Not sure which category you fall into?
Have a read below, remember you can apply for more than one!
Alcoholic Drink Entrepreneur of the Year
The alcohol industry is a major part of the UK’s economy, worth an estimated £47 billion a year.
Recent years have seen a new wave of alcoholic drinks companies come to the market. With consumers gravitating towards new and independent brands, the winner will have introduced a drink that has brought something new to the market and captured the taste buds and imagination of its customers.
Animal Food Entrepreneur of the Year
With an estimated 58 million pets in the UK, the pet food market is big business. Not only have we become more conscious of the products we consume, but we’re also more aware of what we feed our pets. More and more brands are championing the case for fresh and natural alternatives, free from artificial preservatives, fillers and colourings. The winner will have brought to market an innovative brand that puts quality at the top of the agenda for our pets.
Baked Goods Entrepreneur of the Year
The bakery industry is one of the largest in the UK’s food market, worth an estimated £3.5 billion. According to the Federation of Bakers, the UK sells the equivalent to 11 million loaves of bread every single day. Whether it's breathtaking biscuits, killer cakes or puffy pastries, the winner will have brought new, innovative and creative flavours to market using the best ingredients.
Confectionary Entrepreneur of the Year
From chocolate and ice creams to snazzy sweets, the UK’s confectionery industry is worth a HUGE £11.5 billion. Now, consumers need more than taste. The winner will show unrivalled creativity in innovating existing products or creating entirely new ones that display a perfect balance of taste, appearance and quality of ingredients.
Export Entrepreneur of the Year
For food and drink businesses, local or even national success aren’t enough. To earn real acclaim, they often look to overseas growth. The UK’s food and drink businesses now sell products to more than 200 countries around the world and play a vital role in the country’s wider export income.
Health Entrepreneur of the Year
Over the past four years, the average shopping trolley contains 12% fewer calories, 13% less sugar, 12% less total fat, 10% less saturated fat and 14% less salt, according to the Food & Drink Federation. With greater focus on living a healthy lifestyle, the winner will have brought to market a product that doesn’t compromise on health benefits or taste.
Innovation Entrepreneur of the Year
Innovation is crucial to continued success. No business has ever stayed successful by doing the same thing it has for years and years. Innovation is new, creative thought. The winner will have pushed the boundaries of what we thought possible and redefining their respective product category to help their brand stand out from the crowd.
Non-alcoholic Drink Entrepreneur of the Year
Recent years have seen a raft of new brands creating fun and unique non-alcoholic drinks, bringing something new and interesting to the market. With more and more people choosing alcohol-free, the winner will have created an enticing alternative to alcohol whether it’s an innovative new soft drink or a non-alcoholic version of the ‘real thing’.
Hospitality Entrepreneur of the Year
Whether a cafe, restaurant, bar, pub or hotel, great hospitality is more than just good food and drink. It’s the setting, the design, the decoration. It’s friendly, welcoming service. It’s the mood, the atmosphere. A great hospitality setting isn’t just determined by the quality of its product, it’s determined by what sets it aside from every other location.
Food Service Entrepreneur of the Year
From food delivery companies to marketing superstars and more, the winner will demonstrate commitment and flair for the food and drink sector, and exhibit industry-honed skills to innovate and offer something unique in their field. Central to their success will be a sustained customer experience and satisfaction that makes them stand out from the competition.
*NEW* Producer of the Year
From the farms to the factories, food and drink producers play an essential role in the market as a whole. Whether growing crops, rearing livestock, or bringing everything together to manufacture an amazing final product, the winner of the inaugural Producer of the Year award will show a dedication to bringing real quality to the sector through innovative and creative methods.
*NEW* Small Business Supporter of the Year
The support of large, multinational food and drink brands is becoming increasingly important to the growth and success of their smaller counterparts. From investment and mentoring to systems and processes, larger brands are offering more support than ever before. The winner will go to a large brand that provides industry-leading support to the up-and-coming brands in the food and drink industry, putting innovation and creativity above competition.
Start-up Entrepreneur of the Year
While undeniably tough, starting a business creates its own energy of resilience, while overcoming obstacles and learning by doing forges the experience needed to conquer bigger and better things. The Start-up Entrepreneur of the Year Award reaches out to those who have given everything to guiding their business through those all-important nascent stages. The winner will have responded to the many inevitable drawbacks with an attitude that feels for the best in every situation with a heart that will not give up.
*Please note, company must have been launched within the last five years
*NEW* Street Food Entrepreneur of the Year
Having started in the trendy neighbourhoods of East London, the British street food revolution has quickly spread to the rest of the country. Street food has taken on a modern, gourmet taste in recent years and it’s a market that is flourishing. The inaugural Street Food Entrepreneur of the Year will go to an independent vendor producing tantalising tastes, whether taking an innovative twist on a classic or bringing something entirely new to market.
Sustainability Entrepreneur of the Year
More than ever before, consumers really care about the impact they’re having on the planet. From palm oil to plastic packaging, people are steering clear of brands that don’t fit with their commitment to tackling the climate crisis. The winner will place sustainability at the very core of its mission, refusing to compromise on taste or its lack of impact on the planet.
Food and Drink Hero of the Year : People's Choice
The Food and Drink Hero of the Year award is the top award presented to the entrepreneur(s) whose commercial success is matched only by the essence of their entrepreneurial story. The winner(s) of this award truly encapsulate what it means to be a food and drink entrepreneur, exhibiting all of the hard work, determination, creativity and resilience required to rise above the rest.
*Please note, the winner of this award will be chosen through a public vote