More than 50 food and drink businesses from across Scotland have been named finalists in the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2019.
The annual awards, recognising the highest-quality produce as well as the leading individuals, suppliers and companies, received a record 320 entries, a 20% increase on 2018.
The biggest increase in entries was in the distilling category, from 18 in 2018 to 41 this year.
Now in its 20th year, the Excellence Awards has been restructured in 2019 and focuses on the standout products driving value and consumer choice in the market, in line with Scotland Food & Drink’s overarching Ambition 2030 strategy to double the value of the industry.
Winners from all 19 categories will be announced in front of an expected 800 guests at the prestigious awards ceremony and dinner, on Thursday 23 May 2019, at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh.
The 52 finalists include Mackie’s of Scotland, Graham’s the Family Dairy, Bidfood Scotland, Brakes Scotland, Aldi, Lidl and The Three Chimneys.
“Every year the Excellence Awards attracts an incredibly diverse range of entrants, all of which are of a very high quality,” said Scotland Food & Drink chief executive James Withers. “This year we’ve had a record number of entries and the standard has never been higher.
“While tasting each of the products entered into the awards sounds like a dream, in reality, selecting the very best of the best has been extremely difficult for our expert judging panel.
“Now celebrating its 20th year, the awards will yet again be the premier night in one of Scotland’s most valuable and successful industries. Congratulations and good luck to all the finalists.”
Kevin McBride, Scotland vice president for Asda, which is headline sponsor for the event, added: “Asda is proud to support the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards in its 20th year and help to celebrate the exceptional quality and innovation in Scotland’s thriving food and drink industry. At Asda, we recognise the importance of Scottish sourcing for our customers and our suppliers, and the awards are an opportunity to showcase the talented individuals and businesses who are driving this national success story.”
Tickets for the glittering awards ceremony and dinner are available from Scotland Food & Drink priced at £125+VAT for Scotland Food & Drink members or £250+VAT for non-members. Finalists are offered tickets at the discounted rate of £95+VAT.