Food & Drink Heroes was founded in 2021 to support and recognise the business owners leading the way in food and beverage sectors including hospitality, alcoholic drinks and confectionery.
The organisers of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards launched the programme as a response to the high volume and standard of entries to its Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year category, aiming to shine a light on the many different areas of the industry in their own right.
It is also hoped that this year’s awards will offer a boost to businesses that have suffered as a result of recent economic challenges. In March 2022, 60% of food & beverage enterprises reported that rising energy costs had impacted them, compared with 38% across all sectors – a statistic which is now likely to be higher following subsequent increases to the energy price cap.
The judging panel, made up of a host of industry experts from companies such as Coca-Cola, Costa Coffee and Sainsbury’s, will be looking to honour those applicants that have shown resilience and adaptability in difficult times, instead of simply highlighting those with the biggest turnover or growth.
The Food & Drink Heroes final is due to take place as part of the second annual Ideas Fest, a two-day business festival bringing together entrepreneurs and key speakers from across the UK.
Food & Drink Heroes founder Francesca James said: “After 10 years of running the Great British Entrepreneur Awards and receiving so many outstanding applications from food and drink entrepreneurs, it’s clear this is an industry that is so important and immensely diverse. That’s why it felt only right to launch Food & Drink Heroes.
“Food and drink is a wonderful area to celebrate because it’s universal. Especially as the food and beverage scene becomes ever-more innovative and inclusive, there is a business or subsector out there that caters for the individual tastes and preferences of us all, whether it be your favourite street food outlet or the brand of soft spirits that taste amazing without the alcohol content.
“I hope that by celebrating some of these amazing companies through the awards more people will discover the up-and-coming brands that could become a staple on their shopping list, a perfect birthday gift or a new regular destination for a meal out.
“We would encourage anyone running a food or beverage business in the South East to come forward and tell us their story. There is nothing to lose and you could be a 2023 winner!”
Entries for Food & Drink Heroes 2023 close on Friday 21 April.