Earlier tonight the winners of the GIMA awards 2017 were announced at another sell-out event (Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, South Wales). The pinnacle of the garden retail industry’s calendar, the event has brought together manufacturers, retailers, members of the press and industry figures, to celebrate the 16 highly-deserving winners.
This year Westland Horticulture is the proud winner of the GIMA Sword of Excellence, whilst Smart Garden Products has scooped the GCA Supplier of the Year, and Briers take home the Gardenex Export Achievement Award. Elho, Burgon & Ball, Hutton Garden and Landscaping Products, Hawkesmill Nurseries, Forest Garden, Horticulture Trade Association, Fallen Fruits, and Gardman complete the winners roster in 2017.
GIMA Director, Vicky Nuttall, commented on tonight’s event. “I would like to be the first to extend my congratulations to all of the winners. Each year we say that the calibre of entries could not be exceeded, and each year we are proven wrong! This year saw not only a record number of entries, but the quality of these entries was the best yet. Our judges really did have their work cut out. I think we can agree though, that the winners are highly deserving of their awards. Each of them have created a product or service that really stands out in this hectic industry we work within. This level of ‘standout’ has to be celebrated, and it’s fantastic to be able to provide this platform for celebration and recognition.”
This year, the GIMA judging panel was made up of Julie Burrell, Head of Trading Seasonal and Stationery, Wilko Retail, Tony Kersey, Garden Tools & Watering Buyer, Bunnings & Homebase, Neil Grant, Managing Director, Ferndale Garden Centre, Robert Hall, Halls Gardensite, James Hollingworth, Garden Products Buyer, Suttons Consumer Products, Nick Liszka, Buying Manager, Wyevale Garden Centres, Neil Pope, Garden Trade News, Andy Schofield, Commercial Trading Manager, Home & Garden Group and Allan Wilson, Senior Buyer, The Klondyke Group.
Vicky added: “My thanks also have to go to the panel of dedicated judges who gave up their valuable time to take part in this year’s judging process. Their combined expertise and market knowledge has been invaluable throughout the judging process, and has helped to create a particularly strong list of winners.
“Finally, I extend my thanks to all those that have entered the awards in 2017, as well as our sponsors, without whom we would not be able to put on an event of this scale.”
GIMA AWARDS 2017 – THE WINNERS
GIMA Sword of Excellence
Winner: Westland Horticulture – Westland SafeLawn
What the judges said: “A great new product that clearly addresses both the customers’ needs and concerns, with a really strong marketing campaign behind it. A very worthy winner.”
GCA Supplier of the Year
Winner: Smart Garden Products
Finalists: Decco, Woodlodge
What the judges said: “Great quality of products, service and reliability”, “Fantastic innovation and new products” and “Even in a difficult year the service was excellent”.
Gardenex Export Achievement Award
Finalists: Smart Garden Products, Crest Garden
About the winners: Currently Briers export to 20 different countries, and have witnessed particular success from the United States, the Netherlands and Belgium. Briers’ presence and growth on the continent has been cemented by Jackie Eades’ association with EFSA and the long-term commitment to numerous trade shows.
GIMA AWARDS 2017 – PRODUCT AWARDS
Winner: Westland Horticulture – Westland SafeLawn
Finalists: Round Up – Round Up Telescopic Weeding Wand, SBM Life Science Ltd – Baby Bio® Feed & Mist for Orchids, Sipcam UK – Ecofective range
About the winner: Unlike existing ‘all-in-one’ lawn products, CleanLawn does not require children and pets to be excluded from the treated area after application, and does not require a spreader to be applied without the risk of scorching. In addition, raking out dead moss and thatch is not necessary as these waste materials are ‘eaten’ by microorganisms, leaving you more time to enjoy your lush, green lawn.
What the judges said: “Addresses the issues the consumer demands, simply and effectively”
Growing, Planting Equipment and Sundries
Winner: Elho b.v. – Elho Corsica Door Stopper
Finalists: Hozelock Ltd – Superhoze 30m & 15m, FITT SpA – YOYO 2017, Elho – Super XXL Grow Table and Lid
About the winner: The door stopper is a totally new product to the market. There is no other synthetic product at present that is able to be planted to create a unique way to hold open a door. With the addition of wheels to easily move when planted this makes it innovative.
What the judges said: “Innovative new design, it broadens the use of standard planters.”
Garden Tools, Machinery and Implements
Winner: Burgon & Ball – Ergo Deadheader
Finalists: Spear and Jackson – Select Stainless Allotment Hoe, Scotts Miracle-Gro Company – Evergreen Wizz Year-Round Spreader, Hozelock Ltd – Pico Power, Pico Power Home, Burgon & Ball – FloraBrite range
About the winner: This tool is designed to be held in a new way. The finger loop, uniquely shaped handles and comfort grip allow the Ergo Deadheader to nestle in the palm, taking the strain off the wrist and thumb for more comfortable cutting.
What the judges said: “Designed with the user in mind not just the task, it’s easy and comfortable to use.”
Winner: Hutton Garden and Landscaping Products – Melrose Dining Set
Finalists: Woodlodge Products – Mendip Fire Pit, CPL Distribution Limited – Homefire Olive Briquettes, Fallen Fruits – Dachshund Bench
About the winner: Most outdoor garden furniture is produced using small dimension softwood with the aim of achieving low cost to the consumer. The Melrose is proof that using innovative British manufacturing techniques, high quality products can be produced at a very affordable price.
