Irish food and drink producers were honoured in the fourth Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards at a dazzling ceremony hosted by Ballymaloe Celebrity Chef and cookery author Rachel Allen at the Mansion House in Dublin.
Taking the top prize of the Gold Q was James Whelan Butchers with their Dry Aged Angus Striploin Steak. Being on the judging panel we can honestly say this was the most worthy winner.
Pat Whelan, CEO at James Whelan Butchers, commented; “Winning the Gold Q Award was fantastic recognition. Not only for our business and our products but most of all for our wonderful team of dedicated professionals who work so hard every day sharing great Irish food with our loyal customers.”
Dunnes Stores were named Retailer of the Year, including winning Gold in the Value Q category for Dunnes Stores My Family Favourites Mature White Cheddar produced by Bandon Vale.
As former winners can testify, picking up an Irish Quality Food and Drink Award is a powerful marketing tool, with many winners using the awards’ logos on their packaging and in national press, television and outdoor advertising. Mairead Finnegan runs and owns Roll It Pastry, whose Sweet Shortcrust Pastry won the Frozen Food – Sweet category last year. “Winning in my category two years in a row has not only allowed me to grow in confidence but sales increased quite significantly in 2015 and in particularly in the last quarter following the awards being announced,” commented Mairead. “The publicity surrounding the awards resulted in my products going into trial with a major Irish retailer and that along with a growth in sales in existing retailers meant that my turnover in Q4 2015 was almost equal to my entire turnover in 2014.”
The awards themselves are organised into two distinct sections: Irish Quality Food Awards – products for the multiple and independent grocery retail market and the Irish Quality Drink Awards – alcoholic drinks for the retail sector.
Camran Crafts’ Orange, Mango and Gin Marshmallow has won the highly acclaimed Irish Quality Food Awards’ Small Producer of the Year Award, sponsored by Dunnes Stores ‘Simply Better’ range.
This sweet treat is one of Camran Crafts, Ballycarry, Co. Antrim’s artisan range of marshmallows. The marshmallows were originally made for the children of the two founders, Tracie McFerran and Wendy Campbell. Inspired by their children, who are people with autism, they initially developed the range to be enjoyed without additives and E numbers. The marshmallows proved so popular, they developed additional ranges for adults which includes last night’s winning Carmen Crafts’ Orange, Mango and Gin Marshmallow.
This award also gives Camran Crafts the opportunity to work with the Simply Better Development and Buying team to launch, market and develop their brand as part of Dunnes Stores ‘Simply Better’ food collection.
Congratulations to all the winners.