T his award is open to any supplier or retailer, large or small, whether you make or sell a 49p croissant or a £29 cake. If you are proud of the quality of your product, please enter. This award isn’t just about products like Tesco Finest; it is also about great quality standard products. Customers on all budgets should expect to get a quality product when they visit the bakery department or shop.
"Customers use very emotive, positive language when they shop in the bakery department. Quality is a key driver of the emotional connection with our category. So we will judge quality across a broad umbrella of products, covering many areas," says Neil Franklin, category manager. "Judges will assess entrants by what the finished product looks and tastes like. They will also want to see how your product differentiates itself from other comparable products in the market and in your shop and how you achieved the end result in terms of ingredients, manufacturing process, flavours and aroma?"
Franklin says Tesco decided to focus on quality this year after attending last year’s ceremony. "As our customers and suppliers know, Tesco has a continued focus on quality to ensure we always have the best quality products in the market. When we were at the awards last year, we noticed you couldn’t clearly identify the best products in the whole baking industry, so we asked to sponsor this award."
Tesco regularly reviews the range and quality of its products, says Franklin. "We do this through internal benchmarking and independent customer panelling. Over the last year we have redeveloped and improved the quality of over 70% of our range. We have started initiatives such as further salt reductions and the removal of artificial colours and flavours from our own-brand ranges," he says. "This year we will introduce some exciting developments in our Finest range and ensure our ISB bread is best-in-class."