48 Scottish food and drink businesses have been selected to feature on the ultimate shortlist as the finalists for the renowned Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards are revealed.

Recognised by both trade and consumers as an accolade of the highest quality, the shortlist is set to whet the appetite for the winners’ announcement in June.

Recognition is given across 19 entered award categories which highlight the broad spectrum of excellence, innovation and best practice across the Scottish food and drink industry. Categories include Scottish Sourcing, Environmental Sustainability, Young Talent and Scottish Food & Drink Entrepreneur. Nine product-focused categories are judged by a thorough process, which includes the scrutiny of packaging, quality of product and taste. In the course of their assessment of the entries, the judges sampled 165 Scottish products ranging from fruit vinegar, charcuterie and fruit juice to picallilli and chocolate.

A record breaking 245 entries were received this year from small, medium and large enterprises. New for this year, the Food Pioneer award (sponsored by The Scotsman) drew an impressive 146 nominations from the public- making it unique in nature from the other categories which are entered by companies and individuals themselves. Judged by a panel of food and drink experts, this award will honour one individual for their pioneering work in the industry.

The shortlist represents a broad spectrum from Scotland’s food and drink scene including small businesses such as Summerhouse Drinks and Mara Seaweed to bigger players including Border Biscuits and Stoats.

The award winners will be announced at Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre on 2 June. Dubbed the Scottish food and drink ‘Oscars’, the ceremony sold out in record time and will welcome 800 guests on the night. Attendees will be treated to a drinks reception and delicious dinner which showcases the very best of Scotland’s larder and features the produce of previous winners and finalists.

Scotland Food & Drink Chief Executive James Withers commented, “The Excellence Awards is a flagship event in the Scottish food and drink industry’s calendar, recognising high calibre across the sector. It rewards the standout products, outstanding individuals and best practice across one of Scotland’s most successful industries. It is these people, products and practices which make Scotland a Land of Food and Drink.

“This year’s awards have received a record 245 entries across retail and foodservice product and business categories from 137 food and drink companies countrywide. The shortlist recognises a wide range of businesses from artisan producers to established brands. Our expert judges remarked on the high standard of entries with the tasting panel sampling 165 products over two days. Winners will be announced at the sold out awards ceremony and dinner in June, we look forward to a stellar celebration!”

The awards are organised by Scotland Food & Drink in partnership with The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS). The title sponsor is Asda and the awards are supported by Think Local.

Willie Gill, Chairman of the RHASS said, “This shortlist reinforces what we already know, which is that Scotland’s food and drink industry is blossoming with incredible businesses and producers.  The RHASS is again proud to be supporting these awards and to also represent this country’s primary food producers, whose hard work and passion is integral to the food supply chain relied on by all of the businesses in this shortlist.”

The full shortlist comprises:

Soup, Preserves & Accompaniments sponsored by Asda

The Little Herb Farm – Raspberry, Mint & Chilli Vinegar

Mara Seaweed – Shony

Mackays Ltd – Dundee Orange Marmalde

 

Dairy sponsored by Asda             

Graham’s The Family Dairy – Graham’s The Family Dairy Spreadable Butter

Mackie’s of Scotland – Mackie’s White Chocolate and Coconut Indulgent Dairy Ice Cream

Yester Farm Dairies Ltd – Natural Cottage Cheese

 

Meat sponsored by Asda             

Simon Howie Foods Ltd – Salt-Aged Aberdeen Angus Rib Eye Steak

The Buffalo Farm – Fillet Steak

Great Glen Charcuterie – Venison Salami

 

Confectionery & Snacking sponsored by Asda

Mackie’s of Scotland – Mackie’s 70% Dark Chocolate with MINT

Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier – Velvet Truffles

Macamoon – Macamoon’s Scottish Selection

 

Non-Alcoholic Drink sponsored by Asda

Cuddybridge Apple Juice – Cuddybridge Apple Juice

Summerhouse Drinks – Walter Gregor’s Tonic Water

 

Alcoholic Drink sponsored by Shepherd and Wedderburn

Gordon Castle Scotland – Gordon Castle Raspberry Gin

RTM Sales Solutions Ltd – Magnum scotch malt whisky cream liqueur

Dunnet Bay Distillers Ltd. – Holy Grass Vodka

 

Fish & Seafood sponsored by The Crown Estate

John Ross Jr (Aberdeen) Ltd – Balmoral Fillet

Loch Fyne Oysters – Bradan Orach

Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group – Morrisons Signature Coquille St. Jacques

 

Bakery & Cereal-Based sponsored by Scottish Bakers

Stoats – Hedgerow Muesli

Border Biscuits – Border Biscuits Classic Sharing Selection

Duncan’s of Deeside – Rasperry and white chocolate All Butter Shortbread

 

Foodservice Product of the Year sponsored by Sodexo

Cullisse Highland Rapeseed Oil – Cullisse Highland Rapeseed Oil

Summerhouse Drinks – Sparkling Raspberry Drink

Millers Larder Ltd – Perfyit Piccalilli

 

Commitment to Health sponsored by Rowett Institute

Duncan’s of Deeside Gluten Free

Eat Balanced

 

Brand Success of the Year sponsored by Palletforce

Border Biscuits

Graham’s The Family Dairy

Mackie’s of Scotland

 

Export Business of the Year sponsored by Bank of Scotland

Loch Duart Ltd

Associated Seafoods Ltd

Mackie’s at Taypack Ltd

 

Innovation sponsored by The Grocer      

Peel Tech Ltd

Stirling Potatoes Ltd (Stirfresh)

Scottish Sea Farms Ltd

 

Investing in People sponsored by Skills Development Scotland

The Scottish Salmon Company

Entier Limited

Loch Fyne Oysters

 

Success Through Partnership sponsored by SAOS          

Aldi

Taste of Arran

Connage Highland Dairy

 

Environmental Sustainability sponsored by Zero Waste Scotland

Ivan Wood & Sons

Kettle Produce Ltd

Paterson Arran Ltd

 

Scottish Sourcing sponsored by Taste Our Best, VisitScotland

Calmac Ferries Ltd

Edinburgh Larder

Ninth Wave Restaurant

 

Scottish Food & Drink Entrepreneur sponsored by Johnston Carmichael

Craig Anderson, The Scottish Salmon Company

William J Walker, BenRiach Distillery Co Ltd

Andrew Stirling, Stirling Potatoes Ltd (Stirfresh)

 

Young Talent sponsored by SFDF- A Future in Food

Danielle Ritchie, Entier Ltd – Area: Contract catering and Hospitality

Siobhan Macleaod, WooHa Brewing Company – Area: Brewing

Daniel Sherry, Eden Mill – Area: Alcoholic Beverages

 

Food Pioneer sponsored by The Scotsman           

Fred Berkmiller, chef

Beth Berry, market operator

Arbikie, gin and vodka producer