Almost 60 Food NI member companies won over 200 gold stars in this year’s Great Taste Awards.
Six companies achieved the coveted three gold stars in what has become the most important endorsement of taste from food and drink companies in the UK, Ireland and other parts of Europe. Three gold stars are awarded to a product judged by a panel of food experts to be extraordinarily tasty.
The three gold star winners which will now be in the running for the Supreme Champion Award and the Northern Ireland Gold Fork are:
Burren Balsamics, Richill, Hannan Meats, Moira, Lacada Brewing Company, Portrush, Maud’s Ice Cream, Carrickfergus, The Cookie Jar, Newcastle, Thompson’s Family Teas, Belfast.
Hannan Meats won three gold stars each for four separate products and Thompson’s Family Teas three gold stars each for two products.
Burren Balsamics, Hannan Meats and Thompson’s Family Teas also won a series of two and one gold stars.
Michele Shirlow, Food NI Chief Executive, congratulating the winning companies, said: “This is another outstanding year for Northern Ireland in the most important event for the food and drink industry in the UK, Ireland and other parts of Europe. Overall, 2,010 products from Northern Ireland companies were successful in this year’s awards.
“The awards are an important showcase of quality, innovation and outstanding taste from Northern Ireland companies, both large and small. It’s immensely encouraging to see our companies winning so many gold stars. It highlights the skills, expertise and enterprise of local processors especially the smaller companies which are the backbone of the local food and drink industry.
“Two of our member companies, Hannan Meats and Thompson’s Family Teas, are now among the most successful in the UK and Ireland in the Great Taste Awards,” added Mrs Shirlow.
The results of the world’s most coveted food awards followed judging over 65 days. Out of a record breaking 12,634 products to be judged in 2018, 4,653 were awarded a highly prized Great Taste accolade and a remarkable 210 are based in Northern Ireland.
Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers.
A record breaking 12,634 different products were entered in 2018. Over 500 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, restaurateurs, cooks, producers and a host of food writers, journalists and social media influencers, blind taste each product. The judges awarded 3,254 1-stars, 1,207 2-stars and just 192 3 stars.
Other Food NI member companies collecting either 2 or 1 gold stars were:
Abernethy Butter, Dromara
Amberline Preserves, Dungannon
Andrew’s Flour Mills, Belfast
Ann’s Pantry, Larne
Baked in Belfast, Enniskillen
Balloo Inns/Poacher’s Pocket, Lisbane
Brambleberry Jams, Lisburn
Cavanagh Free Range Eggs, Newtownbutler
Carnbrooke Meats, Dromara
Clandeboye Estate Yoghurt, Bangor
Corndale Farm Free Range Charcuterie, Limavady
Dale Farm, Belfast
Davison Canners, Dungannon
Draynes Farm Ice Cream, Lisburn
En-Place Foods, Cookstown
Erin Grove Preserves, Enniskillen
Food Stories, Crawfordsburn
Gracehill Fine Foods, Ballymena
Glastry Farm Ice Cream, Kircubbin
Hercules Brewing Company, Belfast
Hillstown Farm Shop, Randalstown
Holmes Bakery, Portadown
Irwin’s Bakery, Portadown
Ispini Charcuterie, Aughnacloy
Johnson Brothers, Lisburn
Kennedy Bacon, Omagh
Ke Nako Biltong, Ballyclare
Kettyle Irish Foods, Lisnaskea
Kilmegan Cider, Newcastle
L’Artisan Foods, Portadown
Lough Neagh Fishermen’s Co-operative, Toome
Mange Tout Bakery and Deli, Downpatrick
Mash Direct, Comber
McKee’s Farm Shop, Newtownards
Morelli’s Ice Cream, Coleraine
North Coast Smokehouse, Ballycastle
Prep House Sauces, Crossgar
Ocean Veg, Rathlin
Quail’s Fine Foods, Banbridge
Whitewater Brewery, Castlewellan
Yellow Door Bakery and Deli, Portadown
Rich Sauces, Newtownards
Rooney Fish, Kilkeel
SD Bell’s, Belfast
Sea Sugar, Whitehead
Springmount Farm Free Range Eggs, Ballygowan
Tayto Group, Tandragee
William Baird Butchers