Henderson Wholesale Wins First Ever Great Taste Stars For Local Products

The Fresh team at Henderson Wholesale, part of the Henderson Group, is celebrating after winning their first ever Great Taste stars as part of the Great Taste Awards of 2016.

Fresh Trading Managers Steven Kennedy and Iain Dickson join Neal Kelly (centre), Fresh Foods Director at Henderson Wholesale, part of the Henderson Group, to celebrate winning their first ever Great Taste stars as part of the Great Taste Awards of 2016.

Fresh Trading Managers Steven Kennedy and Iain Dickson with Neal Kelly (centre), Fresh Foods Director at Henderson Wholesale

The company received 1-star status for two products developed within their ‘enjoy local’ range in conjunction with local suppliers; enjoy local Natural Yogurt with Clandeboye Estate in North Down, and enjoy local Roast Beef Dinner with Armagh-based Daily Bake.

Over 10,000 products were judged by over 500 of the most demanding palates belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs and producers as well as a whole host of food writers and journalists, Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers.

As well as a badge of honour, the unmistakeable black and gold Great Taste label is a signpost to a wonderful tasting product, which has been discovered through hours and hours of blind-tasting by hundreds of judges.

Neal Kelly, Fresh Foods Director at Henderson Wholesale spoke of his pride upon hearing the news; “This is the first year we have entered any of our products in to Great Taste and we are over the moon to see two of our best selling products and local suppliers get the recognition they very much deserve. We have been working with Clandeboye Estate and Daily Bake for a combined 12 years, developing only the best products for our retailers and their shoppers.

“Since the enjoy local range was introduced in 2015 after a £25m investment, we have nurtured our relationships with our suppliers and enabled the range to grow alongside our shoppers’ needs. Further investments of around a quarter of a million pounds this past year, has resulted in some of the most innovative, fresh, value for money products and meal solutions available on the shelves of convenience stores across Northern Ireland.

“I am so proud of the team and all their hard work that has earned two Great Taste Awards for our local products.”

Recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike, Great Taste values taste above all else, with no regard for branding and packaging. Whether it is bread, honey, salami or cereal being judged, all products are removed from their wrapper, jar, box or bottle before being tasted. The judges then savour, confer and re-taste to decide which products are worthy of a 1-, 2- or 3-star award.

There were 10,000 Great Taste entries this year and of those products, 141 have been awarded a 3-star, 878 received a 2-star and 2,520 were awarded a 1-star accolade. The panel of judges included; TV chef and author, Valentine Warner, MasterChef judge and restaurant critic, Charles Campion, fifth generation baker, Tom Herbert from Hobbs House Bakery, and Great British Bake Off winner, Frances Quinn; food buyers from Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols and Waitrose and chefs including, James Golding, chef director of THE PIG Hotels, and Kevin Gratton, chef director of HIX Restaurants.

Henderson Wholesale’s enjoy local range is made up of 144 products from 25 suppliers on the island of Ireland, available in SPAR, EUROSPAR, VIVO, VIVOXTRA and VIVO Essentials stores across Northern Ireland.

About the Author

Abby Williams
Belfast based author/writer specialising in entertainment, mental health and human interest.