also addressing a space issue for supermarkets.
One judge said “How clever to take a commodity like ice and market it alongside one of the biggest trends in FMCG – gin.”
The judges also noted The Ice Co’s ‘highly creative’ marketing strategy that saw the ice brand partner with top gin mixologists to craft cocktails, distributing 10,000 copies of its book The Little Book of Gin and adding 13,000 inserts to 13,000 ‘Think Gin’ subscription boxes.
Super Cubes have grown 14.1% in the last year. Ginny Woolhouse, Head of Marketing at The Ice Co, said:“We are over the moon to have won SME Brand of the Year at The Grocer Gold Awards, and it’s testament to our passion for creating exciting ice products that our customers want and love.
“There has been a real step change in the way consumers are enjoying drinks, with many now opting for higher quality tipples like craft cocktails and classics like G&T. By innovating our product range alongside this changing drinks landscape, we’ve been able to keep our ice products relevant and ahead of the game
“We’re really proud of all of our ice products, but Super Cubes have definitely been the biggest winner of the year. Customers love that they’re three times larger than the average ice cube, they melt slowly, cool quickly and look fantastic served with a G&T in a Copa de Balon glass.”
Polly Metcalfe, Managing Director at The Ice Co, said, “Winning SME brand of the year is one of The Ice Co’s greatest achievements. Our strategy has been educating everyone and anyone that ice is not just frozen water – it is so much more.
“Ice is at the core of the occasion and I believe our products reflect that feeling. We aim to see our products at every occasion in every household, garden or venue, and this recognition with winning this award is one step closer to that goal.
“Winning Grocer Gold SME brand of the year has certainly made our year… and we all know what a year it has been! To be even nominated against these well known and loved brands was fantastic enough, but then we won!
“It is for achievements such as these which make all the hard work worth it. It wouldn’t have been achieved without our fantastic team of ice heroes! Congratulations to you all and thank you for being a part of our journey…”