December 05, 2008 // Franchising.com // Costa Coffee, the UK's largest and fastest growing coffee shop chain has won the 'cake' category award for its Raspberry & Almond Bake. The prestigious Quality Food Awards took place on Thursday 27 November, the same day that Costa topped an ethical survey for doing the most to tackle social and environmental issues as featured in The Times! Judges described the product as an "excellent, moist cake with a great raspberry hit." Costa was short listed against ASDA Extra Special Chocolate Cake and an ASDA Extra Special Victoria Sponge.
The Q Awards are renowned for recognising great tasting food and drink products with the finest taste, flavours, textures and aromas. Other well-known high street brands that participated within different categories included M&S, Waitrose, Tesco, and Pret.
Food is an intrinsic part of Costa's business and it constantly reviews and trials its offerings to reflect what its customers really want. This particular product was launched in April 2007 and is one of the coffee shop's best selling lines, often described as a twist to the traditional and iconic Raspberry Bakewell.
Costa's Raspberry & Almond Bake has a rich butter and almond shortbread base, filled with a layer of luxury raspberry jam and a deep layer of moist almond frangipane. It is topped with pools of raspberry jam and toasted almond slivers are then added and then baked until golden brown. Costa will be proudly highlighting the words "award-winning" on the cake label from January 09.
Commenting on the winning success, Costa Category Brand Manager, Kate Cosgrove says,
"This award highlights Costa's quality cake offering and reinforces Costa's passion and commitment to ensure we offer customers the highest quality food range. I am so proud that one of our cakes has been recognised by renowned industry experts. This achievement also reflects Costa's new 'We Make It Better' brand identity and proposition.
This was the first year that the Q Awards has extended its entries from retailers to coffee shops so it is a great achievement for Costa to win a Q Award first time round. We'll be highlighting this success on all our products in January 09 so we can share this success with our customers.''
Helen Finnegan, Costa Account Manager, Cakehead comments:
"It really demonstrates our close relationship with Costa to develop an award-winning product with the best quality ingredients as well as first class hand finishing skills to produce the best products."
Costa is now officially the largest and fastest growing coffee shop chain in the UK. It opened its 1000th milestone store in March 2008 in Moscow.
Costa was founded by Italian brothers Sergio and Bruno Costa in 1971. With 821 stores in the UK and over 300 internationally, Costa has enjoyed a remarkable period of growth since it opened its first store. It now operates in 25 countries.
In November 2008, The Times reported that Costa Coffee topped a survey which asked over 1000 'concerned consumers' which brand they thought did the most to tackle social and environmental issues.
Costa Coffee was the first UK coffee shop chain to commit sourcing beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.
Costa's in-store baristas are all coached in the art of coffee making at the company's unique Costa Coffee Academy based at its own roastery in Lambeth, London.
Costa has won the British Sandwich Association's award for Best Coffee Bar Retailer 2008.
Costa has been voted as one of the strongest UK brands by experts and consumers and has been awarded 'Superbrand' status
Costa set up a registered charity (no.327489) in 2006 called 'The Costa Foundation' to give something back to the communities within the countries from which Costa sources its coffee beans.