Nelson-based peanut butter maker Pic’s Peanut Butter has won a cluster of prestigious 1-star accolades at the UK’s Great Taste Awards.

Judged alongside more than 12,000 blind-tasted products, Pic’s Crunchy No Salt Peanut Butter, Smooth Peanut Butter, Smooth No Salt Peanut Butter and Almond Butter all received 1-star awards. This builds on Pic’s success in 2016 when its Crunchy Peanut Butter received a 1-star award.

The Great Taste awards, organised and run by the Guild of Fine Food, is globally acknowledged as one of the most respected independent food accreditation schemes for artisan and speciality food producers and is often referred to as the ‘Oscars’ of the food world or ‘epicurean equivalent of the Booker prize’. The UK-based awards attract thousands of entries each year from food producers around the world.

“In New Zealand, we have become accustomed to the high standards of our everyday foods - something we tend to forget when visitors are surprised by the cost of groceries here,” says Pic’s Peanut Butter owner, Pic Picot. “So, while it's great to see our peanut butter recognised internationally, knowing that it is a Kiwi staple means a whole lot more to me personally.”

This year’s awards were judged by a panel of more than 500 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs and food producers as well as a whole host of food writers and journalists. All products are removed from their wrapper, jar, box or bottle before being tasted so that no importance is placed on brand or packaging. Judges blind taste in groups of three or four to ensure a balance of expertise, age and gender, and every product awarded a star rating has passed the palate test of a minimum of eight experts. As well as great taste, judges take into account texture, appearance, ingredients, aroma, finish and flavour profile.

Devonport Chocolates was the only other New Zealand company to be acknowledged at this year’s Great Taste Awards, also receiving a 1-star for one of its products.

Pic’s Peanut Butter is now sold at 750 Tesco stores in the UK. It is also on sale at the prestigious Partridges of Kensington (holder of a Royal warrant to supply the Royal household at their four residences of Windsor, Sandringham, Balmoral and Holyrood House).