Awards

  • gluten-free-beer
    Cakes and Ale: gluten free Cakes and Ale: gluten free

    Cakes and Ale: gluten free

Cakes and Ale: gluten free

You may remember I was invited to help judge the Free From Foods Awards again this year…The winners were announced at the awards ceremony last week, and I went down to London for the evening.

Entries were up by 40% since last year, and it’s not surprising.

Apparently there is a 15% growth year on year of the free from market, and it is expected to be worth 6bn dollars by 2017. That’s a lot of us eating—and drinking—gluten free…

gluten-free-beer

The two key points I took away from the evening this year were:

  1. The array of free from beers that are now available

    I’m not a big beer drinker, but I was surprised by the range now available. If you’re interested in gluten free beer, then you should definitely check out the beers people were enjoying on the night:

  2. The number of new entrants to the market

    There are always newcomers to the free from market, particularly in the cakes/biscuits area, but it is sometimes difficult for such companies to find their place, and grow from supplying farmers’ markets locally to supplying nationally.

    However, this year, almost every manufacturer I spoke to during the evening had been in business for a very […]

  • five-gold-stars
    Try the Shortlist: FreeFrom Foods Awards 2013 Try the Shortlist: FreeFrom Foods Awards 2013

    Try the Shortlist: FreeFrom Foods Awards 2013

Try the Shortlist: FreeFrom Foods Awards 2013

five-gold-stars

At last – the FreeFrom Foods Awards shortlist is out.

I was invited to be on the judging panel for a couple of the categories again this year. This is a privilege—and not just because I got to taste 28 different kinds of cake in an afternoon!

It is fascinating, and a rare chance to spend the day in the company of experts in various aspects of living gluten free.

Plus cake, obviously.

As you’d expect, there were some strong views among the judging team, and lengthy discussion. So much so that we significantly overran the allocated time for the bread session (over 25 different kinds of bread, as well as the cake…)

But we—and the other judging teams—did eventually make our decisions. The winners of the Awards will be announced at the ceremony in London, in April. I’m looking forward to it!

Tasting such a wide variety of bread and cake at the same time made some things really clear. One of these is that the quality of gluten free goods is rising, and therefore that the ‘minimum acceptable quality bar’ for products is getting ever higher these days.

Or it should be.

There are still too many ‘good enough’ products out there on the supermarket shelves. I think we should be expecting more.

Some of the products I tasted were indistinguishable from ‘standard’ products. Not necessarily identical, but they didn’t come with that ‘obviously gluten free’ taste or smell. I’m sure you know what I mean!

One or two of the products were so good that I would buy them even if we didn’t need them to be gluten free. (Not everyone in my family eats gluten free). You’ll have to […]

Free From Food Awards Winners 2012

Finally home after an exciting jaunt to London for the Free From Foods Awards ceremony last night. You may remember that I was invited to judge a couple of the Awards categories a while ago, which was fun, so I was looking forward to the awards evening.

It turned out to be even better than I’d expected.

Imagine a room full of people with huge enthusiasm for free from food: tiny specialist companies and big retailers, journalists and bloggers, nutritionists and food development specialists, and add the party elements of delicious (and safe to eat) canapés, gluten free beer and wine… You can imagine the noise level!

It was a bigger event than I’d expected, and more international, too. There were around 150 people there – up from the 40 that the awards started with 5 years ago. It’s obviously going from strength to strength, refining and adding to the categories for entrants over time. Next year, for the first time, there’ll be a category for children’s free from foods for example. Now that’s something to look forward to!

And I had a lot of interesting conversations.

Did you know, for example, that Mrs Crimbles (Stiletto Foods) has 40 product lines? I didn’t, as all I see are what my local stores will stock.

And as I moved around the room talking to as many different people as I could (I talked to about 35 different people, so I did pretty well) it became clear that there was a consistent theme to the evening.

Companies of all sizes face a problem in getting free from products in front of people like us, the end consumers. No […]

By |April 18th, 2012|Awards, Living Gluten Free|Comments Off
  • gold-stars
    Free From Food Awards 2012 Free From Food Awards 2012

    Free From Food Awards 2012

Free From Food Awards 2012

I’m so excited to have been invited to help judge the FoodMatters Free From Food Awards 2012!

And I’m not at all surprised that Michelle reports enthusiasm among freefrom and gluten-free bloggers: who wouldn’t want to be involved in this?

Here’s the press release from FoodsMatter

———-

Judges queue up to taste-test ‘freefrom’ foods

With judging sessions for this year’s FreeFrom Food Awards set for the first week in February, expert ‘freefrom’ judges are queuing up to taste-test this year’s entries into 16 categories of freefrom foods.

Judges come from the professional food world (manufacturers, chefs and cookery writers) and from the medical world (dietitians and nutritionists) but also include allergy sufferers and coeliacs – plus some ‘normal’ food enthusiasts to benchmark the freefrom foods against their non-freefrom equivalents. This year judging ranks will also be swelled by a number of freefrom and gluten-free bloggers, all experts in tracking down new and tasty freefrom foods to write about on their blogs.

Says Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, editor of FoodsMatter.com who chairs the judging sessions

“We have some really exciting entries this year and are particularly pleased to see that previously slender categories, such as FreeFrom Ready Meals, are positively bulging. We are also very much looking forward to tasting the offerings in our new Raw Food and Superfood category – and, of course, in our ever popular gluten-free beer category. We never have any problems recruiting judges for that one!”

A shortlist of successful entries will be published on March 1st and the winners, including the winner of the FAIR trophy of the Best FreeFrom Food 2012 (won last year by Doves Farm for their gluten-free self raising flour blend) will be announced […]

Shall we see a gluten free blog in the Food Blog Awards?

Today nominations open for the Food Blog Awards, hosted annually by the Well Fed network. You can nominate a blog for the next five days by going here …

If you’ve got a food blog – and I know a lot of you have! – then why not go for nomination? Categories are:

1. Best Food Blog – Chef
2. Best Food Blog – City
3. Best Blog Covering Drinks (Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic)
4. Best Food Blog – Family/Kids
5. Best Food Blog – Group
6. Best Food Blog – Humor
7. Best Food Blog – Industry
8. Best Food Blog – Photography
9. Best Food Blog – Post
10. Best Food Blog – Rural
11. Best Food Blog – Theme
12. Best Food Blog – Writing
13. Best New Food Blog
14. Food Blog of the Year

Go on – go for it!