retailer-of-the-year-morrisonsMorrisons has been named British Turkey Retailer of the Year at the 2009 industry awards. The supermarket chain was declared the winner for its “fantastic” product range and wide variety of prices, which judges said reflected the store’s imaginative use of the whole turkey carcass.

The panel of independent judges praised Morrisons for even choosing to sell two variations of the undervalued turkey leg – and said it would be easy for consumers to translate the different cuts into good recipes.

With the “100% British” credentials flagged up clearly on pack, Morrisons was the clear winner, said judges.

Waitrose was praised for a “strong showing” and Asda for championing British on its packs of turkey. But Morrisons was way ahead of all its rival retailers, said the judges.

Morrisons was presented with the Retailer of the Year trophy by TV sports personality Gabby Logan and Catriona Lee, chairman of British Turkey Federation’s Marketing Committee, in front of 200 guests and VIPs at Claridge’s, London.

Winners of the 12 categories were announced from 92 entries, ranging from crusty turkey pies, meatballs and sausages to nine different whole roasted turkeys.

The judging panel, made up of trade and consumer journalists, included a consumer, mother-of-three Cristina Ellis, who won her place through a competition on the British Turkey website. She said: “All my family loves turkey and we eat it often. But I never realised so many different British turkey products were out there. It would be good to see them displayed like that in all the supermarkets all the time.”

A new category, Best Meal Solution, introduced to reflect how more people are eating at home rather than going out during the credit crunch, was won by Bernard Matthews Southern Fried Golden Drummers. The judges said: “We liked these when we were kids and we love them today now they are healthier. For families with children, you can’t go wrong.”

The all-important Christmas category was split into two sections – Traditional and Convenience. The Traditional category was again won by KellyBronze, the free-range brand farmed by Kelly Turkey Farms and available direct from the farm or through Kelly franchisees and butchers. The Convenience category, aimed at busy or unskilled cooks, was also clinched by Morrisons for its Luxury Turkey Crown with Pork, Sage and Onion Stuffing, which is packed in a foil cooking tray and was proclaimed by the judges as “juicy, tasty and so easy to carve”.

Catriona Lee, marketing spokesman of the British Turkey Federation, said: “Once again retailers and producers have surpassed themselves. The quality and variety of British turkey products now available all year round on the supermarket shelves is inspiring.”

Andrew Lewins, chairman of the British Turkey Federation, told guests: “Without our customers’ unflinching and growing support and selection of British turkey, we would not be the industry we are. This evening is about celebrating the very best of products which earn that customer support, from traditional whole birds, to innovative preparations, to sophisticated convenience products. Whether white, bronze, barn-reared, free-range, all are serving the consumer and offering an unrivalled choice for every palate and every pocket while being underpinned by the most comprehensive welfare and food safety assurance scheme in the world – Quality British Turkey.

“Long may our customers, our conduit to the consumer, choose to value that assurance above the least cost alternative of worldwide sourcing and unsustainable food miles.”

The evening also raised more than £5,000 for the children’s medical charity SPARKS.

The winners in full:

Best meal solution (sponsored by Sierra Space Heating) Bernard Matthews Southern Fried Golden Drummers

Best Christmas – convenience (sponsored by Noble Foods) Morrisons Luxury Turkey Crown with Pork, Sage and Onion Stuffing

Best Christmas – traditional (sponsored by Hybrid Turkeys)
Kelly Turkeys KellyBronze Turkey

Best barbecue Asda Turkey Sausages – Highly Commended, Morrisons Hot and Spicy Turkey Kebabs – winner

Best branded (sponsored by DS Smith Packaging) Cranberry Foods Ready to Roast Turkey Breast and Thigh Joint with Pork, Sage and Buttered Onion Stuffing

Best innovation (sponsored by Elanco) Snowbird Foods Ltd Turkey Tuckers meatballs

Butcher of the year Jenkinsons, Golbourne, Warrington

Chef of the year (sponsored by Aviagen) Robert Stordy, Chef Lecturer, University of Derby, Turkey Escalope stuffed with Sage & Vegetable Mousse, Meat Glazed Potatoes, Minted Broad Bean Puree and Port Jus

Recipe writer of the year Rebecca Smith, Woman & Home – Spicy Sweetcorn and Turkey Burgers

Best catering Lincs Turkeys Fresh Free-Range Butterfly Turkey

Best ready to eat Adlington Oak Smoked Turkey Drumstick

Retailer of the year (best retail range) (sponsored by BacoFoil) Morrisons

British Turkey

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