A total of 64 businesses from across the country are also celebrating today after being announced as finalists, with winners from all 22 of the categories set to be announced at the awards ceremony and dinner on 18 May at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.
Showcasing innovation, enterprise and quality in the Scottish food and drink scene, businesses shortlisted include: The Bay Fish & Chips for Success through Partnership, Strathearn Distillery for Young Talent, Stewart Brewing Ltd for Brewing, Aldi for Own Label, l’escargot for Scottish Sourcing and Yester Farm Dairies Ltd for Primary Producer of the Year.
Mr Rimmer said: "I’m delighted to be hosting the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards again in May. Last year there were some really competitively fought categories so I'm looking forward to discovering new ideas and recognising the innovations of established Scottish brands.
“There have been some exciting developments over the last year in Scotland, especially in the brewing and distilling industries, such as the growth of gin and craft beer, which now have their own category.
“I’d like to congratulate all those shortlisted today and I'm looking forward to sharing a great night with all the people who make Scotland such a special place for food and drink.”
The awards received 272 entries across the 22 categories, a record number on previous years. Newly added categories for this year’s event include Distilling, Brewing and Own Label, each exemplifying the growing appetite in the food and drink sector.
Chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink, James Withers, added: “We’ve had such a diverse range of businesses entering the awards this year which is fantastic to see. Our new categories of Brewing and Distilling were our most highly entered, so we are proud to be supporting these pioneers in their field and giving them a platform on which to display their products.
“We’re thrilled to welcome back Simon Rimmer as our prestigious host for the evening. It’s set to be a great event, good luck to all those shortlisted!”
• For the full shortlist visit www.scotlandfoodanddrink.org