A Kendal-based pharmaceutical research company has scooped two of the food manufacturing sector’s ‘Oscars’.
Kendal Nutricare has won the coveted ‘Ambient Manufacturing Company of the Year’ and ‘Best New Use of Food Ingredients’ categories, at the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards.
The company’s CEO, Ross McMahon, was presented with the awards at a gala dinner at The Hilton on Park Lane, where he was joined on stage by English Rugby Union World Cup winner, Matt Dawson.
Kendal Nutricare is becoming renowned in its sector for creating innovative and nutritious products for the whole of the life cycle.
Its brands – Kendamil Infant Formula and Kendalife nutrition smoothie – are known for their nutritional value within their carefully balanced formulations.
The FMEAs’ judges were impressed by the clear focus Kendal Nutricare had for Kendamil, where the initial market targeted was China.
The judges also commended Kendal Nutricare’s use of food ingredients and the decision to use the dairy fat nutrients found in whole milk as the energy source for infants, rather than using skimmed milk, topped up with cheap vegetable oils including palm oil. This makes Kendamil unique within its market.
The judging panel, led by Paul Wilkinson, chair of the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink, said of Kendal Nutricare’s award submission: “They really understood their market and went after it, returning a loss-making business to profit and creating much-needed jobs.”
Kendal Nutricare’s success is also benefiting the Lake District dairy farming community, as the milk used in Kendamil formula is sourced from 220 local dairy farms.
Ross McMahon said: “We are delighted to win these two prestigious food manufacturing awards, as they are a reward for the hard work and care that everyone at the factory has put into our Kendamil and Kendalife products.
"We are the only British manufacturer of infant formula and we have put the needs of the child ahead of profit, when it comes to our formulation.
“These accolades also recognise the significant investment that has gone into the factory since I took it over from Kraft Heinz in June 2015 and the new processes and innovations that have taken place with regard to production, packing and product design.
“However, the FMEAs’ valuable endorsement of our use of ingredients is very significant, as we have led the way when it comes to not having harmful glycidel fatty acid esters in our formula.
New legislation may be introduced in 2018 to restrict the use of these in other formulas, but until then, parents can have the peace of mind of knowing Kendamil does not entertain them.
“Despite our phenomenal success to date, we shall not be resting on our laurels. We have a variety of new and exciting products to launch in 2018, which will be just as innovative as Kendamil infant formula and Kendalife.”