Innovation awards for two local businesses

editorial image

TWO local businesses were celebrating last month after being awarded prizes in the Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards.

Stonehaven-based food ingredients manufacturer, Macphie of Glenbervie, picked up two awards at the ceremoney which took place at Aberdeen’s Marcliffe Hotel, while Netherley lad Jamie Hutcheon’s luxury handmade chocolate business Cocoa Ooze made it a treble for the area.

It was Macphie’s range of DeviliShh “posh puds”, including a Crème Brûléée, Panna Cotta and Pot au Chocolat, won the Most Innovative Retail Product Award. The judges praised the company’s approach through their innovative “DeviliShh parties” and use of social media, which set them apart from the other entries. They congratulated Macphie for venturing into a completely new sector and bringing the “dine out” experience into the home.

And there was more excitement for the company this month when DeviliShh made its TV debut, appearing on QVC’s Gourmet Food Show.

The company also received the Most Innovative Foodservice Award for its Red Velvet Cake Mix and Vanilla Rainbow Frosting. Macphie identified a gap in the UK market for this show-stopping vampy red velvet cake mix, which is a big trend in the USA. It was a popular choice during Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

Since its launch in November 2010, Macphie has sold the equivalent of 500,000 cupcakes. The judges were very impressed with the “potential profit margins available to foodservice customers when using the products. It is backed up by a comprehensive marketing campaign which creates a strong visual impression.”

Meanwhile Cocoa Ooze took home a bronze award in the Most Innovative Retail Product category for small businesses, for its Scottish Strawberry Vodka Truffle and Raspberry, Mango and Passion Fruit Layered Chocolates.

The awards were presented by Neil Turton, chief executive of Nisa-Today’s. He judged the products alongside Richard Bath, editor of Scottish Field magazine and Joe Wall, owner of the Cress Company, a Dunfermline-based distributor of fine foods.

Mr Turton said: “It’s great to see companies innovating in response to market changes such as more people eating in.

“Companies are having to look at ways to develop new exciting products to survive and not just supplying commodities. A diverse product mix is vital to a sustainable future as manufacturers and employers.”

Macphie Head of Marketing, Paula Cormack, said: “As a company we continue to push ourselves to offer new and exciting products. We’re thrilled that all our hard work, passion and creativity have been duly recognised by the judges.

“It’s testament to the great team work by lots of people at Macphie who continue to drive the business forward in a fiercely competitive international market place.”