New Food & Drink Awards Launch in Search of North East’s Finest

10th November 2016

The North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards launch today (Wednesday 9 November), celebrating excellence and innovation in the region’s significant food and drink sector.

Delivered in partnership by Opportunity North East (ONE) and Aberdeenshire Council, the awards are free to enter, and are open to all food and drink producers based in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray.

Eleven categories are available for entry, including the Best Young Business Award, Food & Drink Entrepreneur Award and Best New Retail Product.

Peter Cook, director of food, drink and agriculture at ONE, said:

“North East Scotland has a well-established and strong base for growth in food, drink, agriculture and seafood, with its wide range of primary produce, new businesses, big name brands and international connections. ONE recognises the potential of this sector, with scope for development in internationalisation, provenance, nutritional products and quality brands and is committed to investing its expertise in the sector.

“With a strong focus on innovation, these awards will ensure industry pioneers get the recognition they deserve, and we hope they will support business growth and encourage the creation of many more successful food and drink businesses to come.”

David Aitchison, chair of Infrastructure Services Committee, Aberdeenshire Council, said:

“The region already contributes a great amount to Scotland’s food and drink sector but with continued growth forecast, it is estimated to achieve sales of £2.5 billion by 2020. The North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards will contribute to achieving that aim, by encouraging business development and providing a platform for businesses to show the nation, and prospective customers, what they do best.”

The North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards replace and build on the success of the Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards, which have been celebrating the region’s food and drink pedigree for more than 25 years. Past winners include The Bay Fish & Chips, six °north brewery, Summerhouse Drinks and Barra Bronzes.

Stuart Common, commercial director at Mackie’s of Scotland and ONE Food, Drink and Agriculture Board member said:

“This event is a great opportunity for local food and drink businesses to promote themselves and showcase the fantastic quality of their produce. As previous winners ourselves, it really motivated us to continue developing the Mackie’s brand. I’m delighted to see so many new businesses like Barra Bronzes not only achieving success on their own but having it recognised through these awards, and I hope it will encourage many more to enter this year.”

The closing date for entries is Monday 30 January 2017. Winners will be announced at an awards dinner, which will take place on Thursday 30 March 2017 at the Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel and Spa.

The Awards have received sponsorship from a range of businesses from the North East and across Scotland, including ESS Support Services Worldwide, Aberdeen City Council, Aston Scott, Highlands and Island Enterprise, Johnston Carmichael, Mackie’s of Scotland, Maclay, Murray and Spens LLP, Scotland Food & Drink, Skills Development Scotland, Strachans Ltd and The Moray Council.

For more information and to enter the awards visit


Media contact:

Rebecca Harvey, Taste Communications

0131 225 7205/

Notes to Editors:

The North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards are part of a wider programme of exciting new activities that will be delivered by ONE and its partners to support growth in established businesses and start-ups.  This will include a new business growth programme, a food tourism project, networking events as well as support for businesses to explore how new market opportunities and innovation can help drive the growth of their business.

Aberdeenshire Council

Food and drink is highlighted as a key sector in the Aberdeenshire Council Economic Development Strategy, which aims to create the conditions for sustainable economic growth, diversification and regeneration within Aberdeenshire and the wider region by attracting and supporting businesses.

Opportunity North East (ONE)

Opportunity North East (ONE) has been established by the private sector to maximise the North Sea oil opportunity for the region and to help rebalance the economy.

Working with our partners, the two Local Authorities, Scottish Enterprise, and our two Universities, we aim to strengthen and diversify the region’s business base by providing access to expertise and actively investing in key sector projects.

With an investment of £25 million over five years from the Wood Foundation, we are industry-led and privately funded. We catalyse partnership working and co-investment from the private and public sectors to safeguard and create new jobs.

Collaborating with like-minded businesses, partners and the international community, we help identify and accelerate high-impact opportunities and maximise their long-term benefits.

Currently we support growth in the four key industries of oil and gas; food, drink and agriculture; life sciences; and tourism.


  • Most Successful Product from the 2016 awards
  • Best New Retail Product for businesses with 1-10 employees
  • Best New Retail Product for businesses with 11-50 employees
  • Best New Retail Product for businesses with 51+ employees
  • Best New Foodservice Product
  • Denis Emslie Above & Beyond
  • Best Young Business
  • Investing in Skills Development
  • North East Scotland Food & Drink Entrepreneur
  • Innovation Award
  • Best Food Tourism Initiative

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