To celebrate the return of the Great Taste Awards, we’ve brought together all of our award-winning buys – so you can try and test the cream of the crop for yourself. Out of the thousands of food and drink products that have been tasted by hundreds of judges (including retailers, chefs, journalists, restaurateurs, and buyers) our brands have been awarded an impressive number of stars over the years.
The famous Great Taste badge has become a trusted mark of credibility for customers across the country. Here’s the brand’s managing director, John Farrand, to explain why…
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Any star being awarded at all is an incredible achievement, being required to meet high demands:
1 star = simply delicious
2 stars = outstanding
3 stars = exquisite and wow
We caught up with some of our Great Taste Award victors to hear about their winning story and how it feels to have the badge of honour on their products.
‘For us it’s a sense of achievement,’ The Real Pie Company‘s Brett shares, ‘it shows that our team work extremely hard to produce great tasting pies. When we win awards like this, it gives us a real buzz and motivates us to keep baking!’
A number of their fillings have been recognised for their quality and flavour. ‘I felt immensely proud,’ Brett remembers, ‘being a small team and winning such a well-regarded award means so much to small producers like us.’
Whether you’re a regular customer or want to try a taste, if your eyes are firmly on the prized pies, you’ll love their eight-piece Great Taste Awards Selection, with their award-winning Steak & Stout Pie, Steak & Kidney Pie, Steak & Mushroom Pie, and Traditional Pasty fillings. If you’re after a pure pasty selection, go for their eight-piece Great Taste Awards Pasties Selection, including either eight traditional pasties, or a split with their steak and cheddar filling too.
When it comes to why Brett thinks their pies are so successful, it’s simple: ‘Have you tried one of our pies?’
The public constantly reach out to them to praise their crammed fillings and perfect seasoning. ‘Also’ Brett adds, ‘I believe we are winners as we stay true to our values, by only using British ingredients, making pies by hand and baking to perfection.’
Having your unique selling point down is a must. By using unique flavour profiles, Joe & Seph‘s have found a way of shocking the popcorn world with never-before-seen flavours, such as gin and tonic.
Co-founder Joseph (pictured) shared some interesting insider info too: ‘We also layer the ingredients so you taste them in a predefined sequence. For instance, our Caramel, Pepper & Chilli flavour starts with caramel, then goes to black pepper, and eight seconds after you get the kick of chilli.’ It’s clear why they were dubbed ‘the Willy Wonka of popcorn’ by the press.
Their creativity has not gone unnoticed, upon entering their initial range of six flavours back in 2011 (only three months after the brand launched), five came back with awards!
‘We were blown away’, Joseph remembers, ‘we knew people told us they tasted different and special but had no idea what a food expert would consider popcorn as gourmet. It sets us apart from other brands and is a great reward for the team and for all the work that goes into creating new flavours. It’s a quality mark we use to keep up the highest standards in everything we do.’
Make sure you have a look at their 12-piece Two Star Award-Winning selection, that way you’ll get a taster of their most popular flavours.
Melefsis co-founder, Adam Cosgrave (pictured below on the right with co-founder Petros Iliadis), is with Brett and Joseph when it comes to the award’s integrity: ‘The award proves to us that dedication and hard work pays off. It’s a great motivator to our team,’ he explains. ‘Beekeeping is a very hard business. We travel at night and move our beehives literally to the corners of Greece. We travel off the beaten track, high up in the mountains with lorries, on to the islands using ships, and to the very middle of the mountainous forests.’
‘It’s a demanding life to get the best quality and most uniquely-flavoured honey that we have.’
‘Our honey is literally some of the best in the world.’ Adam tells us, ‘so yes… it’s worth an award! Our range is organic and 100% natural, plus we never cut corners or feed our bees sugar.’
Their flavour combinations have become a signature style of theirs, winning their first award in 2015 for their Thyme Honey.
To sample the best of their range, treat yourself to their four-piece Great Taste Awards Greek Artisan Honey Selection. Both the Pine and the Orange and Herb varieties won two stars in 2016, and their Oak Honey and Chestnut Honey won one star in 2017. Well, they had us at Artisan.
Winning the award represented acceptance and acknowledgement for Adam: ‘For a British beekeeper placed in Greece, it meant a lot, but also for a Greek beekeeper crossing borders, this was a great deal too.’
Cottage Delight‘s marketing manager Chloe agrees the awards are the ultimate nod of approval. ‘These awards credit the hard work, research, new product development, quality small batch production and hand-finishing we put into every one of our products.’
Their high quality produce is a kitchen cupboard essential, offering delicious snacks and condiments to instantly transform your morning tea and toast. They offer wonderful gift sets too, like their Best of British 6 Piece Jams & Chutneys Selection – including Cheese Board Chutney, Strawberry Extra Jam, and more scrummy flavour favourites.
‘From the conception of a product,’ Chloe tell us, ‘we work hard in order to source the best quality ingredients and use traditional small batch methods to give that homemade taste. Once we bring a product to market we don’t stop there, every month we hold a tasting panel with Nigel Cope (our founder) and a team of colleagues to ensure we stay at our best.’
The team’s hard work has not gone unnoticed, receiving a total of 160 awards since 1996. ‘Every year we are excited and our founder (Nigel Cope, pictured here with his wife Diana) is always keen to hear the results.’ Chloe shares, ‘We eagerly wait for the winners to be announced to see how successful we have been.’