Turkey judging to get under way

Some of the UK’s best turkey products have now been shortlisted for final judging as the British Turkey Awards 2012 kick up a gear.

Nine retailer and catering categories, ranging from Best Meal Solution and Best Ready-to-Eat to Best Innovation, plus the obligatory Best Christmas Traditional and Best Christmas Convenience, will be judged this month.

Some of the supermarkets all-year-round offerings competing for an award include popular flavour combinations to tempt shoppers, such as Morrisons Tomato and Mozzarella Topped Turkey Escalopes, Asda Chilli Turkey Burgers, and Sainsbury’s ‘Just Cook’ Turkey Escalope with Garlic Butter & Parmesan Crumb.

Organisers said a key trend this year was convenience, with many turkey products adding value for the consumer – from ready-prepared stuffings and toppings to oven-ready boned and rolled premium Christmas joints complete with their own foil cooking trays.

An independent panel of judges will taste their way through 13 different whole roast turkeys before choosing three finalists for the coveted Best Christmas Traditional trophy.

Nicola Rye, chair of the British Turkey Federation’s publicity and marketing committee, said: “The products shortlisted this year look really exciting in all the sectors, with many being submitted for the first time into the awards. Turkey is a key time for whole birds at Christmas of course, but it is also great to see the wide variety of everyday versatile turkey cuts now appearing on the retailers’ shelves which gives the consumer more choice and a healthy option for the weekly shopping basket.”

Winners of each category, plus the top accolade of Retailer of the Year, will be announced at a gala dinner on 27 September at The Savoy, London.