Yes!! Our new site launched today – and with it the 2021 awards opened for entry. We hope you like both the site and our revamped awards categories!
We are delighted with the site. Not only do we think that it looks bright, cheerful and friendly – all the things that we would like the awards to be – but it is (and will be more) informative and….. has streamlined the whole entry process so entrants can enter, fill in their product entry forms and pay all in one easy move.
As regards the categories, we have been doing some serious thinking and believe that we have come up both with some good new categories and some worthwhile improvements to existing ones. To give you a very brief taster:
- We have added new categories both for Best Labelling for a FreeFrom Product – SO important as far as allergic consumers are concerned (I shall be blogging separately about what we mean by ‘good’ freefrom labelling) and Best Packaging for a FreeFrom Product. Whatever about coronavirus, our world is threatened by a tsunami of single use plastic most of which is generated by food products, so sustainable packaging has to be a concern of everyone, and certainly of freefrom-ers.
- To balance out our Retailer of the Year award we have added a category for Best Independent Brand of the Year. This will have two sub categories: one for ‘small’ brands with 3 or fewer employees and one for ‘big’ brands.
- We have added a Best Digital Presence for a FreeFrom Brand. Accessing information about the freefrom food you want to buy is so important for allergic consumers and the way that most of them get that information is through a company’s website or social media feeds. So that digital presence can well be the way that a brand lives – or dies.
- We have tweaked the No Top 14 category – and I will blog about our thought processes there too. But to accommodate people with allergies to some of the ingredients outside the standard top 14 we have added and extra allergens (pea/chickpea) to our list of 14 (now 15) allergens. And instead of entries needing to be free of the standard top 14, we now ask them to be free of 14 of our top 15. So that entrants can exclude one allergen and choose which one to exclude. For example a peanut puff, which excludes 14 of our 15 listed allergens and which would be a brilliant food for someone with wheat, egg, soya and dairy allergies, will now be eligible for this category.
- We have added vegetarian ready meals to meaty and fishy ready meals.
- We have totally revamped the Children’s category into Child and Teen Friendly Foods. I will also blog separately about this as, in an attempt to drill down much deeper into what foods allergic children and teenagers really do relate to, we are completely changing the way we judge the category so that we involve the whole family.
Because we have been scratching our heads over the new site design for much of the summer, and because Kara, our new sponsorship lady only joined us at the beginning of August, we have more sponsorship opportunities available than we normally would at this time of year. But thanks to our revamp and increased social media focus, we can offer sponsors more coverage than in previous years.
As we say on the site – if you want to Take the lead in a rapidly growing sector of the food industry and Raise the profile of your company with the people who really matter – check out the sponsorship page and talk to Kara.
So, what else?…..
Well, we are not going to talk about the presentation at this stage. We have booked in at the Royal College of Physicians for the 27th of April 2021 but who knows where COVID-19 will have got us by then….
We ran a very successful zoominar last week for new entrants – telling them about the awards, the categories, and the entry processes etc – but also suggesting how they could make the awards work for them right across the year. So successful in fact that we are planning to run another one half way through the entry period for new entrants or those who missed the first round.
However, based on the super successful networking aspect of our new entrant Zoominar last week, we will also be facilitating a ‘getting to know you’ networking zoominar for small entrants and starts ups over the next couple of months.
Anything else? Well maybe that is enough for now. There will, no doubt, be more to come….