Overheard at the Allergy show…. ’These awards are all the same – they are all fixed! Just look at the winners – all the big companies like Dietary Specials who can pay to make sure they win….’
Well, as it happens, although Dietary Specials did win a category in this year’s FreeFrom Food Awards (bread) they contributed no money to this year’s awards apart from their £75 entry fee – but the comment did make me look at again at the winners to see whether there was any justification for it or whether the awards actually reflected the profile of freefrom manufacturers in the UK.
I therefore divided winning companies in to four categories:
1. Tiny – effectively start ups – with max three employees including the owners.
2. More established but still small companies – turning over £100-500,000 a year.
3. Middle ranking companies – well established, probably household names in freefrom households but little known outside – over £1 million a year turnover.
4. Multinationals, major corporations and supermarkets.
I may be hugely miscalculating the turnover of some of the competing companies (who may well never speak to me again as a result…) but, assuming that I got it vaguely right, this was how they panned out:
Category 10 Scones: Go Free Foods
Category 11 Sweet biscuits: Pourtoi
Category 14 Chocolate and sweet snacks: Conscious Foods
Category 14 Chocolate and sweet snacks: Go*Do
2. Small but more established:
Innovation Award: Mamma Cucina
Category 2 Plant spreads: Le Sojami
Category 5 Pasta: Hale & Hearty
Category 8 Savoury pies: The Black Farmer
Category 13 Desserts: BoojaBooja
Category 16 Beer: Green’s
3. Middle ranking companies – turnover around £1 million per annum
Category 1 Dairy/lactose free milks: Delamere Dairy
Category 3 Breakfast cereals: Nature’s Path
Category 4 Breads: Dietary Specials
Categories 6 & 7: Doves Farm
Category 8 Savory pies: Look what we found
Category 9 Savory biscuits: Clearspring
That seems like a fairly reasonable representation of freefrom producers – but I would be interested in anyone else’s take on it.