Free From Christmas Awards
Main Product Categories
Please find details below of what we are expecting to see in each of the six Free From Christmas Awards categories, pertaining only to seasonally relevant products, available for Christmas 2021.
Entries into ‘Gifting’ are all those free from foods you’d be proud to give to your allergic and coeliac friends and family – and also be delighted to receive!
Presentation counts when gifting so in this category we will be recognising both quality and free from credentials as well as the visual appeal of both the product and the packaging.
From tins of biscuits, advent calendars and selection boxes to panettone, artisan cheese and hampers. There are no hard or fast rules, all products in your range that you envisage will be given as gifts, are ideal entries for this category.
The judging process for this category will be slightly different in that once all entries have been tasted blind, scored and discussed the process will be repeated but this time with the packaging.
For those managing food allergies or intolerances, the thought of the Christmas party was, until relatively recently, not a happy one with many consumers citing this as the most challenging occasion over the festive period.
The innovation over the last few years has been impressive, and the once dreaded buffet can now be an inclusive occasion. Festive party food launches are now eagerly anticipated with consumers stockpiling their favourite products to enjoy throughout the year.
From canapés and sharing bites (savoury or sweet) to dips, crisps and crackers – this category is for anything that you would serve at a Christmas gatherings.
We are also hoping to taste entries in this category with some of our drinks entries to find some perfect, and possibly some more innovative, pairings.
Drinks – with and without alcohol
Sponsored for 2021 by Tesco
Christmas is both a time of celebration and a coming together when, perhaps more than any other time of the year, we love to enjoy a drink with friends and family.
Our drinks category includes all the drinks you’d ever see at a party or bar during this festive season. GF beer, spirits, cocktails, ciders, wines, mixers, syrups, kombuchas, elixirs and seltzers that are free-from, vegan, alcohol-free, or sugar-free mean that everyone can join in the celebrations, irrespective of allergies or dietary restrictions.
Festive traditions are important when it comes to Christmas dinner and inclusivity is desired on both a practical and emotional level.
Those managing food allergies or intolerances want to be part of the same foodie traditions that their family and friends are experiencing, and for those preparing and cooking the dinner there is often not adequate safe preparation (or oven space) to provide numerous different completely allergen-free options.
From festive meal centres and stuffing to pigs in blankets and other traditional accompaniments, not forgetting the gravy and other sauces; anything that would form part of the main Christmas dinner should be entered here.
Tea Time – Pies & Cakes
It’s reported that on average Brits will have eaten their first mince pie of the year by the end of November but what other tea time treats can rival the iconic mince pie?
There are an increasing number of seasonal treats hitting the free from shelves each year from spiced biscuits and decadent yule logs to festive cupcakes and gingerbread creations so let’s see if the mince pie will reign supreme.
After Dinner – Desserts & Confections
It’s the sweetest time of the year!
From traditional desserts to more alternative options the choices are now plentiful. Some may be show stopping centrepieces whilst others a more modest option, but all are delectable and delicious.
We are inviting entries from Christmas pudding to festive cheesecakes, from mountainous trifles to profiterole ski slopes. We’d also like to see your after dinner free from confections such as fudge, mint creams, truffles and chocolate thins.
If it’s sweet and decadent, then this is the category!
Christmas Food Product of the Year
Sponsored for 2021 by Nairn’s
Free from consumers actively seek product endorsements and recommendations and love to share. This behaviour is more prevalent at Christmas when there is a real appetite to try something new. With this award we want to share what our judges believe to be the best Christmas product, one they believe would justify travelling that extra mile for or spending that little bit more on …… after all it is Christmas.
Christmas Drink Product of the Year
Drinks, whether alcoholic or not, are a big part of the festive celebrations so many of us look forward too. With the drinks category open to such a diverse selection of products, and with drinks often playing second fiddle to food in the free from world, we felt it only right to acknowledge what our judges believe to be the standout product, one that would add that extra sparkle to those Christmas celebrations.
Best Independent Christmas Brand of the Year
The independent sector has always been incredibly important in the free from community and in many cases they have inspired the innovation and quality agenda. This award celebrates the contribution of these independent companies.
To qualify for the Best Independent Christmas Brand of the Year, a minimum of 3 products (small company) or 6 products (large company) must be entered.
Christmas Range of the Year
Sponsored for 2021 by Oakland International
With an inspiring array of new Christmas products and ranges across the free from sector ensuring the occasion of Christmas is truly inclusive, who should consumers look to for the most diverse, inspiring and of course delicious range this Christmas? An exciting category designed to recognise the significant role that the major retailers play in this sector.
To qualify for this award, a minimum of 10 products must be entered with at least one entry into each of the five food categories (excluding Drinks) of which the top scoring 10 will be taken into account.