Asda was awarded the headline category of British Turkey retailer of the year as the industry came together to celebrate the Annual Turkey Awards.
Judges were unanimous in their decision, handing the title to the retailer for a second year running, citing its excellent range, including some innovative cuts and clear labelling on packaging that emphasised British provenance.
The event, held at London’s Sheraton Grand Park Lane hotel, was co-hosted by comedian and star of Outnumbered, Hugh Dennis and chair of the British Turkey Federation, Paul Kelly.
Some 220 guests were treated to three courses of award winning, innovative turkey dishes from Student Chefs of the Year: Pam Leigh, Sanah Masood and Danny Francombe.
In all, 160 entrants made up the 13 categories.
Products ranged from festive-stuffed turkey parcels to on-trend buttermilk-coated turkey fillets and convenient bacon-wrapped turkey paupiettes.
Winners are given a British Turkey Awards logo to aid merchandising and highlight that consumers are buying the “Best of British” – the evening’s theme.
Listening to customers
Asda, the UK’s third largest retailer, took home three further awards on the night, Best Christmas Traditional Product; Best Christmas Premium and Best Ready-To-Eat categories.
“Asda really seems to be listening to what its customers want,” said judge Tina Betts, of Healthy Food Guide magazine.
“They have some nice value-added items and the fixture is well signposted, so well done to them.”
Essex farm, Grove Smith Turkeys, won Best Foodservice (Profit Sector) for its Farmhouse Butter Basted Cooked Turkey Wing.
Mr Kelly, added: “Everyone in the industry knows we have to continually evolve and up our game to be the very best, and these results demonstrate just that.
“The retailers play a big part in supporting the turkey sector so we thank them.”
The evening also raised more than £5,000 for children’s medical research charity Sparks and Dravet Syndrome UK.
The winners in full
Student Chefs of the Year (sponsored by Aviagen):
Pam Leigh, Boston College; Sanah Masood, UCB; Danny Francomb, Hackney Community College
Best Innovation All Year Round (sponsored by Elanco):
Bernard Matthews Buttermilk Coated Turkey Fillets
Best Meal Solution (sponsored Hybrid Turkeys):
M&S Turkey Paupiettes
Best Foodservice Profit Sector (sponsored by Clarke Group Construction):
Grove Smith – Farmhouse Butter Basted Cooked Turkey Wing
Best Christmas Convenience (sponsored by Securcom):
Waitrose Christmas Turkey Breast Parcel with Pork, Gingerbread and Apricot Stuffing, Festive Apricot and Stem Ginger Glaze
Best Christmas Traditional (sponsored by Easichick):
Asda fresh whole Turkey
Best Christmas Premium (sponsored by Knights Construction):
Asda Extra Special Free Range Bronze Corn Fed Bronze Turkey
Best Foodservice Cost Sector (sponsored by Flogas):
Grove Smith English Rose Easy Carve Special Turkey
Best Innovation Christmas (sponsored by Arden Wood Shavings):
M&S Turkey parcel with orange and fig stuffing
Best Ready to Eat (sponsored by Calor):
Asda Extra Special Butter Roast Turkey Breast
Best Blogger Recipe in Association with Red Tractor (sponsored by ABN):
Easy Peasy Foodie – Turkey Tikka Masala Meatballs
Foodservice Operator of the Year (sponsored by Morspan)
Mitchells and Butler
Retailer of the Year (sponsored by Zoetis):