The Awards, now in their fourth year were created by the World Foods Association and recognise not only the incredible growth within the ethnic and world food sector, but also the diversity of cultures and communities that the industry is inspired by. The Awards are open exclusively to companies specialising, promoting or stocking products from the following countries: Asian, Oriental, African, Afro-Caribbean, European, East-European, Middle Eastern, South American and Mediterranean and winners will be announced at a glittering gala ceremony on Friday 2nd November at London’s prestigious Lancaster London Hotel.
The shortlist of finalists this year include:
The Marketing Campaign of the Year category sees Madonna and Demi Moore-backed, coconut water company, Vita Coco with their summer Viva Vita campaign. Viva Vita which features brand ambassador Rihanna goes up against three other worthy contenders including: High Street giant Tesco with their Ramadan campaign; the launch campaign for Shui Jing Fang, an exclusive brand of Baijiu produced by the oldest distiller on record in China, dating back 600 years; and Dragon’s Den star Levi Roots’ Reggae Reggae Sauce Campaign, which included an ad creative by the award-winning animation studio Aardman Animations.
The quality of entries within both Best New Product and Best Product categories clearly reflect the increasing creativity, diversity and commitment to the world food sector, with both traditional and new companies emerging to glean more market share.
Working in conjunction with The Spice Tailor and in close partnership with Waitrose and Ocado, TV chef and cookery writer Anjum Anand launched a brand new range of authentic Indian sauces last year. Hailed as one of the most significant product innovations in the world foods category of the last decade, the unique range of authentic Indian sauces, features in both the Best New Product and Best Product categories.
Anand faces competition from the likes of major rice manufacturer Tilda with its new childrens range, Tilda Kids – a new ready-to-heat ‘rice and veggie’ range catering specifically for children’s palates; Tesco returns again with another customer inspired brand – the Aasani Range – developed for Asians by Asians, with bright and vibrant packaging that unifies the entire range. Aasani products include traditional breads, exotic real fruit juices, snacks and creamy fragrant desserts, all at competitively low prices. Also giving Tesco and Anjum a run for their money is artisan ice cream and sorbet maker Taywell, who joined forces with Japanese restaurant chain Feng Sushi to create a range of deliciously distinctive dessert concepts guaranteed to get diners’ taste buds tingling. Taywell Feng Sushi’s Desserts, which include exotic flavours from Kaffir Lime Leaf & Coconut ice cream to Dark Chocolate & Wasabi sorbet.
The Restaurant of the Year category promises to be a hotly fought contest, with the Covent Garden branch of Jamie Oliver’s ‘Italian’ chain back in the running for a second year. The increasing popularity of Spanish tapas sees Pizarro, which is unquestionably the Spanish restaurant of the moment featured for the first time, with the age-old favourite Indian sector being celebrated with Vineet Bhatia’s Michelin starred Rasoi also a strong contender
The art of packaging is a fine balance between branding, visibility, shelf space, customer appeal and convenience all of which are clearly demonstrated this year with the three finalists in the Best Packaging category: Tilda Kids, which features Tilli the Elephant a playful character who together with friends including Charlie the Crocodile and Jasmine the Tiger, is the main feature of the beautifully designed Tilda Kids packs; The Perfect Fajita Kit by Discovery Foods which features a highly innovative and original packaging design that has never been seen before in the Mexican category; and the Asiya range of quality Halal meat and poultry products from World Foods Frozen & Chilled, created specifically for the Muslim market, where customer insight, credibility and trust have been the main drivers in the development of the packaging.
The Entrepreneur of the Year Award is again set to be a tough challenge for the judging panel, with three individuals who have not only made a mark within their own chosen industry but are the epitome of the word entrepreneur in every sense. 38-year-old Kabir Rayman is the curry prince of the North, having launched his stylish, high quality restaurant brand EastzEast in 2005 and over the past seven years has built the business into a thriving and successful chain; Fukhera Khalid started his career at the age of 16 with a small warehouse in Mitcham. Over the past 25 years Elbrook Cash & Carry has become one of the Top 30 wholesalers in the country with an annual turnover of over £100 million. In 2005, Khalid also launched Chak 89 – a restaurant that has become a favoured destination of many of the Bollywood celebrities. The success and popularity of Chak 89 has also resulted in Asda partnering with the brand to launch in-store take-away outlets for their customers. 62 year old Moni Varma, is the third of the nominees, with his multi-million pound rice business VeeTee Rice. Varma came to the UK from his native Malawi planning a completely different career, but was effectively forced into the rice business through family pressure. 45 years later he has much to be thankful for, as the core rice milling business continues to boom and with the launch of his hugely successful Dine In range of microwaveable rice products seems to have taken the market by storm.
As the Awards enter the home stretch, the high-profile panel of judges, that includes respected industry experts, Adam Leyland, Editor of The Grocer, Simon Numphud, Head of AA inspectors and Mintel’s Director of Innovation & Insight David Jago, start the final winners selection. KPMG’s Sheel Gill will again audit the judge’s results to ensure complete confidence in the judging process.
The full list of finalists for the 4th Annual Food Awards are:
ASDA Best New Product of the Year
• Taywell Feng Sushi’s Desserts
• The Spice Tailor – Anjum Anand Sauces
• Tilda Kids Rice
Chak 89 Best Product of the Year
• Tesco Aasani Range
• The Spice Tailor – Anjum Anand Sauces
• Tilda Kids Rice
Pudliszki Best Packaging of the Year
• The Perfect Fajita Kit – Discovery Foods
• Tilda Kids Rice
• Asiya’s Range, World Foods Frozen & Chilled
Pataks Wholesaler/Catering Supplier of the Year
• Euro Foods
• JJ Food Services
MEMS Marketing Campaign of the Year
• Reggae Reggae Sauces
• Tesco Ramadan Campaign
• Vita Coco – Vita Vita with Rihanna
• Launch of Chinese Baijiu, Shui Jing Fang
Terre di San Vito National Retailer of the Year
Rajah Restaurant of the Year
• Jamie’s Italian
• Rasoi Vineet Bhatia
• Jose Pizarro
Star Network Entrepreneur of the Year
• Fukhera Khalid
• Kabir Rayman
• Moni Verma
The winner of the Jaguar Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced at the glittering gala ceremony on 2nd November 2012.
Comedy legend Lenny Henry is set to host the Awards for the third year running, and says of the finalists and the industry that has inspired the Awards: “World food is more popular now than ever before and the range and quality of products entered for this year’s awards shows how far the industry has come in the past few years.
“With a big name line up of finalists like Vita Coco, Tesco, Asda, Reggae Reggae and Tilda as well as Jamie Oliver and Anjum Anand, the World Food Awards hope to drive world food further into the mainstream and celebrate the people who have worked so hard to help it evolve into a thriving and compelling industry.”
The World Food Awards 2012 will be broadcast on Star Plus to over 1 million viewers in the UK alone. Sponsors include ASDA, Jaguar, Patak’s and Rajah.
For further details please visit: www.worldfoodawards.com