Lekue and Pinny Pockets are the winners of Spring Fair International 2014's Hot Plate contest.

Two Sprout exhibitors win Spring Fair’s Hot Plate contest

Lekue and Pinny Pockets are the winners of Spring Fair International 2014’s Hot Plate contest.

Two Sprout exhibitors win Spring Fair's Hot Plate contest

The competition took place during the show in Hall 1 (home of Kitchen, Dining & Housewares) of the NEC in Birmingham on February 2 and February 3. The aim of the Dragon’s Den style event was to showcase ‘what was new and innovative in Kitchen and Dining product’. Hot Plate ran for the first time at Autumn Fair 2013 and made its debut at Spring Fair this year.

On both days, four exhibitors presented their product within a strict timescale in front of a group of hand-picked specialists in a bid to win ‘Best Product’ of Spring Fair 2014. The criteria for entry was a product that was innovative and new.

The judges were Paul Woolley, managing director of bira direct, which uses the combined purchasing power of over 7,000 bira (British Independent Retailers Association) members to negotiate better buying terms for the independent retail members of bira across the UK; ‘Housewares Magazine’ columnist Gary Gordon, who is joint mananging director of cookshop chain Kitchen Kapers; Will Jones, executive director – housewares of BHETA (British Home Enhancement Trade Association); and Matthew Canwell, director of buying for housewares chain Lakeland.

On February 2, four companies entered: Burton McCall with its Packit Freezable Cool Bag, Root 7 (Corkcicle One), Eddingtons (The Garliq) and Lekue (Kit Surprise Cake).

On February 3, the entrants were Charles Viancin UK with its Charles Viancin Lilypad covers, Vitality 4 Life (juicer), Pinny Pockets (Pinny Pocket) and Emile Henry (Bread Cloche).

The winning products were Spanish supplier Lekue’s Kit Surprise Cake – a kit of three silicone moulds and accessories, to prepare a cake of three tiers in a single bake – and Pinny Pockets from th vompany of the same name. Pinny Pockets are hand-crafted aprons in modern designs, with the convenience of removable oven pockets. Both firms, which won a certificate and bottle of champagne, were exhibiting as part of Sprout.

Sprout was a new show feature located within Hall 1, described by show organiser i2i Events Group Exhibition as “an exciting and inspiring showcase designed to help fledgling housewares companies develop and grow their brands”.

Other Sprout exhibitors included Moko Top, Peregrine Pottery, JF Design, Harch Wood, Couture, Clever Little Ideas, FD Sourcing, Lewis Pennicott, The Potters Workshop, Urban Composter, Yormii Kitchenware and Kordan Lav. Sprout was sold out within the first two months of being launched.

Juliet Weimar, creator of Pinny Pockets, said: “I used Spring Fair to launch my brand new business and product, which I’ve been developing over the past year, and I was delighted to win the Hot Plate competition. Judges liked the fact that my product is a completely new idea with a fresh take on the pinny. I basically saw a gap in the market and focused on filling it. I’ve had a fantastic response from buyers at the show.”

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