This new category in the Baking Industry Awards has been created to reward new product innovation from the industry’s largest companies. Plant bakers, industrial cake producers and large desserts manufacturers, which have launched innovative new products in the past year, are all encouraged to enter the Puratos-sponsored award.

"We pride ourselves on innovation and this award is designed to recognise the new product development achievements of the largest players in the bread, cake and desserts markets," says Dan Oakley, Puratos’ managing director. "Judges will be looking for evidence of genuine innovation in a new product that has launched in the past 12 months. They will be keen to hear how the concept was developed, the consumer research that went into identifying a gap in the market and how the product was developed to fit into existing processing capabilities. Marketing and promotional activities - and how these targeted specific consumer groups - will also be of interest."

Puratos Group supplies ingredients to the bakery, confectionery and chocolate markets, including improvers, yeast, mixes, fillings and Belgian chocolate. In the UK, it has recently launched O-tentic - a product to meet the consumer demands for an authentic tasting bread in a very convenient mix. The baker simply adds flour and water to produce any premium quality crusty-style bread.

"The retail, industrial and craft sectors are equally important to us," says Oakley. "We are here to help our customers by providing innovative ingredients - not by competing with finished products. We are proud to sponsor this new award and look forward to entries from the industry’s leading players, highlighting the innovative nature of plant manufacturing and new product development in the UK."