A choice selection of food and drink producers in the north-east have been shortlisted for a prestigious regional awards scheme.
Over 80 nominations from 33 businesses were received for the 2015 Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards.
The judging team, comprised of Stephen Brown, Local Sourcing and Diversification Manager with Scotmid Co-operative Foods, and Graham Singer, Food Operations Manager with ESS Support Services Worldwide, was very impressed with the standard of entries.
Mr Brown said: “It is a privilege to represent Scotmid Co-operative Foods on the judging panel and to have tasted such a diverse range of products many of which have the potential to be seen on our shelves in the near future.
“I’m really looking forward to the finals where we have the opportunity to meet the people behind the product.”
The shortlisted producers are:
Best New Retail Product for businesses with more than 25 employees: Dean’s Shortbread, butcher Donald Russell, JG Ross (Bakers), smoked salmon firm John Ross Jr and Nor-Sea Foods.
Best New Retail Product for businesses with up to 25 employees: hot sauce maker Angus & Oink, rapeseed oil firm Mackintosh of Glendaveny, health bread maker Pulsetta Foods and breweries six°north and Windswept Brewing.
Best New Foodservice Product for businesses with more than 25 employees: Chalmers Bakery, Donald Russell and meat box firm The Store Company.
Best New Foodservice Product for businesses with up to 25 employees: Amity Fish, Cambus O’May Cheese, chocolatier Cocoa Ooze, fresh fish firm Downies of Whitehills, ice cream maker James Rizza & Sons and The Bay Fish & Chip Shop.
Independent Retailer of the Year: Castleton Farm Shop, Gordon & Macphail and The Store Company.
Company Commitment to Health and Wellbeing award: fine dining restaurant Eat on the Green; Oatmeal of Alford and Pulsetta.
Grampian Food & Drink Entrepreneur 2015: James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog; Peter Bruce, ceo of catering firm Entier; Seb Jones, managing director of Speyside Craft Brewery; and Nigel Tiddy, managing director, Windswept Brewing.
Investing in Skills Development award: Associated Seafoods, Baxters Food Group, Donald Russell.
Best Young Business: Angus and Oink, Felicity’s Chocolate, bakery Made2Taste, six°north, Speyside Craft Brewery, Windswept Brewing.
The winners will be announced by Colin MacLean, Chief Operating Officer of Scotmid Co-operative Foods, at the Innovation Awards Dinner which is taking place at Ardoe House Hotel and Spa on Thursday, March 19.