Hundreds of housewares professionals gathered at Birmingham’s NCC on Monday 4 February to be among the first to discover the next wave of companies, products and people to be inducted into the prestigious Housewares Innovation Awards ‘hall of fame’.

Organised by Datateam Business Media, publisher of Housewares Magazine and housewareslive.net, in partnership with Spring Fair, the Housewares Innovation Awards is a unique platform designed to recognise and reward the very best from across the sector.

After a rigorous decision-making process, which saw every single entry reviewed by a panel of esteemed industry figures, the winners were decided and ready to be revealed. Opening the ceremony, sales manager at Housewares Magazine and Awards Alison Farrell said: “I’m delighted to have become a part of such a vibrant industry and even more so, I’m incredibly grateful to you all for giving me such a warm welcome into your industry.

“While working on the Awards, I’ve been amazed by the innovation of the products that you develop, the creativity of the retailers within the sector and the passion that you all hold for all things housewares – and I’m proud to be able to play a role in providing a platform to recognise and reward all of your hard work.”

The awards presentation began with Britain’s Best Independent Cookshop, sponsored by Le Creuset, which saw Woodbridge Kitchen Company pick up the highly commended accolade before The Kitchen Range Cookshop was revealed to be the winner. Next up was the first of the product awards: the Bakeware Innovation Award sponsored by Lakeland. Captive Brands’ Bakehouse & Co 4.5ltr Mixing Bowl Set was highly commended while the top spot was awarded to KitchenCraft’s MasterClass Smart Ceramic Large Roasting Pan with Lid.

Britain’s Best Multiple Housewares Retailer, sponsored by KitchenCraft, followed. In this particular category, Fenwick was highly commended ahead of the announcement that Lakeland was the winner.

The next accolade to be presented was the Cookware Innovation Award, sponsored by Lakeland, which was awarded to Meyer Group for its Kitchen Hacks Range while the highly commended spot went to The Cookware Company’s GreenPan Featherweights Dutch Oven. Following this, the award for Britain’s Best In-Store Demonstrations – sponsored by Joseph Joseph – was presented to Harts of Stur, with the highly-commended spot being clinched by Blue Diamond Group.

Next on the agenda was the Food Preparation Innovation Award, sponsored by Spring Fair. PHA KitchEssentials’ Architec Ecosmart PolyCoco and Marble Effect Boards were highly commended, but it was the Forest and Forge Kitchen Knife Range from Dexam that took home the accolade. The award for Britain’s Best Window Display, sponsored by What More UK Ltd, was up next. Potters Cookshops’ displays were highly commended before Woodbridge Kitchen Company were revealed to be the ultimate winner in this category.

Britain’s Best Housewares Retail Website, sponsored by KitchenCraft, was next to be presented – and saw Lakeland pick up the highly commended accolade while the top spot was seized by Dawsons Department Store. The next winner to be revealed was JWP’s Eco from Lock & Lock, which took home the Kitchenware Innovation Award – sponsored by Harts of Stur – while Eddington’s Bee’s Wrap was highly commended.

New for 2019 was the award for Britain’s Best Family Business, also sponsored by Harts of Stur. Lawsons was highly commended but it was Hargreaves & Sons that was revealed to be the inaugural winner of this coveted accolade. Next, Harts of Stur picked up their second award of the evening in the Britain’s Best Staff Training category, sponsored by Meyer Group, while Art of Living was highly-commended.

The Packaging Innovation Award followed, which saw PHA KitchEssentials’ Architec Ecosmart PolyCoco and Marble Effect Boards be highly-commended for the second time. The trophy itself, however, was presented to The Cookware Company’s GreenPan Featherweights Dutch Oven. The next award, sponsored by David Mason Design, was for Britain’s Best Garden Centre Retailer and the winner was revealed as Bents Garden and Home while Blue Diamond Group received the highly-commended merit.

Following this, the Small Electricals Innovation Award – sponsored by the International Housewares Association – was presented to Melitta UK Ltd for the CI Touch Bean to Cup Coffee Machine. Highly commended in this category was Ultimate Products’ Beldray 2 in 1 Cordless Iron. The presentation then moved on to the award for Britain’s Best Online Retailer, sponsored by SMART Worldwide. Amazon was highly commended but it was Ocado that took home the top spot in this category.

Also debuting in 2019 was the Sugarcraft Innovation Award – and it was a clean sweep for Katy Sue Designs Ltd, picking up the both the highly commended accolade for the Continuous Quilting Cake Decorating Mould and the winner’s trophy for the Unicorn Cake Decorating Mould. Britain’s Best Independent Department Store, sponsored by KitchenAid, followed and was presented to Bakers & Larners of Holt – while the highly commended honour was given to Dawsons.

The next award on the agenda was the Tabletop Innovation Award sponsored by Potters Cookshop. LSA International’s Mixologist Collection was highly commended, but the top spot was awarded to KitchenCraft for the Artesa Serving Collection. Home Hardware Southwest was the next up to the stage, picking up the Britain’s Best Wholesaler award – with the highly commended merit in this category being bestowed upon Home Hardware Scotland.

Next up were the awards for outstanding service: the Best Supplier Service Award was presented to What More UK Ltd and GreenPan was highly commended, while in the Britain’s Best Customer Experience category – sponsored by KitchenCraft – Lakeland picked up the top spot and John Lewis & Partners was highly commended.

While that was it for the product and company awards, there was plenty of spotlight left for the incredible contributions of individuals from across the housewares sector. The first of the ‘people’ awards to be presented was Britain’s Best Housewares Salesperson, sponsored by the BHETA, which was awarded to JWP’s David Jarrett while Hannah Hawkins of EPE International was highly commended.

The penultimate award of the evening was Britain’s Best Housewares Retail Buyer, sponsored by Pyrex. In this category, Andrew Wilkins of AIS was highly commended but it was Lakeland’s Kathryn Farrell that seized the top spot.

Last, but certainly not least, was the Kitchen Hero Award sponsored by Home Hardware. This award is presented to one individual a year that has demonstrated an incredible passion for the housewares sector over the course of their career. This year’s recipient was none other than What More UK Ltd’s director Tony Grimshaw OBE – who was commended for his “northern sense of humour and no nonsense approach.”

The evening came to close with a charity fundraiser in aid of Guide Dogs, nominated by sponsor Blue Diamond Group. Guests gave generously for the cause – raising £1,025.00 for Guide Dogs.

The Housewares Innovation Awards 2019 was a great success but would not have been possible without the support of its sponsors: BHETA, Blue Diamond Group, David Mason Design, Dutch Creative Brands, The English Tableware Company, Harts of Stur, Home Hardware, the International Housewares Association, Joseph Joseph, KitchenAid, KitchenCraft, Lakeland, Le Creuset, Meyer Group, Potters Cookshop, Pyrex, SMART Worldwide, Spring Fair, T&G Woodware and What More UK Ltd.

To find out more about the Awards or to view the full gallery of images from the evening, visit www.housewaresinnovationawards.co.uk.