The battle to win the prestigious Retailer of the Year title at the 2013 British Turkey Awards has been won by Asda – for the fourth year in a row.  Judges were impressed by the extensive range of fresh turkey portions sold all year round, saying that it “ticked all the boxes” of providing the basic everyday cuts as well as more innovative products that targets every consumer type and meal occasion.

Retailer

All supermarkets that entered, including Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Co-op and Aldi, showed they stocked a good range of essentials – breast steaks and fillets, mince and diced thigh, but the independent judging panel felt Asda just pipped the others to the post with their seasonal additions to the range, such as two varieties of sausage and burgers for the barbecue season. Judges believed this would help encourage the purchase of turkey during the weekly shop.

The attractive packaging and presentation of the turkey meat also appealed, with clear, easy to ready labelling and support of the British provenance through the Union flag and Quality British Turkey logo.

Morrisons everyday range also came highly commended, for its wide variety, in particular the added value products such as marinated turkey steaks, leg and thigh joints and a choice of lean breast or thigh mince.

Asda was handed the Retailer of the Year trophy by TV and radio presenter Stephen Mulhern, and Nicola Compton, chair of the British Turkey Federation’s Publicity & Marketing Committee, in front of more than 260 guests and VIPs at The Savoy, London. Mulhern also provided after-dinner entertainment.

Winners of the 12 categories were announced from 83 entries, ranging from a pulled BBQ Turkey Thigh with a lime & Chilli BBQ Sauce, Kentucky Spiced Turkey Breast and Turkey Meatballs. Judges also has to taste their way through 17 different Christmas roast turkeys.

The Best Christmas Traditional Product, which standard white turkeys may be submitted, was won by Aldi for their Ashfield Farm Turkey. On the special breed side, judges chose Grove Smith English Rose Bronze Free Range Turkey in the Best Christmas Premium category. For the busy consumer looking for a festive added-value turkey option, the Best Christmas Convenience Product was awarded to Sainsbury’s Stock Basted Breast Joint with Cranberry, Apricot and Cherry Topping.

The judges comprised of Ceri James, acting editor of Great British Food magazine; Sheila Eggleston, writer for catering publication Stockpot; Lee Maycock from the Craft Guild of Chefs; and Karen Dow – a member of the public who won her place on the panel through a competition on the British Turkey website. Dow said: “I had no idea there was quite that much turkey available in supermarkets throughout the year. I do cook turkey at home quite often myself, but it’s great to know there is so much choice out there and I hope more people start putting it in their trolleys.”

Nicola Compton, Chair of the British Turkey Publicity and Marketing Committee, said: “Congratulations to all the winners – with the support of the retailers and foodservice operators the industry is expanding, innovating and ultimately driving consumers to eat more turkey both in and outside of the traditional Christmas season. Specially designed logos are available for packs so that retailers can communicate to their customers that they are supplying award-winning products.”

The evening also raised more than £13,000 for the children’s medical charity Sparks, and Dravet Syndrome UK.

The winners in full are:

Turkey Awards Winners 2013:

  1. Best Meal Solution (sponsored by Hybrid Turkeys) – By Sainsbury’s Just Cook BBQ Turkey Thigh with a Lime & Chilli BBQ Sauce
  2. Best Christmas Convenience Product (sponsored Securcom) – By Sainsbury’s Stock Basted Turkey Breast Joint with Cranberry, Apricot and Cherry Topping
  3. Best Christmas Traditional Product (sponsored by Easichick) – Aldi Ashfield Farm Medium British Turkey
  4. Best Christmas Premium Product (sponsored by Alltech) – Grove Smith Turkeys English Rose Bronze Free Range Turkey
  5. Best Innovation (sponsored by ABN) – Tesco 4 Chipotle Chilli and BBQ Turkey Burger
  6. Best Foodservice Product for Cost Sector (sponsored by Flo Gas) – The UK Foodhall Ltd Ready to Roast British Turkey Breast
  7. Best Foodservice Product for Profit Sector (sponsored by Flo Gas) – Grove Smith English Rose Turkey Hen Crown
  8. Best Ready-to-Eat Product (sponsored by Noble Foods) – Sainsbury’s Deli Counters Carvery Roast Turkey
  9. Best Dietitian Recipe (sponsored by Business Stream) – Angharad Banner for Mediterranean Turkey Gratin
  10. Best Blogger Recipe (sponsored by Red Tractor) – Lucy Parissi – Ultimate Turkey Burgers with Spicy Tomato Jam
  11. Student Chef of the Year (sponsored by Aviagen) – Sean Nolan, Hertford Regional College – Salad of slow cooked British turkey thigh, turkey lollipop, beetroot & cranberry cream cheese: Daniel Draper, Westminster Kingsway College – Stuffed British turkey breast and a turkey thigh baklava served with a sweet potato purée, char grilled green beans and a sherry jus
  12. Foodservice Operator of the Year (sponsored by Paragon) – Mitchells and Butler for Toby Carveries
  13. Retailer of the Year (sponsored by Zoetis) – Asda

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