The deadline for the Baking Industry Awards 2023 draws near meaning there is no time like the present to shout about your achievements.

With 14 categories to choose from, there’s something for businesses of all sizes, from major bakery manufacturers to artisanal enterprises, mid-sized ingredients suppliers and everyone in between. The awards are completely free to enter, so there’s nothing to lose but so much to gain. The deadline for entries is Friday 5 May.

Enter the Baking Industry Awards now

Finalists in each category are invited with a guest for free to the black-tie event, held at the Royal Lancaster in London on Tuesday 7 November 2023.

Need more encouragement? Here are just some of the benefits from entering the awards:

An engaged audience watching the people on stage

More than 500 members of the baking industry attend the event

Gain unparalleled exposure for your business

The Baking Industry Awards stage is the stage to be recognised on. Not only do our winners get a moment in the spotlight, but they also get a chance to thank their teams, suppliers and customers live on stage in front of key decision makers in the sector.

“That was an incredibly proud moment not just for me but for the entire business,” said Matthew Bond, creative director at doughnut specialist Project D, which took home the title of Online Bakery Business of the Year at the 2022 awards. “Being able to thank our suppliers that were in the crowd and fellow people in the industry really made it,” he added.

James Eid, founder of Earth & Wheat, which was named Sustainability Initiative of the Year the same year, said it was a “real privilege” to win one the prestigious awards.

“One benefit of entering and winning such a recognised award is it gives Earth & Wheat credibility amongst peers in the baking industry,” said James Eid. “It has also meant Earth & Wheat’s brand exposure within the sector has been strengthened.”


A lovely looking sourdough tin loaf with flour on top

Source: Lovingly Artisan

The winning Malted Barley Sourdough from Lovingly Artisan

Take a closer look at your operations

Every entry starts with an online form, which looks to garner key information about the person, business or product being entered. From there, the judging process varies depending on the category but may involve product testing, a site visit, or an online interview with the judging panel.

Taking the time to learn from the process itself is possibly the best thing you can do for your business

It is this process that really allows you to analyse your work and learn from it.

“Taking the time to learn from the process itself is possibly the best thing you can do for your business; it helps you develop and grow and above all improve what you do,” explained Catherine Connor, co-owner of Lovingly Artisan – the bakery behind the Malted Barley Sourdough Tin which took home the trophy for Speciality Bread of the Year in 2022.

“The questions allow you to think about your bakery, where you are currently, to reflect and focus on your achievements so far and ultimately what your goals and ambitions are for the future,” Connor added. She described the judges throughout the process as “kind and understanding”.

It’s not the only time the Cumbria-based bakery has triumphed at the Baking Industry Awards. Co-owner and head baker Aidan Monks was named Baker of the Year at the 2019 event, while the bakery’s Kombucha Sourdough secured the trophy for the Bakery Innovation Award the same year.

Despite the firm’s success, Connor is open about the fact that Lovingly Artisan doesn’t win everything it enters. “We give it a go; when we don’t win, we learn from the experience,” she added. “It’s about trusting the process and learn and developing so you don’t stand still.”


Peter Doughty-Cook (right) with his wife Mavis and Brook Food & Bakery Equipment’s Mike Moran

Peter Doughty-Cook (right) with his wife Mavis and Brook Food & Bakery Equipment’s Mike Moran

Generate positive publicity for your bakery

Taking home a Baking Industry Award, and even being selected as a finalist, can result in coveted media coverage for your business in local newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV stations. In some cases, the national media may even come calling.

Peter Doughty-Cook, the reigning Baker of the Year, was featured on his local BBC radio station following his win, as well as local newspapers covering the story.

The British Baker team even offer a helping hand in the form of a ‘Make the most of your win’ pack, which includes a handy press release, winner’s logos, and social media assets to help you shout about your success.

“We utilise the awards in quite a few different ways, through press releases, media conversations with local and regional TV and more recently we’ve been lucky enough to have those conversations with national TV too,” said Lovingly Artisan’s Connor.

“Within days of any form of TV coverage, our bread counters were buzzing with customers. But that’s not all we feature the awards on. Across our website, our newsletters, social media output and most importantly talk about them in our daily conversations with our customers – the awards are the most fundamental thing we do for the business.”

What’s more, every finalist is featured on the British Baker website, where we explain in more detail why the people, products and businesses were shortlisted for these coveted awards. Further coverage follows after the winners are announced, with stories shared across social media and newsletters.


Three men in tuxedos celebrating winning an award

Project D celebrating their win at the Baking Industry Awards 2022

Thank your team for their hard work

Whether you’re a team of two or 200, the Baking Industry Awards are an excellent way to recognise the people at the heart of your business.

“This has been a huge morale boost for the entire company, after such a challenging few years. It is brilliant to be able to recognise every single person for their contribution,” said Sean Sarafilovic, director at Stephens Bakery, which received the Craft Bakery Business Award in 2021. “It brings an enhanced sense of pride to what we do day in and day out to serve our loyal customers.”

Stephens took its gratitude even further by giving every person in the business a letter from the directors, which thanked them for their contribution, as well as a voucher and tipple of their choice.

For Bond at Project D, announcing the win to the wider team really cemented the achievement.

“We came back and did a big team huddle in the bakery… and said: ‘we’ve been recognised on a nationwide scale at the Baking Industry Awards – this is huge and an absolute testament to all the hard work we put in day in, day out’,” said Bond. “It was a huge morale boost for the guys.”


A bakery retailer of the year sign in front of seeded sourdough loaves

Create a talking point with customers

The awards give you an excuse to shout about your success across social media, newsletters and more. Plus, the physical trophies and certificates can act as a talking point with curious customers.

M&S, for example, has proudly displayed signs revealing its status as Bakery Retailer of the Year 2022 across its in-store bakeries – the signs are eye-level for customers pondering which sourdough or yumnut to purchase.

Industry approval and acknowledgement always results in a sale or in future sales

For those with smaller estates, the awards can be placed directly next to the winning products. This is a tactic Lovingly Artisan uses to strike up conversations with visitors to its stores.

“Industry approval and acknowledgement always results in a sale or in future sales,” co-owner Connor noted. “The conversation unfolds as soon as the customer sees the award alongside the loaf. That conversation delivers sales, especially when the customer’s confidence in what is being produced is further enhanced by the fact that either the product has won an award, or the baker has won an award for excellence.”

The same can be true for manufacturers. Welcoming visitors to a site adorned with trophies and certificates can go a long way to instilling further confidence in your business.

Enter the Baking Industry Awards now