Gifts Today magazine

Recognising the best in gifts

Spring Fair and The Giftware Association host glittering Gift of the Year awards as judges choose their winners for 2018

Last night gift and homeware suppliers from across the world came together with leading retailers to find out who had been crowned this year’s Gift of the Year award winners.

The glitzy ceremony, which included a champagne reception and three-course meal, was hosted by top TV impressionist and comedian Rory Bremner and held at The Vox, part of Resort World’s entertainment complex, where retailers and brands from across the UK gathered to see who would scoop this year’s top awards.

There were 15 hotly-contended product categories, with entries under the scrutiny of a panel of highly-respected industry judges, alongside magazine editors and key buyers from major retailers including John Lewis, Ocado, Dobbies, Notonthehighstreet.com, Fortnum and Mason, Beales and Haskins Garden Centres.

They had the unenviable task of shortlisting over 170 products and then selecting the final category winners, which all demonstrated the most innovatively-designed products offering a real ‘wow-factor’. To qualify for entry, products had to have been launched to the trade after
1 March 2017 and be available for sale up to Christmas 2017.

Speaking at the event, judge Judith Harris from Sherriff’s Foods said: “What I’m pleased to see this year is male-orientated gifts, which is really hard to catch and to buy for – that was really pleasing.”

Judge Mark Jones from Occasions Retail added: “I’m really pleased to see a big influx of design. I’ll definitely take away at least two or three suppliers from this contest.”

The ultimate judges’ choice winner was the Octagon One Desk Light from Gingko Electronics – which won a stand at Autumn Fair 2018 as part of the prize – for its lamp that combines a simple and natural wood-effect finish with a touch control button and an in-built rechargeable battery.

Talking Tables won best Novelty Gift, with the nation’s penchant for prosecco set to make its Prosecco Pong drinking game a hero product this year. Ooly’s 3D, DIY paper toys that allow children to express their artistic side, scooped the best Children’s Gift award. And with more than a third of people (34%) set to spend more than £40 on beauty and wellbeing gifts this year, according to a survey of 1,000 consumers conducted by Spring Fair, the Great British Bee Co’s Handcare Range is expected to be another bestseller in 2018.

All the winners received a range of sales-boosting benefits - from the exclusive display of their winning products in Spring Fair’s Gift of the Year showcase, to promotion in a full-colour catalogue distributed across the UK and overseas, along with profile-raising media coverage.

Louise Young, Managing Director of Spring Fair speaking after the event said: “This year’s Gift of the Year Awards was the best one yet and really highlighted the sheer breadth and depth of fantastic quality and innovation in the gift and homewares industries – the judges were certainly taken to task in having to choose category winners from so many incredible entries. This was the ultimate celebration of our forward-thinking and creative industry and of course offered everyone attending an excellent opportunity to network and entertain customers. The atmosphere in the room was electric as the winners were revealed and I know it was a night everyone will remember for some time to come.”

The 2018 Gift of the Year winners are:

Home Product

Limited Edition Brighton Pavilion Print
I Drew This

Kitchen & Dining Product
Recycled Denim Apron
Ian Snow

Festive & Occasional Product:
Christmas Roast Dinner Box
Ross & Ross Food

Contemporary Gift
Octagon One Desk Lamp
Gingko Electronics

General Gift
Hand Painted Gin Glass
Sunny by Sue

Gift Food
Indian Spice Tin and Handmade, Silk Sari Wrap
Spice Kitchen UK

Greetings & Stationery Collection
Mono and Pastel Greetings Cards
Peace & Blessing

Children’s Gift
Fantastic Dragon 3D Colourable
Ooly

Fashion Accessory
Sara Miller Silk Accessories
My Gifts Trade

Body, Bath & Home Fragrance Product

Great British Bee Co Handcare Range
Great British Bee Co

Under £10 Product
Gin & Tonic Handbag
Bath House

Garden & Outdoor
Green Picnic collection
Fallen Fruits

Licensed Product
Natural History Museum Gift in a Tin
Apples to Pears

Hot Novelty Product
Prosecco Pong
Talking Tables

Shirley Frost Award (for designer-makers)
Handmade Artisan Gift Wrap
Paper Mirchi


Awards sponsors this year included: Libra for the best of the best, The Giftware Association’s Gift of the Year, as well as the Festive/Seasonal category, John Lewis for the Home Fragrance category, Henri Davies for the Greetings/Stationery Collection, Ashleigh & Burwood for Contemporary Gift, RJB Stone for the Shirley Frost Award (design and craft), Progressive Gifts & Home for the Children’s Gift of the Year and Licensing Source Book for the Licensed Product category.

Spring Fair 2018 continues today until Thursday, 8 February. To register for your ticket go to www.springfair.com


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