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Baker of the Year
This category showcases the very best bakers in the UK and is a great opportunity for individuals to show how they are adapting to market trends. The award is aimed at professional bakers working in any size of bakery business, and this wide scope makes the category particularly fascinating and competitive. Judges look not just for practical skills and product innovation but also an understanding of the candidates’ baking ambitions and achievements.
Bakery Exporter of the Year
This category is open to UK-based bakery suppliers that have significantly grown their business outside the UK in the past 12 months. Judges will be looking for entrants who can demonstrate sustained success overseas and explain how they intend to grow their exports business further. Factors to be considered by judges will include the entrant’s sales and marketing operations, the geographic spread of their export business and notable successes overseas.
Bakery Innovation Award
This category is open to businesses of all sizes ranging from product suppliers to major retailers, wholesalers or foodservice, local bakeries or start-ups. Judges will be looking for innovative, marketable products that they have never seen before. Entries may be brand new, or a twist in the flavour or shape of an existing product and must be scalable in production and cost in order to potentially supply major retailers, wholesalers or foodservice.
Bakery Manufacturer of the Year
Judges will be looking for businesses that are ambitious, growing and striving to be the best in their sector. Whether they supply breads, pies, pizzas, pastries, ethnic baked products, biscuits or cakes, entrants must show they are driving growth and delivering quality products to high standards. Business should also demonstrate that they care about service and investment in people and take a responsible attitude to the environment.
Please note, if your entry is shortlisted it will include a presentation to Reiser in Milton Keynes on the 24th or 25th of September and a site visit 28th/29th/30th or 31st of September or the 8th or 9th of October. No other dates will be available, if you are not available on these dates you will be unable to be considered.
Celebration Cake Business of the Year
This category is aimed at celebration cake businesses of all sizes – from independent cake creators to large-scale cake manufacturers. Judges will be looking for cake artistry, awareness of current trends, customer service, marketing initiatives, and for entrants to show why the business is successful and progressive. It is initially judged on a written entry, from which a shortlist of entrants is drawn up. These shortlisted entrants will be tasked with creating a cake with a specific theme and including set criteria. This cake, which will account for one third of the total score given to the business, will be viewed by judges when they visit the entrants’ premises.
Free-from Bakery Product of the Year
Entrants to this free-from category should be professional bakeries supplying either their own business and/or running a wholesale business. The entrant’s product must be free from more than one major allergen, in compliance with food labelling regulations. Judges will especially look at ingredient selection used to overcome the challenge of removing multiple allergens. Original, creative, recipe formulation will be high on the agenda as well as great taste, texture, and visual appeal. Any free-from bakery product can be entered such as pies, pastries, artisan bakes, cakes and gluten-free breads. The entrant’s application must demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the end consumer, the category and a desire to advance it.
Each entrant can submit up to three products for this category. Each product will need to be entered individually.
Out of Home Business of the Year
Entry is open to multiple coffee shop, bakery and food-to-go operators that sell a range of prepared foods with a bakery focus (such as sandwiches, wraps, pastries and cakes), for consumption on or off the premises. Judges will be looking at the retailer’s approach to out-of-home dining, including the customer experience, how baked goods are merchandised, packaging, innovation and how the baked goods range has developed. The full baked goods range, including savoury and sweet, will be assessed against this award’s criteria. It is not necessary for the entrant to be a bakery business or to produce the food themselves.
Speciality Bread Product of the Year
Judges will be looking for breads that are original, look and taste great, and have been a hit with consumers. Entries can include artisanal breads, continental breads, sourdough breads, seeded or fruited breads, breads with grains, ethnic breads, soda breads, tea breads or novel crusty breads. Bakers should also be able to demonstrate impressive business skills, such as using market research, excellent customer service and clever marketing. Each entrant can submit up to three different speciality breads for this category.
Supermarket Bakery Business of the Year
Entry is open to multiple retail operators with a minimum estate of 10 sites that sell baked goods produced through an instore bakery and/or supplied to the retailer part-baked or frozen. Judges will be looking at the retailer’s approach to the bakery category including the retail bakery environment, the customer experience, how baked goods are merchandised and how the baked goods range has developed. Entrants will also be asked to demonstrate staff training principals, how product freshness is balanced with availability and bakery product innovation. One element of the judging process will be unannounced ‘mystery visits’ examining customer service, presentation, variety, quality and freshness of products.
The Craft Bakery Business Award
This award recognises the work of a craft bakery business, not an individual baker. Entries are welcome from all types of craft business, whether they operate a single retail shop, multiple high street outlets or a wholesale craft bakery. The business should produce artisan/craft/handmade/hand finished and bespoke items for its customers. Judges will be looking for new products, customer awareness, local marketing initiatives/promotions, safety, well-trained staff and for entrants to show why the business is sound, successful and progressive.
The Customer Focus Award
This award will recognise companies that have demonstrated strong customer focus leading to improved customer relationships. Judges will be looking for companies that have committed to focus on their customers, resulting in increased loyalty, improved consumer experience, growth in sales or other successes. Entrants may have spotted an opportunity, seen a gap in their product range, proposed a solution to save them time or money or gone ‘the extra mile’ to ensure they were successful. Businesses of all sizes will be considered for this award.
The Rising Star Award
The Rising Star Award is open to all ages, but is aimed at those in work, training or Bakery College who can demonstrate their achievements over the past three years since entering college or the bakery industry. Entrants may be from a college, or craft, supermarket, plant, ingredient or equipment companies. Judges are looking for a person who will contribute to shaping the future of the baking industry. If you believe you, or someone you teach or employ, is that person, enter now.
Outstanding Contribution to the Bakery Industry
This award gives British Baker readers the chance to recognise an outstanding individual – one who has made, or is still making, a special contribution to the bakery sector. We want you to nominate someone who has gone beyond the boundaries of their paid salary or ownership, who has voluntarily helped, encouraged or supported others within the bakery sector and sometimes outside it too.
"It was great to meet so many friendly and supportive people who were ready to offer advise and encouragement."
"It was a very enjoyable evening with great opportunity to meet friends, in a welcoming environment. Fantastic to see the industry supporting each other across all channels and levels."
"The BIA Awards is a wonderful celebration of success in our great British baking industry and it's fantastic to be able to come together at such a wonderful evening to applaud all finalists and winners."