Food & Drink /

Stellar Judging Panel Unveiled for the Future Food Awards 2019

Stellar Judging Panel Unveiled for the Future Food Awards 2019

A high-profile panel of industry leaders will weigh up contenders in nine exciting categories at the free-to-enter Future Food Awards 2019.

The list of Award judges, which has just been released, reads like a who’s who of the food industry. Big names including William Chase, founder of Tyrrells and Chase Distillery, Renee Elliott, founder of Planet Organic, and John Stapleton, founder of New Covent Garden Soup Co and Little Dish, are among seven Supreme Champion category judges.

The fast approaching Future Food Awards are the brainchild of Holly Shackleton, editor of Speciality Food – the biggest trade magazine in the fine food sector – and Sue Nelson, founder of The FoodTalk Show – a dedicated podcast enjoyed around the world.

They have joined forces to merge Speciality Food’s established New Producer Awards and The FoodTalk Awards to create the Future Food Awards, a pioneering awards scheme to promote cutting edge food and drink innovators and the industry at large.

Completing the judges’ line-up at the new Future Food Awards is fine food entrepreneur Monica Linton, founder of Spanish food company Brindisa, Ollie Lloyd, co-founder of recipe destination Great British Chefs, Ed Mehmed, director of business, ?What if! Innovation.  Finally, Russ Shaw, the founder of leading technology firm Global Tech Advocates and former VP of Skype.

The eminent panel of judges will be looking for businesses who can demonstrate a winning combination of product excellence and fresh thinking.

William Chase said: “I’m delighted to be on the panel for the Future Food Awards 2019. Starting up a new business takes hard work, determination and a big dose of brand magic to set you apart from the crowd. I can’t wait to learn about the latest innovation within each category and most importantly, each brand story.”

John Stapleton commented: “The UK and Ireland have become hotbeds of food and drink entrepreneurship. The Future Food Awards represent the pinnacle of this innovative industry and I am delighted to be involved.”

The winner of each category will be chosen by Future Food Award founders Holly Shackleton and Sue Nelson plus host Jason Gibb of Bread & Jam, and will go on to present to the full panel of judges at Bread & Jam, the UK’s first food founders’ festival. This will be held on Thursday 3 October 2019 at the Institute of Directors in London’s Pall Mall.  The judges will then select the Supreme Champion of the Future Food Awards.

Gibb, co-Founder of Bread & Jam said: “It is an exciting year to be part of the Future Food Awards as they are opening up to a larger field of inspiring, emerging challenger brands.  I’m proud to be on the judging panel of one of the few awards that are free to enter and offer winners such great exposure and support.”

The Future Food Awards have nine categories including Young Producer, Drink Innovation, Mission Driven and Technology, giving food and drink businesses ranging from small-scale producers to technology-driven innovators their time in the spotlight.

All finalists will be presented with trophies, promoted in Speciality Food and on prime slots on The FoodTalk Show – not to mention money-can’t-buy access to some of the most revered professionals in the UK’s food and drink industry.

Entries to The Future Food Awards 2019 will close at midnight on 30 June 2019. If your business is a taste of what’s to come in food and drink, enter for free or find out more at

The awards categories:

Young Producer – 5 finalists
A company headed by a founder or co-founder that is aged 25 years or under

Newcomer – 5 finalists
A company that has been trading less than two years

Mission-driven – 4 finalists
A company that is a CIC, social enterprise, charity or has profit for purpose at its heart

Farm-to-fork – 4 finalists
A company that champions or delivers traceable provenance from supply to the end consumer without the addition of unnecessary preservatives or additives

Food Innovation – 5 finalists
A food product that shows real innovation in their category using unusual ingredients or combinations or removing allergens without sacrificing quality or taste

Drink Innovation – 5 finalists
A beverage, soft or alcoholic drink that shows real innovation in their category using unusual ingredients or combinations or removing allergens without sacrificing quality or taste

Food Packaging – 4 finalists
Innovative packaging that delivers or protects food or drink products whether for retail, delivery or takeaway

Technology – 4 finalists
Smart gadgets, innovative apps or technology that makes cooking, preparing or analysing food easy to understand or use

Impossible to Categorise – 4 finalists
A company innovating in the food sector and making an important contribution that just doesn’t fit into the other award categories

For all categories, the awards are only open to food or foodtech sector businesses that have been trading for two full financial years with the exception of the Newcomer and Young Producer award.

Download this news release as a pdf