What the judges said: “Excellent value for money with good environmental credentials, and it’s made in the UK too!”
Plants, Seeds and Bulbs
Winner: Hawkesmill Nurseries – Salvia Microphylla ‘Jeremy’ or Salvia ‘Pink Lips’
Finalists: Westland Horticulture – Unwins Sensational Sweet Peas range, Mr Fothergill’s Seeds Ltd – Optigrow vegetable seeds, Hawkesmill Nurseries – Victorian Viola range
About the winner: Salvia Pink Lips (Jeremy)® is a pink form of the popular Salvia Hot Lips and is exclusive to Hawkesmill Nurseries for 2017. The stunning blooms are pink-white instead of red-white (Hotlips) and the flowers have a larger size (about 50% larger compared to Hotlips).
What the judges said: “Beautiful and hardy; a great follow up to the popular Hot Lips variety.”
Winner: Forest Garden – Decibel Noise Reduction Panel
Finalists: Grange Fencing Ltd – Adjustable Garden Screen, Deco-Pak Ltd – Milano Porcelain Paving, Ronseal – Garden Paint New Colours, Forest Garden – Whitby Arch & Arbour Range
About the winner: It is the first attractive, affordable and ready-assembled acoustic panel on the market available for purchase and home delivery from national retailers. Unique Triform technology incorporates boards with a triangular profile that optimise the diffusion as well as reflection of nuisance noise.
What the judges said: “Shows a good understanding of the need to reduce noise and stress in the urban environment.”
Garden Clothing & Gifts
Winner: Horticultural Trades Association – National Gift Card
Finalists: Crest Garden – Kent & Stowe Gardener’s Clothing/Gift, Burgon & Ball – FloraBrite range, Crest Garden – Kent & Stowe Garden Gift
About the winner: Unlike the old propriety gift cards, retailers can sell as well as redeem the NGGC. The purpose-built transactional technology enables the card to be activated by any epos system and even online. This enables the widest possible sale and redemption possible. The gift card is all-inclusive for retailers.
What the judges said: “A great product for driving more sales into gardening” and “Great for both retailers and customers.”
Pet Care, Aquatics and Wild Bird Care Products
Winner: Fallen Fruits – Best for Birds Range
Finalists: Cadix UK – Outdoor Statue Birdbath, Gardman – Butterfly Glass Bird Bath, Wildlife World – Dewdrop Wildbird Window Feeder
About the winners: Fallen Fruits’ Best for Birds wedge and hanger feeders are aimed at the entry level price point; a pocket money product. They allow customers to experiment with different feeds in different locations to see what suits their garden birds. The feeders are colourful and easily disposed of when empty.
What the judges said: “Innovative unique design, low cost and recyclable.”
Garden Lighting, Water Features & Ornamentation
Winner: Smart Garden Products Limited – Eureka! Retro Solar Lightbulb
Finalist: Smart Garden Products – Illumina Silhouette Table, The Solar Centre – Lumify USB Solar Festoon Lights, Smart Garden Products – The Elvedon Collection
About the winner: Following the success of the Eureka! Solar light bulb, this larger sized light bulb and retro Edison filament lighting effect continues the evolution of the Eureka! range of products and provides consumers with an enticing, new option. The new flattened bottom allows them to sit on tabletops as well as hang.
What the judges said: “Bang on trend again; a great new twist on a bestseller.”
GIMA AWARDS 2017 – MARKETING AWARDS
Best Point of Sale Material
Winner: Briers Ltd – Kids Range New Display Concept
Finalists: Kelkay Ltd – Collections, Smart Garden Products – Doormat displays, Westland Horticulture – Smart Cover Mega Pallet
About the winner: Addressing the retailer’s needs directly, by enabling them to display a high impact range that delivers in a compact footprint. The new merchandisers are robust enough to withstand the retail environment and flexible enough to allow retailers to choose their ranges to suit their customers.
What the judges said: “A great use of space and colour with a strong link to the product.”
Best Consumer Product Packaging
Winner: Westland Horticulture – Westland Safelawn
Finalists: Wildlife World – Floral Gift range, Burgon & Ball – Brie Harrison range, Hozelock – Superhoze Packaging
About the winner: Extensive research gave Westland the insight needed to spot a gap in the existing lawn range. Parents and pet owners were worried about safety concerns, rather than seeking organic alternatives. By naming the product ‘SafeLawn’ and giving clear visual representations on pack, Westland was able to identify a consumer need.
What the judges said: “Functional, colourful and distinctive packaging with clear messaging addressing the consumers fears and aspirations.”
Best Marketing Communication Award
Winner: Gardman Ltd – The Royal British Legion Charity Campaign
Finalists: Westland Horticulture – Westland SafeLawn, Hozelock – Bizzi Marketing Campaign, Wagner System GmbH – Out of Black Forest video
About the winner: Gardman became corporate partners with the Royal British Legion and launched a range of poppy wild bird care products; a cast iron poppy bird feeder dish and two premium wild bird care seed mixes. Through sales of these products, Gardman have managed to raise an incredible £240,000 to support veterans and their families.
What the judges said: “A simple but effective campaign that delivered great results and ticked all the boxes: Product that sold through, an excellent marketing campaign, and a worthy charitable connection.”