The UK’s Giftware Association (GA) has unveiled the list of winners of its annual Gift of the Year Awards.
GA said the Gift of the Year Awards are given to ‘the most original and innovative new-to-market product which are seen to make great gifts while also being commercially viable’. Judging criteria includes design, marketing and point of sale material, packaging, RRP and trade price.
The 2015 judging panel included Simon Woolgrove from Acica, Richard Barker from Cilla and Camilla, Judith Harris from Dobbie Garden Centres, Anna Rigby from John Lewis, Martin de La Fuente from Ocado, Hilary Davenport and Kara Holdsworth from Scotts and Co, and Dick Mawdsley from Utility.
Bristol-based T&G Woodware is the winner of the competition’s Kitchen & Dining category with its CrushGrind Optic Mills. GA commented that the products are ‘full of design, function and quality; the perfect tool and gadget for the kitchen, and the dining table.’
The mills are designed in Britain and contain a CrushGrind ceramic mechanism that grinds not only salt and pepper but also whole dried herbs and spices. The mechanism/grinder is fully adjustable with over 12 settings to grind from fine to coarse. In addition, the mills are without a spindle, making them easier to fill.
T&G Woodware head of marketing Jenny Handley said: “The CrushGrind Optic Mills capture the current trend for stylish simplicity in mills and are already proving popular with consumers. The Gift of the Year Awards is an excellent indicator of what’s going to be hot this Christmas and we are absolutely delighted to be a winner. This comes at a great time for T&G, as 2015 sees the company celebrate 40 years in the housewares industry!”
Highly commended in the Kitchen and Dining category are Uberstar’s HOST Chill Cooling Pour Spout (a slim wand designed to preserve, pour and cool wine without dilution, entered by Brightcore) and Parlane International’s Drinks Cooler range of oval drinks buckets, that can also double up as ice dispensers; they come with a removable plastic insert and metal serving scoop.
The judges’ favourite gift across all winning products is Hinchcliffe and Barber Songbird Grey Ceramics from My Gifts Trade (which won the Made in UK category). This new ceramic tableware collection, created by British design duo by Hinchcliffe and Barber, is made using the traditional skill of hand-cut block printing. It depicts images inspired by English country gardens and the birds that feed there.
According to Isobel Martinson, chief executive of the Giftware Association, judging the winners and highly commended products in each category was extremely difficult. “Now in their 36th year, the 2015 Awards attracted a significant increase on entries compared to 2014, which gave our judges a particularly difficult task this year,” she said. “We were inundated with new, exciting products, all bidding to capture the judges’ attention. The competition goes from strength to strength in terms of the level and quality of entries, so to be crowned a winner really is a fantastic achievement!”