NEW YORK -- London-based food retailer Sainsbury plc was presented with the Most Innovative Food Manufacturer Award, Dinner, for its Fresh Creations meal kits during the first Global Food and Drink Awards, held Oct. 25 at the Roosevelt Hotel here.
The black-tie event, sponsored by publisher Financial Times Retail & Consumer, was attended by international retailers, suppliers and manufacturers.
Sainsbury won this category based on the judges' decision that the kits, which include everything needed to create a gourmet meal in less than 10 minutes, are one of the company's "most significant product launches in recent years."
"The customer drives the vote," said Bernie Rogan, director of corporate communications for Shaw's Supermarkets, East Bridgewater, Mass., who accepted the award on behalf of the retailer. Sainsbury is Shaw's parent company.
Rogan said the chain created the kits due to consumer requests. "These are gourmet meals they can prepare in the bosom of their own home," he added.
Winner of the breakfast category was Kraft for its Create-a-Crunch and Grapenut O's cereals, and Nestle U.S.A. and U.K. took home the award for the snack category for its Pretzel Fliptz product.
Sainsbury also walked away with the award for Most Outstanding use of IT in the Supply Chain for its Sainsbury's Information Direct Web site, used to help suppliers participate in promotional planning.
Among the other winners were Most Innovative International Retailer: French retailer Carrefour; Most Innovative Drinks Manufacturer, Alcoholic: Whitbread Beer Co., for Boddingtons; Most Innovative Drinks Manufacturer, Non-alcoholic: Proctor & Gamble, for Sunny Delight; Most Effective Marketing Campaign: Lowe Howard Spink, for Tesco: Every Little Helps; Most Effective Design: Nestle Canada, for the Nescafe Origins range; Supply Chain Excellence: Pillsbury Europe; and Chief Executive Officer of the Year: Francis Mackay from Compass Group.