Get our best content directly in your inbox
Sign up

Introducing the FreeFrom Food Awards 2019 finalists

13 min read

A new ‘FreeFrom Gift category joined the roster of categories for this year’s FreeFrom Food Awards. And very well supported it was– along with one of last year’s stand out ‘newbies’ – FreeFrom Milk Alternatives. With the explosion in non-animal milks and vegan products in general, this was always going to be a popular category.

But vegan and milk free alternatives certainly did not have it all their own way. The shortlist contains excellent new gluten free products, an encouraging growth in egg free products and, very pleasingly, a huge entry once again for the ‘No Top 14’ category. To enter, products had to exclude all top 14 major allergens from their ingredients.

Awards Director Michelle Berriedale-Johnson said: “No outsider, joining one of our judging sessions, would ever realise that the products we are judging are ‘Freefrom’ – so good is the quality of Freefrom food these days. Some really excellent entries and winners.”

The presentation took place at the Royal College of Physicians on 20th March 2019.


  1. The Innovation Award – sponsored by Food Matters Live
  2. ‘No top 14’ allergens‘ – sponsored by The Food Talk Show
  3. Best product from a start-up – sponsored by OF+Consulting
  4. FODMAP Friendly Foods – sponsored by FODMAP Friendly
  5. FreeFrom Gifts – sponsored by Tesco
  6. Breakfast – sponsored by London Brunch Fest
  7. Milk Product Alternatives – sponsored by House
  8. Bread – sponsored by Ilumi
  9. Store cupboard – sponsored by Orgran
  10. Pasta and Pizza – sponsored by FREEE by Doves Farm
  11. Superfoods & sport supplements – sponsored by Tiana Fair Trade Organics
  12. ‘Food to go’ – sponsored by Nairn’s Oatcakes
  13. Down the Pub and the Bar – sponsored by Asda
  14. Savoury Snacks and Crackers – sponsored by SYNLAB
  15. Meaty & Fishy Ready Meals – sponsored by Allergy + FreeFrom Show
  16. Veggie Ready Meals – sponsored by Delamere Dairy
  17. Foods designed for children – sponsored by Genius Gluten Free
  18. Tea Time! – sponsored by Anaphylaxis Campaign
  19. Desserts and Puddings – sponsored by Synergis Marketing
  20. Confectionery and chocolate – sponsored by Wellaby’s
  21. Bars – cereal, fruit, superfood, grain-free etc – sponsored by Romer Labs

Special awards:

22. Retailer of the Year – Oakland International
23. FreeFrom Hero Award – Lucy Bee

The Innovation Award – sponsored by Food Matters Live

‘No top 14’ allergens – sponsored by the Food Talk Show

Start Ups and Small Producers – sponsored by OF+Consulting

*NEW* FODMAP Friendly Foods – sponsored by FODMAP Friendly

*NEW* FreeFrom Gifts – sponsored by Tesco

Breakfast foods – sponsored by the London Brunch Fest

Milk Product Alternatives – sponsored by House

Breads – sponsored by Ilumi

Store cupboard – sponsored by Orgran

Pasta and Pizza – sponsored by FREEE by Doves Farm

Superfoods & Sports Supplements – sponsored by Tiana Fair Trade Organics

‘Food to go’ – sponsored by Nairn’s Oatcakes

Down the Pub and the Bar – sponsored by Asda

Savoury Snacks and Crackers – sponsored by SYNLAB

Meaty and Fishy Ready Meals – sponsored by the Allergy + FreeFrom Show

Veggie Ready Meals – sponsored by Delamere Dairy

Foods designed for children – sponsored by Genius Gluten Free

Tea Time! – Sponsored by the Anaphylaxis Campaign

Desserts and Puddings – sponsored by Synergis Marketing

Confectionery and Chocolate – sponsored by Wellaby’s

Bars – cereal, fruit, superfood, grain-free etc– sponsored by Romer Labs

FreeFrom Hero  – sponsored by Lucy Bee

1. Chef Akila

Chef Akila is a 75 year-old Indian grandmother living in Yorkshire. After being diagnosed with cancer and serious medical problems 5 years ago she wanted to leave a legacy so set out to develop a range of free-from, healthier gourmet Indian food. Using her traditional recipes and working with nutritionists and doctors she has developed more  25 dishes all of which are gluten free and six of which are free of all 14 allergens. Ingredients are locally sources and all dishes are hand cooked, flash frozen and sold by mail order.

2. Deb Bailey-Knibbs at the Labyrinth Holistic Café

Not only is Labyrinth a not-for-profit business, it is 100% for the community. Deb caters for everyone, all diets and are 100% gluten free. She and all her staff are knowledgeable, totally allergy aware, well trained, friendly and passionate about giving others the best experience they can. The idea is that the food can all be tweaked at the last minute to accommodate different diets and allergies. The food si also priced to eb affordabvle by all.  
Deb also operates a food bank, pay it forward scheme, and collects filled handbags for ladies on hard times. 

3. Lucy Finnemore at Higher Lank Farm

Lucy started catering for families with allergies over 10 years ago after a mum contacted her to ask if she could help and her passion and knowledge developed from there. She takes clear and meticulous steps to keep all her meals safe and free from cross contamination. 
“I don’t think you realise how keyed up you are by food all the time, until you don’t need to be. We are now completely relaxed in Lucy’s care, which is just brilliant. We know she gets it – she understands cross contamination and ‘may contains’, and is immensely reassuring in her manner.”

4. Ryan Panchoo – Borough 22

Ryan makes doughnuts, but not just any doughnuts. His are gluten and milk and soy and egg free. Ryan started making freefrom doughnuts for his own family back in 2011 when his wife and children were diagnosed as gluten dairy intolerant. Now he sells them from his site and through various local outlets. But he is a hero within the freefrom community because of the endless hours he has devoted to creating bespoke doughnuts for children who can eat as few as four ingredients.


    Related content