Awards winners announced!

The 2008 FOOD Challenge Awards was a night to remember, with winners from every sector of the food and beverage industries.

With the Awards gala dinner held at Sydney’s Doltone House in Pyrmont, all those taking part in the prestigious event were treated to a great show.

The Best in Show award went to the Snack Foods category winner PotatoMagic’s Sultry Sally Potato Chips — a brand new entrant to the market. These baked, 97% fat free potato chips, made from Australian potatoes, and come in four flavours — Sea Salt, Thai Sweet Chilli & Lime, Salt & Vinegar and Cheese & Onion — and two pack variants (125g and 75g). The product was developed to address the need for a snack that met the increasing concern in the community for food that is low in fat. It was developed to be of real benefit in the daily fight against obesity, providing an exciting, flavoursome and nutritious snack experience. The Chips have no direct main-stream healthy product competitor that has a potato chip’s mouth-feel, taste and texture.

The Snack Foods Highly Commended prize went to Specialty Cereals for their colourful treats — CrunchTime.

The Australian Vodka Company took out the exciting Alcoholic Beverages Award, being named Winner as well as Highly Commended for their Australian Herbal Liqueur and Moulin Rooz Absinthe, and delighting everyone with a unique and colourful acceptance speech, which set the tone for the night.

The Baked Goods category was won by Future Bake Australia’s Ookies — the the only product of their type that meets the stringent requirement of the ‘Amber’ School Canteen Food Services Policies. The Highly Commended title went to Tucker’s Natural Gourmet Crackers from Food Service Solutions.

Next up came the Confectionery Award, with Sweet William Not Nuts Chocolate Bar being named winner. The excited Not Nuts representatives assured the audience that the bar, which is free of peanuts and tree nuts, dairy free, gluten free, lactose free, contains no artificial flavours and colours, no preservatives, and has a low GI rating, is vegan suitable, Kosher and Halal certified, is also full of flavour.

The Highly Commended title for this category was taken by the Incredible Chocolate Company’s Croc Chocs.

The winner of the Dairy Award was Dairy Farmers Thick & Creamy Yogurt, which was developed to revolutionise the sweetened yoghurt category by introducing a premium quality product delivering innovative packaging and superior flavour and texture. Next up came Highly Commended New Kraft Singles — a new look and taste for an old favourite.

The innovative Microwave Beef from Cargill, a ready-to-cook juicy, soft and tender textured meat was the winner of the Meat & Smallgoods category, with New Zealand’s Fishers Beef Sirloin being Highly Commended.

The highly contested Health & Wellness Award was won by another New Zealander — Pitango Organic and Carbon Neutral Risotto Range and Fresh Curry Meals — the world’s first fresh meal manufacturer to become carbon neutral with carboNZero certification. The Highly Commended product was Ozganic’s Certified Organic Balsamic and Caesar Dressings.

The Non-Alcoholic Beverages Award was won by Bickford’s Australia with their back to the good ol’ days Bickford’s Milkshake Mixes – for shakes like they used to make. The Highly Commended winner was Mandailing Estate’s unique Single Origin Coffee and Mandailing Estate Kopi Luwak.

With Ready Meals seeing much hype in current trends, repeat winner Creative Food Solutions with ALDI Specially Selected Restaurant Meals could not be happier. The range of ready-to-heat-and-serve restaurant quality meals for the retail market is set for release in August.

The Highly Commended prize for this category went to another newcomer, catering to the toughest critics — Organic Bubs from The Organic Baby Food Company.

The final Award for the night was for the popular Soups & Prepared Meals category. With the Highly Commended Award going to Beerenberg for Beerenberg Coopers Ale Barbeque Sauce, the surprising win and acceptance speech for MARS Petcare Australia’s Dine and Dine Desire topped off the colourful evening.

FOOD Magazine would like to thank all sponsors, participants, finalists and judges for taking part in this great night. We look forward to your company once again at the FOOD Challenge Awards 2009.

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