In April the boys and I had an opportunity to help judge the Free From Food Awards Ireland. I was there on cake and bread judging day and the boys helped judge the kids choice category. In its second year, the Free From Food Awards is the only awards in Ireland dedicated to free from foods. As I’m always on the look out for new free from foods, I follow it closely and was delighted to be actively involved this year. There was a massive 44 categories in the awards and 101 brands entered over 580 products. Each product is required to be free from at least one of the 14 top allergens.
The awards were held at a Presentation Ceremony in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Northwood, Dublin on May 11th and the winners were all announced. I was unable to attend myself but I hear it was a great night with much excitement and celebration!
The Product of the Year was won by BFree Foods for their Sweet Potato Wraps and the Range of the Year was awarded to Tesco Free From for their huge free from range which just keeps growing.
A Special Services to the Industry Award, recognising contribution by individuals to the freefrom world, went to Gluten Free Ireland.
Innovation trophies were presented to 9 White Deer for their excellent gluten-free beer range,
Maria Lucia Bakes for her on the go Porridge Pot, Ombar were awarded for their chocolate containing Bio Live cultures for gut health, Dr Coys took a trophy for their patented nutritional chocolate range and Dan & Monstro for their range which aims to improve vegetable intake in kids, having a high veggie content in their soup and sauces. We’re big fans here of Maria Lucia Bakes and Ombar and I will be checking out the others as soon as I can. Congratulations to all!
This year was the second year of the Free From Food Awards in Ireland, they have been running in the UK since 2007. Free From Food Awards Ireland has been established independently by John Burke, founder of GFLife. John says:
“We are amazed at the excellence of the products that have come this year. The Awards were established to promote quality, to seek out diversity, to encourage manufacturers to bring new products to the market place. The free from market is advancing and we’re keen to see this continuing in the future.”
I am delighted to see these awards set up and running in Ireland and excited to see them grow! It is wonderful to see Irish producers being recognised for their contribution to the range of free from foods available. You will recognise the gold, silver, bronze and merit winners in the shops as they will have a little Free From Awards badge on their products, so you’ll know they’re tried and tested by the judges. Let me know if you spot any.
I noticed a huge majority of the foods entered were gluten free, it would be fab to see more products that are dairy free, egg free, nut free, soya free etc. It is wonderful that there are so many products out there now that are gluten free, the other free from products are growing too albeit slower I think. If there are any products you know of that you would like to see enter next year let me know below and I’ll pass it on to the Free From Food Awards team!