Below you can find all the winners from the 2022 Excellence Awards which celebrate the greatest achievements and innovations in the industry. The programme provides a platform to recognise the people and companies that are driving change.

Our programme is designed to highlight excellence within the sector by looking at a range of corporate activities including deals, business projects and company initiatives, both internal and in the community.

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You can also soon download our full Awards & Rankings Report which includes all of this year’s rankings, as well as the awards winners, shortlists and company profiles.

Business Expansion

Mondelēz International wins in our Business Expansion category after a successful year which saw the company acquire several new businesses and enter new markets. Highlights included the notable acquisitions of Clif Bar and Ricolino and a renewed focus on its biscuits and confectionary.

Business Expansion is one of our largest categories and looks at the core functions of business operations within the sector.

This consists of any projects that have expanded the company’s footprint in the sector, including: contract wins; launching in new territories; launching new product lines; the acquisition and expansion of facilities and real estate; acquisition of new machinery or other assets; improved logistics; partnerships; and significant staff increases.

  • Asahi/Universal Robina
  • Danone
  • General Mills
  • Lactalis
  • Mondelēz International
  • Thai Union
  • Tyson Foods


Zero Acre Farms wins the Environmental award due to its efforts to develop cultured oils with a dramatically reduced carbon footprint. The company’s first product, launched this year is made by fermentation and is an attempt to offer an alternative to vegetable oil with a smaller environmental footprint and health benefits.

The Environmental category aims to highlight companies that are undertaking projects that reduce their impact on the natural environment or contribute to its general health. With the effects of climate change becoming ever more obvious, corporations have a responsibility to update and change their practices to prevent further damage being caused.

This category includes any projects that have led or will lead to a significant reduction in a company’s environmental impact and carbon footprint. This can include changes to materials and manufacturing, supply chain reviews; reduction in energy use or switches to renewables; recycling initiatives; and carbon offsetting. The category also includes projects that contribute to the environment such as tree planting schemes and river cleaning.

  • Arla Foods
  • Mondelēz International
  • PepsiCo
  • Zero Acre Farms


Wildtype wins the Financing award as it secured the largest funding round to date for a cell-cultured seafood producer, with investors including Cargill and private equity firm L Catterton. The funds are set to be used to invest in production.

Financing recognises companies and institutions that have raised significant capital during the research period whether it be through corporate finance, the capital markets or fund raising.

This includes any significant raising of finance by a company within the sector, this can include corporate lending, funding rounds and equity and debt capital markets issues including share offers and bond issues. We will be specifically looking at high value deals; novel structures; and companies using (for them) new forms of financing such as high-yield bonds.

  • Bowery Farming
  • Gotham Greens
  • GrowUp Farms
  • Meati Foods
  • PepsiCo
  • Plenty Unlimited
  • Remilk
  • Starfield
  • Upside Foods
  • Wildtype


Swinburne University of Technology wins the Innovation award due to its work using the Canadian Light Source at the University of Saskatchewan to examine rice. The new process estimates the nutrient profile of coloured rice allowing for the production of more nutritious varieties. The process, it is claimed is also applicable to other grains including wheat, barley, oats and corn.

Innovation is the category with one of the widest scopes within the Excellence Rankings as it looks at novel new approaches in every area, from the fruits of research and development to novel new business practices. What all the ranked entities have in common is the demonstration of new concepts not just within their own business but in the sector as a whole.

The category includes any projects that demonstrate an innovative approach to the market. The category crosses over with many of our other categories and can include new products, novel product features, new business practices, new marketing and sales strategies and more.

  • Fonterra
  • Nestle/Perfect Day
  • Swinburne University of Technology
  • Zero Acre Farms


Plenty Unlimited wins the Investments award following its commitment of significant funds to a US based vertical-farm campus. The $300 million funding will be used to develop a site in Richmond Virginia that will be hope to numerous farms focused on different products. The investment sees the company expand from its California base.

The Investments category looks at any significant financial investments into a company or its assets, specifically those investments that facilitate expansion of a company’s operations. This can be an investment by the company itself into its operations or by an outside investor be that another company, financial institution, private equity or venture capital firm.

  • Almarai
  • Grupo Bimbo
  • Nestle
  • Penty Unlimited
  • The Netherlands
  • Tyson Foods
  • Yili


Mondelēz International wins the M&A award in a year when it made a number of notable acquisitions including those of Clif Bar, Chipita and Ricolino. The Clif Bar deal is arguably the headline grabber with a value of $2.9 billion, the deal could see the company’s revenues in the bar sector exceed $1 billion.

This category includes organisations that have expanded their business operations by entering into significant mergers and acquisitions deals within the sector.

The category specifically looks at the acquisitions of whole businesses or stakes rather than asset transactions and deals must have been closed during the research period.

  • Continental Grain Co/Cargill
  • Darling Ingredients
  • Hongkong Jingang Trade
  • Mondelēz International

Product Launches

Mars and Perfect Day win the Product Launches award following the launch of a vegan-friendly chocolate bar called CO2COA. The product is a unique collaboration, that is a sign of Mars’ broader attempts to work with innovative companies. The product itself is made from dairy protein produced by fermentation and uses paper-based packaging. The cocoa comes from Rainforest Alliance Certified farmers.

The Product Launches category recognises companies that have launched notable new products or services into the market. This can include physical products, software as well as the launch of services and concepts.

We are specifically looking at novelty, including companies launching products into new areas or innovation in the product’s design, manufacture or marketing.

  • Danish Crown
  • ITC
  • Mars/Perfect Day
  • Minor Figures

Research and Development

Tnuva and Pluristem win the Research and Development award after the pair committed to a partnership to develop cultured-meat products using 3D printing. The partnership will see Pluristem use its printing platform to develop high-quality cells. A commercial launch is provisionally set for 2023, with dairy and fish potential future projects.

This category includes organisations that have demonstrated a commitment to the research and development of new products and/or new processes. This can include discovering or creating a unique material, transferring a research or technology development to practice, improving the performance of an existing product or creating a new simulation or design tools.

The category also includes companies that have made significant investments into their R&D processes.

  • Australian Plant Proteins/Australia Milling Group/Thomas Foods International
  • CPF
  • Mars
  • Tnuva/Pluristem Therapeutics


The City of Haarlem wins the Social award this year following its announcement of a potential ban on meat advertising in the city. While controversial, the plan makes the city the first in the world to do such a move, with its aim being to stop the promotion of products with a large carbon footprint.

The Social category includes companies and institutions that have undertaken projects that have had a tangible positive impact on the communities where they operate. This can include anything from charity initiatives; sponsorship; community outreach; local business support and education initiatives.

  • City of Haarlem
  • Mondelēz International
  • Nestlé
  • Unilever