By Stef Bottinelli
We've caught up with Food Matters Live Awards 2020 winners ahead this year's Awards on 30 June, to find out how winning this accolade has impacted them and to discover where their companies are headed next
Entering an award often takes courage, but these companies had a firm belief in their products and, after testing them, the expert judges at Food Matters Live did too, that's why these brands were crowned winners of Food Matters Live Awards 2020.
The awards have opened doors for them, with new products in the pipeline, business growth and launches in the European and US markets. We've caught up with some of our winners to hear about their success stories and find out what happened next.
New Food Product of the Year Winner: Truly Turmeric - Naledo
Naledo is a social enterprise founded by mother-daughter team Umeeda and Nareena Switlo.
The company makes a turmeric paste to be used in food dishes instead of turmeric powder. Grown wild in Belize, Naledo's turmeric has no agricultural input.
‘We were so honoured to have been chosen as the Best New Product at Food Matters Live in 2020!’ says Nareena Switlo, Chief Operating Officer at Naledo. ‘For Naledo, the statements from the judges really showed that not only does our product stand out, but our mission to be a better business for better lives is valued in our industry. Since winning the award we have been working on our Amazon launch and distribution in the EU and UK.'
'We wish all the entries the best of luck in 2021 and can't wait to see the finalists. Congratulations to Food Matters Live for creating competitive awards that support emerging and established brands.'
New Ingredient of the Year Winner: PureSea® Protect – Univar Solutions in partnership with Seaweed & Co
PureSea® is a range of innovative seaweed ingredients for the nutrition, food and drink markets. The products contain organic Hebridean ascophyllum seaweed, which is rich in iodine and provides a variety of health benefits.
The New Ingredient of the Year Winner, PureSea® Protect is a fine seaweed powder with little flavour or aroma which can be used in many food and health products, such as sport and power blends, for added health benefits.
‘Since winning the Food Matters Live New Ingredient Award with our PureSea® seaweed ingredient, we have seen incredible growth across the business as we continue to supply into the nutrition and food markets, and through our distribution partner Univar Solutions.’, says Dr Craig Rose Managing Director of Seaweed and Co.
‘Seaweed is on a fantastic growth trajectory globally, with even the United Nations launching a Seaweed Manifesto to address this growing demand.', continues Dr Rose.
'PureSea® offers a gold-standard seaweed ingredient range, with multiple health, nutrition and flavour benefits, scientifically driven, and sourced from the pristine waters of the Scottish Outer Hebrides.
Since winning the awards, there have been a few changes at Seaweed and Co.
'To exemplify how PureSea®, and the wider company is progressing, as of April 2021 Seaweed & Co. has a new Chairman in Mario Patrocollo, who has held board positions with several nutra and pharma companies, and remains the global advisor to the COO of Walgreens Boots Alliance.’, concludes Dr Rose, also appropriately known as Dr Seaweed.
Innovative Better-For-You Product of The Year Winner: Three Spirit Drinks: The Starter Pack – Beyond Alcohol Ltd.
Three Spirit Drinks make alcohol free drinks that contain functional ingredients that have a positive impact on how the consumer feels. These spirits are crafted to replace alcohol and are made with plant ingredients.
After winning the Innovative Better-for-You Product of the Year Award at Food Matters Live Awards 2020, Three Spirit Drinks scooped another award, the UK Challenger Bronze at Food Matters Live Future Brands of the Year 2021.
‘Winning Innovative Better-For-You Product of The Year category was massive for us. It really showcases that we have a product that can be classified as a better-for-you product.’, says Dash Lilley, CO-Founder of Three Spirit Drinks. ‘
'Historically no alcohol spirit and drinks have been lumped into their own category of ‘non alcoholic’ whereas being recognised in a category that’s better for you is much more familiar with customers who are used to see a Better-for-You shelf in shops and supermarkets. That’s exactly where we want to be. We want to distinguish ourselves apart from all of the other non alcoholic spirit brands and companies.', Dash explains.
'We were really, really pleased to have won and it’s helped us establish ourselves with our peers in this space.'
As for the future, the company has big plans. 'There’s a lot going on in 2021 at Three Spirit Drinks. We have grown our team – we are now about 10 people strong – but the biggest news is that we are launching in the US which is very exciting. We are also doing lots of really cool product development, with two new core line products, which will be part of a subcategory – like non alcoholic beer and wine – but I can’t say too much about that yet.’
New Drink Product of the Year Winner: Skinny Tonic - Skinny Tonic Ltd.
Skinny Tonic is a range of sugar-free tonic water that comes in a range of floral and fruity flavours, such as light citrus and cucumber.
'It's been a busy few months since Skinny Tonic® won the Food Matters Live 2020 award.', says Marine Bourbon, Head of Marketing at Skinny Drinks Group.
'After smashing a £1m crowdfunding target on Seedrs in just 24 hours last November, we've recently moved into a brand new facility. These larger premises include three new lines capable of producing 18,000 cans per hour as well as various sizes of glass and rPET-blown bottles. This site allows us to ramp up production and embark on an exciting expansion into the retail and hospitality sectors.'
The company is also expanding their products. 'Our Skinny Tonic® range is evolving too: this summer we will introduce four delicious new flavours - Blueberry, Seville Orange, Strawberry and Passionfruit - and improve our tonic recipe, getting closer than ever to a sugar-like taste, whilst remaining 100% natural, plant-based and truly zero-calorie! With the help of our strategic partners, PureCircle and Synergy Flavours, we are pioneering the soft drinks market by becoming the first brand globally to use Reb-M stevia extract, which produces a sweetness closest to that of sugar.', explains Marine.
'Last but not least, we’ve launched Skinny Drinks Group, our parent company, bringing all our drinks brands - Skinny Tonic®, Loca Soda and Emoji DRNK® - and own-label portfolio under one roof as we accelerate our growth.'
Could your brand be one of the Food Matters Live Awards 2021 winners? Register now and you too could be one of Food Matters Live's success stories.
Food Matters Live Awards 2021:
Spanning across 12 exciting categories, the shortlisted Food Matters Live Awards 2021 entrants will be announced on 10 June. From there, the shortlisted companies will be invited to discuss their products and innovations with the esteemed judging panel via video conferencing, giving the shortlist an opportunity to explain why they deserve to win.
After the judging round, the winning entrants will be announced and celebrated on 30 June, during Food Matters Live.