Innovation is the lifeblood of any industry – and the baking industry is no exception. This is why Asda is pleased to support the newly launched Innovation Award, which recognises the companies that are driving the sector forward.The award has a wide remit and is not restricted to a particular product type. It is open to all kinds of bakery businesses, from small craft producers to the largest industrial manufacturers, in a variety of different markets, whether that is retail, wholesale or foodservice. Entrants do not have to be a supplier to Asda to enter this award.Judges are keen to hear about all forms of innovation. This could include product development, merchandising, reducing wastage, training programmes or improvements to manufacturing processes. What is important, however, is that entrants can clearly demonstrate how the innovation has benefited the end-consumer.”This award is open to anybody and everybody who can show how they are making life better for consumers,” says Nigel Murray, general manager of bakery and cafés at Asda.”If you have developed a new merchandising initiative, new production processes or introduced a training scheme that is boosting product quality, we want to hear about it. Equally, an innovative new product or service would also be of interest.”The key to this award, says Murray, is showing how the needs of shoppers today have inspired your business practice.”During these difficult times, it is vital we do as much as we can to help hard-pressed families via innovation in all areas of the industry,” says Murray. “Not many products touch people’s lives in the way that baked goods do. From crumpets in the morning, sandwiches at lunch, a sweet treat in the afternoon to bread with an evening meal, bakery is an integral part of daily life. Innovation will help us to meet the challenges of today and strengthen the industry for the future.”If you have an innovation that is clearly benefiting consumers, then please phone for an entry today. Asda would like to wish all entrants the best of luck.—-=== Key points ===1. Open to all types of bakery companies, from the smallest to the largest, supplying a variety of markets, from retail through wholesale to foodservice. 2. Judges are looking for innovation in all its forms. This could include product development, merchandising, reducing wastage, training programmes, new services or improvements to manufacturing processes. 3. The key to this award is being able to demonstrate how innovation has benefited consumers. This could include improved product quality, helping to reduce wastage, providing better value or making the shopping experience more enjoyable.