The woman&home Festive Food Awards: Special Recognition Awards 2023 winners

Every year our team award the brands and retailers with the very best festive offerings…

The woman&home Festive Food Awards: Special Recognition awards winners: Bettys, M&S, Parson's Nose, Daylesford and Dukes Hill
(Image credit: Bettys, M&S, Parson's Nose, Daylesford and Dukes Hill)

The festive season is a time of year when the market is saturated with new food launches all fighting for your attention. It can be difficult to wade through aisle after aisle of festive products and decide which to spend your money on to make your Christmas feast fantastic.  

That's where the woman&home Festive Food Awards comes in. Hundreds of products were submitted to woman&home and our panel of experts shortlisted 30 of the best Christmas food products, drinks and retailers for 2023 from these entries.

Our team boasts many years of experience cooking and tasting new and innovative food and drink products. This makes them especially well suited when it comes to finding the best buys for Christmas, making the curation of your shopping list much easier. 

In addition to our specific product awards, our judges have highlighted five of the best brands and retailers which have an exemplary range on offer for Christmas 2023. 

From the best major retailers to artisanal producers who champion quality British produce, each of the winners has a wonderful selection of food and drink items which will ensure you have the most delicious Christmas yet.

Special Recognition awards winners

Best Christmas supermarket 2023: M&S

The woman&home Festive Food Awards: Special Recognition awards winners - Marks and Spencer - best supermarket

(Image credit: M&S)

Whether you are cooking from scratch or looking for an easy fix, Marks & Spencers really stood out from the crowd this year with a range that offers exceptional quality and value for money. Nailing the balance between tradition and innovation, you can expect plenty of classics with a slight twist.  

From show-stopper mains like the Collections Lightly Smoked Salmon en Croute, to ready-to-serve puddings like the Snowy Winter Yule Log, the Christmas range is thoughtfully designed to make life simple over the busy festive season. Judges thought the impressive range of veggie and vegan offerings, and festive drinks were particular standouts, offering plenty of new flavours and thoughtful solutions for a most inclusive Christmas, no matter your guest’s dietary needs. 

With much of the range available in-store and online via Ocado, the M&S range is easy to get your hands on, no matter how you choose to shop this Christmas.

Best independent retailer 2023: Parsons Nose

The woman&home Festive Food Awards: Special Recognition awards winners - Parsons Nose - best independant retailer

(Image credit: Parson's Nose)

With everything you need for a spectacular Christmas feast, we were blown away by every product we tried from this exceptional butcher. Alongside stunning free-range roasting joints and whole poultry (their Turkey offering was a strong contender for the top bill this year), and other festive centrepieces such as beautiful hams and wellingtons, you’ll find an excellent array of trimmings including stuffing, gravy and pigs in blankets, all expertly made in their London store. 

Judges were further impressed with this retailer’s commitment to championing quality British producers, and excellent ethical farming credentials, with easily traceable supply chains. 

Beyond the meat selection, Parson’s Nose offers a selective but beautifully curated range of seafood, cheeses and deli products, making them a convenient one-stop-shop for all your big-ticket items this Christmas. Dressed crabs, lobsters and of course, a fine selection of smoked salmon products are all available. With nationwide delivery, they also offer gift cards, subscriptions and butchery courses for last-minute gifts with love.

Best artisanal supplier 2023: Dukeshill

The woman&home Festive Food Awards: Special Recognition awards winners - Dukeshill - Best artisinal supplier

(Image credit: Dukes Hill)

Famous for its traditionally made hams, Dukes Hill offers a brilliant handcrafted range, from cheeses to mince pies and, of course, those award-winning pork products, which earned the company a Royal Warrant back in 2004.

This year, the Dukes Hill Cranberry Glazed Ham with Pork & Cranberry Stuffing was our overall top-scoring product, and judges were equally delighted with the rest of the range, from quality smoked salmon and deli products to beautifully crafted condiments and an enviable cheese offering.

If you're in the market for a foodie gift for a special someone, we'd highly recommend the Dukes Hill build-your-own hampers, or one of the ready-made hampers, available in a range of sizes and price points. And for the hard-to-buy-for recipient, they also offer gift vouchers from £25.

Best cakes and bakes 2023: Betty's

The woman&home Festive Food Awards: Special Recognition awards winners- Bettys - The best cakes and bakes

(Image credit: Betty's)

For sweet treats with a generous sprinkling of nostalgia, Betty’s outstanding festive selection really stood out from the crowd this year. Expect gorgeous Christmas-themed chocolates, buttery shortbread, spicy gingerbread, and of course, their timeless puddings, cakes and mince pies. 

Judges were charmed by the beautiful packaging across this range, which starts at prices as little as £5 - perfect for Secret Santa gifts and stocking fillers - and extends up to elaborate and generous hampers for the High Tea devotee. Lovingly handmade, the quality of every product in the Betty’s range speaks for itself, offering that homemade taste and charm without the effort. With nationwide delivery, it couldn’t be easier to spoil yourself and your loved ones this Christmas.

Best edible gifts 2023: Daylesford

The woman&home Festive Food Awards: Special Recognition awards winners - Dalesford - The best edible gifts

(Image credit: Daylesford)

Whether it be tasty stocking fillers or a knockout hamper, Daylesford impressed us this year with their beautiful selection of foodie gifts. The generous hampers - filled to the brim with festive essentials - as well as the all-new advent calendars were a real highlight, offered in decorative boxing you will be proud to display around your home. 

When it came to flavours, judges thought Daylesford nailed the balance between traditional and innovative, with products like the beautifully hand-finished Chocolate Clementine (a classy take on a certain brand of chocolate orange) and fun pre-mixed cocktails like the Cranberry and Cherry Margarita.

For the practical gift giver, the selection of themed Christmas food hampers offers everything you need for a given meal, from a festive brunch to the aptly named ‘Christmas Day Hamper’ containing everything from cheese and crackers, to ham and condiments, to a selection of booze. Some of the range is available on Ocado, while the rest can be purchased via the Daylesford online shop, with easy delivery making gifting a breeze.

Jess Meyer
Food Editor

Jess is the Group Food Editor at Future PLC, working across brands in the woman’s lifestyle group, including Woman and HOme, Woman’s Weekly, Woman, Woman’s Own, Chat, and Jess studied at Leiths School of Food and Wine in London, graduating with a diploma in culinary arts before gaining a scholarship to study at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Patisserie (ENSP) in France, where she learned the fine art of French patisserie.

An experienced recipe writer, food stylist and home economist, Jess honed her skills in print and digital food media, working with well known brands such as Great British Bake Off, Tastemade US and UK, Slimming World, Tesco, M&S, Tabasco, Baileys, Castello and Stella Artois to name a few; as well as a host of book titles.