Skip to main content

The 18th Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards will take on Friday 27 October 2023 at the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness. 

The Awards showcase and celebrate excellence and achievements in the food and drink industry in the region - from world-renowned businesses to small innovative producers.

The Awards are developed and driven by a Steering Group:

Sam Faircliff

Cairngorm Brewery

Marian Armitage

Shetland Food & Drink

Douglas Hardie

Bad Girl Bakery & Highland Food Trail

Gilpin Bradley

Wester Ross Salmon

Ella Moxon

Midge Bite

The group is supported by Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Lux Events.


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

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

New for 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 E-Commerce

For a business that best demonstrates success through growth and innovation in developing a digital route to market and the impact this has made to the business. 

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

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. 

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


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

Sustainability Award


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


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


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


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


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 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.


We have sponsorship opportunities available from title and category sponsorship to host and entertainment support. Please contact us to find out more.

Call for Entries - Deadline Fri 9 June 2023

Venue Partner

Digital Media Partner

Supported by

Category Sponsors

We use cookies to track website use and to make the experience more relevant for you. You can change or block cookies anytime in your browser settings.