Innovative strategies showcased at UK Food Industry Awards

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 5th November 2008

The winners of the prestigious 2008 IGD Food Industry Awards were recently announced, highlighting achievements in a wide range of areas from sustainability, health and wellness, supply chain excellence, and outstanding performance of small businesses.

“All of the finalists show that, even in challenging times, innovation and best practice are at the forefront of the food and grocery industry. These awards recognise the best in class, and demonstrate some of the most exciting new thinking in food and grocery,” Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive of IGD, said.

Among the winners were:

The Co-Operative Group, which took out the Unilever Award For Social Innovation for its ‘From Farm to Fork’ project. The award is presented to the company which can demonstrate that it is doing well by doing good. ‘From Farm to Fork’ is now a national UK program involving Co-operative farms across the UK. The scheme brings primary schoolchildren to the farms where they are encouraged to understand the countryside, try new vegetables and learn about how crops turn into the foods they eat. 10,000 schoolchildren have now spent a day on a Co-operative farm.

Compass Group UK & Ireland claimed the John Sainsbury Award for Learning and Development – which recognises commitment to people development. The company developed ‘One Compass Welcome’, a short e-learning programme for new colleagues for completion on or before their first working day. It gives colleagues an introduction to Compass and can be effective for 30,000 new colleagues per year.

The Nestlé Wellness Award, awarded to the company that has made a real impact in terms of making healthier eating and drinking choices for consumers, was won by McCain Foods. McCain developed Purely Potato, a range developed to be cooked without oil, which presents caterers with an unrestricted starchy carbohydrate choice, and also appeals to children. The range is already being used in over 1,000 schools across the UK, and is used by more than 25 Local Authorities.

Sainsbury’s “Feed Your Family for a Fiver” campaign saw them receive the General Mills Award for Consumer Understanding which is presented to the company that has demonstrated how it has truly understood its customers and used new insight to deliver an innovative business solution. The initiative was developed in response to research that revealed shoppers were feeling the pinch and which identified an opportunity to deliver simple everyday meal solutions to a set budget. “Feed Your Family for a Fiver” successfully shifted Sainsbury’s value perceptions and delivered significant sales uplifts.