British Turkey awards launched

Turkey producers and retailers are being offered the chance to showcase their best products with the launch of the 2011 British Turkey Awards.

Organisers are calling for entries into the prestigious annual industry awards, which are now celebrating their 15th year and is aiming to be the biggest yet with entries expected to come flooding in across the 10 carefully selected categories.

This year’s judges, made up of three consumers, a catering expert and an experienced food journalist as the chair, will be scrutinising each product using a set of detailed criteria covering quality, taste, packaging, POS support and more.

Organisers said the awards allow “retailers to showcase the way they respond to changing consumer demands such as healthy alternatives, convenience cuts and innovative products”.

The most coveted award is the Retailer of the Year. Won last year by Asda, this award allows retailers to show off their entire turkey product range, including cuts ideal for seasonal entertaining such as barbecues and Easter, as well as new innovative products that have hit the shelves in the last year.

2011 will also see the introduction of a new award – Student Chef of the Year – which will encourage young chefs to get creative with turkey in a bid to win not only the trophy but also to have their dish served at the awards ceremony in September.

Lorna Cousins, chair of the British Turkey Federation’s marketing committee said: “This year’s awards are going to be really exciting with the introduction of the new Student Chef category and we’re expecting to see a diverse range of products being entered following the new ranges we’ve seen on the retailers’ shelves recently.”

Speaking on the introduction of the three-strong consumer judging panel, Cousins said: “Increasing the number of consumers on the panel was a conscious decision to ensure the products entered are being judged by the people who buy and eat them. We hope the results will reflect the public’s shopping and eating habits fairly and give consumers the chance to express their views on certain products or brands.”

Trophies for the 10 categories will be awarded at a black tie dinner and dance at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London on 22 September. All the winners will also be eligible to feature a specially designed logo on their packs.

The full list of categories include: best meal solution; best Christmas – convenience; best Christmas - traditional; student chef of the year (catering workshop); best innovation; best school meal; best British turkey recipe; best catering; best ready to eat; retailer of the year (best retail range).

>> Visit The British Turkey Awards website

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