2014 is set to be a golden year for marmalade with the release of a new Paddington feature movie, a growing interest in making preserves at home and a steep rise in exports of British marmalade abroad.

Jane Hasell-McCosh, organiser of the 9th World’s Original Marmalade Awards & Festival being held at Dalemain in Cumbria on 1 & 2 March 2014, is predicting jars will be flying off the shelves as Brits rediscover their love for the citrus preserve and an increased number of international retailers stock the quintessentially British breakfast staple.

“Since we started our awards we’ve seen a definite resurgence in interest in marmalade, with many now making their own preserves at home or opting to buy really good, traditionally-made British marmalade,” Jane said. “I think in 2014 this trend will continue and, with the new Paddington movie coming out, people are bound to want to get their paws on more and more of these wonderfully golden jars.”

Entries are now open for the awards, which hail the preserve in all its sticky glory. The closing date for entries is 13th February 2014. Everyone who enters a jar gets their preserve tasted and judged by experts, and then gets sent a personalised mark card with feedback on how the marmalade can be improved – or if they are lucky, a gold, silver or bronze award. Last year over 1,900 jars were entered. The double gold star winner gets their marmalade made by a commercial kitchen and is then stocked at Fortnum & Mason – and 50p from every jar sold goes to charity.

Marmalade maker Mackays, based in the Dundee area of Scotland, has seen a significant increase in exports to countries such as Japan, Germany, Denmark, USA and the Czech Republic. Martin Grant, Managing Director of Mackays, said: “We’re seeing a significant uplift in marmalade sales internationally as we are the last remaining producer of Dundee Orange Marmalade in the area and I think our heritage, coupled with the fact we still make our preserves using traditional copper pans, is the key.”

Marmalade’s popularity abroad and in the UK will be heightened with the release of the new Paddington movie in late 2014, boasting a star-studded cast including Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville and Julie Waters. Karen Jankel, daughter of Paddington author Michael Bond, said: “Paddington’s favourite food is of course marmalade sandwiches and we’d love to see a resurgence in marmalade as a result of the new film. Of course Paddington will also be making a guest appearance at the 2014 Marmalade Festival and hopes to see fellow marmalade lovers there.”

There is a wide range of categories for artisan, B&B/hotel owners and amateur marmalade makers to enter in the competition. Categories include ‘Dark & Chunky’, ‘Man-made’, ‘1st Timers’ and ‘Merry’ and new for 2014 – ‘Organic Orange’ to champion the fruit from Spanish Seville growers; ‘Citrus with interesting additions’ – including home-grown ingredients;  ‘Marmalade Hall of Fame’ for professional or amateur thespians, writers or local journalists to mark the start of filming for the new Paddington film; ‘WI’ for those who aspire to the high standards set by the Women’s Institute using a set recipe with set rules; ‘Jelly Marmalade’ and ‘Marmalade to go with sausages’.

The awards have raised money for two worthwhile causes: Hospice at Home and Paddington’s favourite charity Action Medical Research, with proceeds from amateur entry fees going direct to charity. Since the contest was launched nine years ago by Jane, over £120,000 has been raised for charities. And this year anyone entering from Scotland can put part of their amateur entry fee towards Marie Curie Scotland

Visitors to the Marmalade Festival (1 & 2 March 2014), held at Dalemain Mansion, near Penrith in the Lake District, get the chance to view the entries, taste over 200 different marmalades, attend workshops, cruises on the lake with marmalade and wine tasting, lectures and even a marmalade church service and the whole event will be well rooted in the Spanish Seville.

The event kicks off National Marmalade Week (1-8 March 2014), overseen by the awards’ organisers, which encourages people to try, buy or make marmalade.

The World’s Original Marmalade Awards & Festival is sponsored by Mackays and Paddington and Company, as well as Fortnum & Mason.Other companies supporting the Awards include wine merchants Laithwaite’s, Barclays and Spinks.

Closing date for entries is 13th February 2014. Further entry details including an entry form, category criteria, submission details and entry fees can be found at www.marmaladeawards.com.



Last changed: Nov 26 2013 at 7:02 PM