Awards Programmes DO boost business growth says Taste of the West

By Anita Jaynes on 5 March, 2015

Taste of the West has recently conducted research throughout the South West area to see how businesses respond to awards programmes in general. Do they work? And what are the benefits of entering awards programmes? The results demonstrate that there can be significant benefits to business growth by taking part in awards programmes run in the South West with businesses seeking to profit from increased promotional opportunities. They also receive succinct and objective feedback on how well a business or product is performing in the market place – enabling them to make improvements year on year. Crucially – they enable businesses and products to ‘stand out’ in an already crowded marketplace.

John Sheaves, Chief Executive, Taste of the West Ltd – a food supply chain cooperative with 1100 food producer and hospitality members said: “There are basically two types of awards programme – those which offer a voting opportunity by the consumer for their favourite establishment or product and those which use objective judges to mark an establishment or product against a set of criteria. Both have their place and value however, through our experience of running the UK’s largest regional food and drink awards programme, we are seeking to raise the bar in terms of excellence. In this way, we know that we can offer a product to a discerning consumer market which has been thoroughly tested and evaluated.”

Robin Barker, Services for Tourism and Organiser of The South West Tourism Excellence Awards also said:“Objectivity is key for our industry – without it we could not drive excellence at all.  Our recent 2014 programme attracted a record 425 entrants to the scheme and we awarded 250 winners.  Not only have they now used their success to promote their individual tourism businesses, but we have provided detailed feedback to all entrants enabling them to learn and to raise the bar for next year.  This is how we have been able to drive a phenomenal upward surge in standards year on year to the point now where it is really challenging to pick overall winners – and that is where we want to be”.

The Taste of the West Awards, the UK’s largest regional food and drink awards programme of its kind, helps small to medium sized food and drink businesses from the South West to thrive. In 2014 – the scheme attracted 1,000 south west produced food and drink products of which 654 were winners and 313 establishments, of which 263 were winners.

With the chance to win overall ‘Champion Product,’ ‘Best of Class,’ ‘Gold,’ ‘Silver’ and our new ‘Highly Commended’ award, which replaces the ‘Bronze’ award, your products or premises will be carefully judged by a panel comprising food industry experts, including: chefs, food writers, critics, and producers from outside the region.

There are no limits on the number of awards the judges may grant, so every delicious product or sumptuous establishment can enjoy this fantastic opportunity for further promotion.

As well as featuring the Taste of the West award logos on products, premises, and websites, award-winning products receive promotion throughout the year at shows and exhibitions.

Entries are now open for the 2015 Taste of the West awards, closing on Friday 3April, with judging taking place at the end of April.

For more information and entry forms go to, follow them on Facebook or Twitter @Tasteofthewest, email or call 01404 822012.