5 tips on entering food awards


Last week Free From Food Awards announced its 2016 shortlist signalling that this year’s awards season is underway.

Why enter awards? Providing you are entering an appropriate one, they can help you catch the eye of the buyers, and the consumers that you are trying to reach. An award enables you to stand out in a crowded market and gives people a reason to trust a new or less well known brand. It’s good PR too, not just or the external recognition it brings but also for your team as they earn some well-deserved kudos. If the awards themselves have a good PR machine, both they and you can often generate positive coverage as a result.

Here are my top 5 tips on entering awards:

1. Plan which ones you want to enter as part of your overall business development strategy and then as part of your marketing plan.

2. Only enter awards that make sense for you, for example that will help you perform better in a key growth market.

3. Make sure you read the entry criteria and that your brand or product is eligible. Don’t enter if you don’t meet all the criteria as you may well be disqualified but still charged the entry fee.

4. Make sure you are able to provide all the information required by the judges. Make it easy for them to read and evaluate your product. Be sure to stick to the wordcount given otherwise judges may only read or even see your first 100 words. If they ask for samples, send them clearly labelled with information on who they are from, what category you have entered and the contact details. Don’t forget to supply the RRP if asked – it’s very hard for judges to make a value call without a price!

5. If you are shortlisted and then go on to win, make sure you tell people, do your PR, and don’t forget to stick the logos on your packs, email footers and website so people see your accolade.


Jane Milton has been developing strategies and structures for food awards for 15 years. She’s a consultant and judge on the FreeFrom Food Awards, the Quality Food Awards and often appears on judging panels for other industry awards. She works with large and small businesses to help them identify the most appropriate awards to enter, the right products, to collate their entry information and to capitalise on their wins.

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Jane Milton

Food industry expert Jane Milton has been in the business for more than 30 years and has the inside track on all things food!

In her podcast, Jane takes you behind the scenes of the food business and introduces you to her incredible network of producers, entrepreneurs and
consultants she works with. She shares inspiring stories and experiences with you to help you to build a stronger, healthier, better version of your own business.

Let Me Introduce You with Jane Milton

Jane Milton
Let Me Introduce You To Francis Gimblett, author of the Gimblett's Guide to The Best of British Cheese, and Co-Owner of Taste of the Vine, an Interactive Food and Drink Events Business. ,
byJane Milton

Let Me Introduce You to Francis Gimblett, Author of Gimblett’s Guide to the Best of British Cheeses, and co Owner of Taste of the Vine, an interactive food and drink event company.

Francis and I met in Spring 2021 when I joined one of his monthly Friday evening meet the cheesemaker tasting sessions. I learned so much and loved meeting the cheesemakers. I told other people and very quickly was joined on screen by 10-12 friends each month ….

My copy of Francis book , Gimblett’s Guide to the Best of British Cheeses has become very well thumbed and through it i have tracked down cheesemakers around the UK and even found a cheesemaking course in Tottenham, London inspired by him.

He is a great story teller so i know you will enjoy hearing about :

  • his journey in food and drink
  • people who have inspired or encouraged him
  • his French mother’s cooking and how that added to his food journey
  • how he has for many years, resisted repitition and always desired change, t learn or to reinvent things BUT
  • how possibly now after almost 2 years of constant change, he my just be happy for a little more predictability for a while
  • we talk about work life balance and partnering in business with his wife
  • about the importance of understanding your P&L and planning for your business right from Day 1
  • we also get a hint or two about his next taste adventure….

I cannot wait

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