The prestigious, annual British Turkey Awards ceremony took place last night which saw Asda clinch the top title, British Turkey Retailer of the Year.
Judges praised the multiple for supporting its fresh turkey range at the fixture, with clear signposting and labelling, and for providing consumers with “a good selection of both budget and quality portions”. The independent panel of judges also agreed Asda’s regular price promotions were a great way to get new people trying turkey during the week.
As well as stocking the essential cuts, such as mince, breast steaks, fillets and diced thigh, Asda also carries a wide barbecue range with flavoured sausages and burgers, which judges thought would help encourage the eating of turkey outside of Christmas.
Asda was handed the Retailer of the Year trophy by stand-up and television comedian Mark Watson, and Paul Kelly, chair of the British Turkey Federation, in front of more than 250 guests from the British Turkey industry and VIPs at The Dorchester, London. Watson also provided after-dinner entertainment.
Winners of the 13 categories were announced from 160 entries, ranging from rare breed whole turkeys to Christmas turkey “crackers” and “bombes”, convenient cook-from-frozen breast pieces, a turkey salad sandwich, and a turkey pasta ready meal for toddlers.
The Best Christmas Traditional Product, in which fresh or frozen white turkeys are entered, was won by Morrisons Basted Turkey for having the best appearance, all-round good flavour and value for money.
For its delicious dark and white meat, crisp crackly skin, and ease of carving, judges chose Asda Extra Special Free Range British Corn Fed Bronze Turkey in the Best Christmas Premium category, saying they would be very happy to have this on Christmas Day.
And the Best Christmas Convenience Product was awarded to M&S Turkey Roulade with Pork, Mushroom and Spinach with Smoked Bacon. Judges were impressed by the moist meat and top quality stuffing, which was evenly distributed inside.
The judging panel comprised Kevin White, Senior Reporter at The Grocer and Aidan Fortune, News Editor at Meat Trades Journal, Lucy Blackwell, food editor of consumer food magazines Bella and Take A Break; Lee Maycock, Vice Chairman Craft Guild of Chefs; Sheila Eggleston, Food & Drink Editor, Cost Sector Catering. Plus consumer Melita Wheeler, who won her place on the panel after entering a competition on britishturkey.co.uk
Wheeler said: “I was already a big fan of turkey and do eat it a lot, but it was fascinating to see the variety of products offered by supermarkets all year round. There really is no excuse to only eat turkey at Christmas!”
Paul Kelly, Chair of the British Turkey Federation, said: “I would like to commend all the retailers, manufacturers and farmers who were shortlisted for an award and extend my many congratulations to the winners. The results show just how hard the industry is working to produce the best quality turkey products and we thank the retailers who are supporting them. A special British Turkey Awards winner logo will be available for placing on packs and POS to show their consumers they really are buying the best of British.”
The evening also raised more than £12,500 for the children’s medical charity Sparks, and Dravet Syndrome UK.