Skip to main content

Entries Now Closed




The Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards are back for 2024. Now in its 19th year, the Awards encourage food and drink businesses to be innovative, forward thinking and collaborative and celebrate their excellence and achievement.

Food and drink businesses from the region produce a wide range of high-quality products, which have a strong competitive advantage associated to place, people and provenance.  

These awards are an established firm favourite in the industry calendar and there is a real opportunity to capitalise on this event and engage with a wider range of producers and operators in the sector.

Sponsorship opportunities are now open for the 2024 Awards.

Investing your support in the Awards offers you a number of opportunities for: 

  • connecting with businesses and producers 
  • raising the profile of your organisation and/or brand 
  • the chance to meet and network with a targeted food and drink audience of 300 at the Awards dinner.

Please see the HIE website for more details.

Key Dates*

Launch Thursday 25 April 2024
Entry Deadline (Extended) Monday 1 July 2024
Judging Day Tuesday 20 August 2024
Shortlist Announcement end of August 2024
Tickets on sale end of August 2024
Awards Ceremony Friday 1 November 2024, Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness

*subject to change

Awards Steering Group

Marian Armitage

Shetland Food & Drink

Yvonne Crook

Good Highland Food / Highland Tourism

Gillian Osborne

Wester Ross Fisheries


Best Drink

The judges will be looking for a business, big or small, that can demonstrate success in the alcoholic (brewed, distilled, whisky) or non alcoholic (soft drinks, coffee) market.

Best Food: Retail

This award is for the best retail product (food and non-alcoholic drinks) launched between 1 January 2021 and 31 January 2023. Excludes brewed and distilled products.

Best Food: Foodservice

Sponsored by Seafood Scotland

This award is for the best foodservice product launched between 1 January 2021 and 31 January 2023. Excludes products that are brewed/distilled.

Best Food: Street Food

Launched in 2023, this award is for Street Food vendors based in the region with a commitment to local provenance, great relationships with local producers and suppliers and a strong USP.

Best Marketing

A successful marketing strategy helps your business reap the rewards with greater sales, return customers and a rising profile that is the envy of your competitors.

This award is for businesses that can demonstrate a clear marketing strategy that has been put into practice and delivered with tangible results showing creativity, innovation and imagination during 2023/2024.

Best Food & Drink Tourism Experience

This award will recognise the best food or drink tourism experience in the region. The successful business will demonstrate excellence in customer engagement, attracting visitors from both the Highlands and Islands and further afield.

Best Start up

Sponsored by Be Personnel

This award is for a new business, started since 1st January 2021. You may be a producer, a retailer or foodservice outlet displaying excellence in the use of local food and drink products or a service provider contributing significantly to the success of the sector. 

Innovation Award

Sponsored by Food and Drink TechHUB

Innovation is critical in driving business growth, from creating a competitive advantage and meeting consumer needs, to reducing costs and expanding market opportunities. Innovation goes beyond technology, it’s about introducing new ideas, methods, products or services that create value or solve problems.

The ‘Innovation Award’ is open to all food and drink and supply chain businesses in the Highlands and Islands and aims to celebrate those who have improved their business and operational efficiencies through innovation – whether that’s in sustainability, digital transformation, e-commerce, supply chain, processes, packaging or products.

Independent Retailer of the Year

This category is open to all food and drink retailers within the region, both those with a shop front, those solely trading online and those who do both. Examples include farm shops, delis, fruit farms, butchers, corner shops.

Primary Producer Award

Sponsored by Salmon Scotland

This award is open to all primary producers who have developed a food or drink product from farm to fork.

Sustainability Award

Sponsored by Wester Ross Fisheries

This award will recognise businesses or organisations who have taken their environmental, social and financial responsibilities to the next level -showcasing best practice in the production and distribution of food and drink products or services.

Supply Chain Business Award

This new award is open to any business who is operating in any part of the Highlands and Islands food and drink supply chain. Food supply chain businesses include those in food and drink preparation, processing, manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, wholesaling and retailing.

Best Eatery

Sponsored by Highland News & Media

This award has been created specifically to include those eateries, e.g. a café, bistro, deli, pub, takeaway or visitor attraction serving food, etc, who deserve to be recognised but not against those who class themselves solely as ‘restaurants’.

Restaurant of the Year

Sponsored by Highland Industrial Supplies

This award is given to the restaurant that can demonstrate the most innovative and consistent use of produce from food or drink suppliers in the region, great tasting food, outstanding service levels and a pleasant environment.

Young Ambassador of the Year

Sponsored by Scotland Food & Drink

This award recognises a young person’s outstanding contribution and achievement in the Highlands and Islands food and drink sector, celebrating their commitment, passion and work to develop the industry in the region, their outstanding qualities and potential.

Ambassador of the Year

Sponsored by Saffery

This special award recognises the outstanding contribution in the Highlands & Islands food and drink industry, be they male or female, young or old. The award celebrates and pays tribute to the hard work, commitment, dedication, passion and innovation demonstrated within the sector.

What's next...

If you're considering entering your business in this year’s Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards here are just some of the reasons why we think you shouldn’t put it off any longer.

2023 winners now released!

Venue Partner

Digital Media Partner

Supported by