Breaking boundaries and winning international awards: the African Food and Drink producers making an impact

Posted by Daniel Idowu on

Value Africa exists to support the continent’s best producers. We are glad to our producers winning awards for their products. The effect of these awards can be transformational for the producers themselves, but also the wider African food and drink industry.

They help showcase the rich diversity and quality of African cuisines whilst promoting cultural appreciation. It is difficult to quantify the immense pride Africans could have if Zobo, Mandazi, Sodab or Dabo Kolo are recognised and acknowledged as quickly as Sushi, Crème brûlée, Jerk or Churros.

Secondly, such awards can boost the global visibility of African food and drink producers. It helps attract international attention, fostering trade opportunities and increase Africa’s share of global income.

Awards for African-produced products in the food and drink industry are crucial in building the reputation of African Manufacturing. This journal entry reviews the awards our made in Africa brands have won. You can of course shop the collection on our site. 


Aduna, founded by Nick Salter and Andrew Hunt produces a range of teas, beauty oils, powders and grains which are sourced, packed and imported from Kenya, Africa. Their Cinnamon-Spiced Cacao and Moringa, Mint & Nettle teas have won awards from the Great Taste Awards, Guild of Fine Foods.

The Great Taste is the world’s largest and most trusted food and drink accreditation scheme. Their panel of over 500 experts which includes chefs, buyers, food writers and retailers blind test products. This provides brands with honest and impartial assessment on their product quality.

  1. Aduna: Cinnamon-Spiced Cacao “Relax" Great Taste Award 2019, 2 stars.

Review: “Clear golden brew. Strong cocoa aroma with a hint of spice. In the mouth this is a real chocolatey drink, with a hint of cinnamon – a drink that would be excellent for anyone on a dairy free diet and a refreshing and warming drink at any time. The other spices follow on in layers, just as under notes, with a warming slow satisfying finish. The chocolate stays in the background but is a constant attractive presence.

Balancing this list of ingredients is a tall order but the producer has done it with great skill. All spices can be appreciated equally, and the cocoa has a rich warmth which brings it all together nicely.”

  1. Aduna: Moringa Mint & Nettle “Cleanse” Great Taste Award 2019, 1 star. 

Review: “Simply delicious; delivers fantastic flavour. Very clear bright gold coloured tea. Woody notes on the nose from the dry mix with a little mint. Deep amber colour is inviting, and the aroma is gently minty. The aromas really transfer onto the palate. Vibrant mint and fennel with a steady base from the moringa and a subtle sweetness from the liquorice. Well balanced tea with a lingering taste. Clear and definite mint flavour.”

Bayab & Vusa: Spearhead Spirits

Spearhead believe it is time for African spirits to sit on the world stage and work to give consumers a taste of the finest African craft and quality alcohol. They have created two brands produced in Africa - Bayab Gin and Vusa Vodka.

The Bayab range is created using locally grown wheat and African botanicals including Juniper berries, Coriander, Rosemary, Cinnamon, Coarse salt, Lemon peel, Orange peel and their hero botanical the Baobab.

Vusa is a triple distilled Vodka brand, made from sugar cane farmed locally. The Vodka is then filtered with water from the Midlands Meander in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.

Their Vodka and Gins have won awards from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, which is the oldest and largest competition of its kind. The competition is led by experienced judging panels throughout four days. The process includes highly controlled blind tastings, without information on the producer or price point, ensuring each spirit is judged fairly, equally, and without bias.

  1. Vusa – Vodka - 2021. San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2021 Gold Medal 

Review: “Exceptional spirits that are near the pinnacle of achievement; these products set the standard for their categories.” 

  1. Bayab – Classic Dry African grown gin. San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2022 Gold Medal

Review: “Exceptional spirits that are near the pinnacle of achievement; these products set the standard for their categories.”

  1. Bayab – African Rose African grown gin. San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2023 Silver Medal

Review: “Outstanding spirits that show refinement, finesse, and complexity; these winners are among the best examples of their categories.”

  1. Bayab – Orange & Marula African grown gin. San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2023 Silver Medal

Review: “Outstanding spirits that show refinement, finesse, and complexity; these winners are among the best examples of their categories.”


Equiano rum was co-founded by Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell, Aaisha Dadral, Amanda Kakembo and Oli Bartlam. Equiano is the world's first African and Caribbean rum which blends rums from Grays, in Mauritius and Foursquare from Barbados. 

Equiano Original rum is natural with no flavourings, no spice, and no added sugar. It is a premium molasses-based rum, which is aged for a minimum of 8 years in a variety of oak barrels (French Limousin, Ex Cognac and Ex Bourbon).

Equiano's success has been stunning, it has won five international awards in its short history. It is loved by the industry and available in over 15 different international markets. See the full list below.

  • Equiano Original - San Francisco World Spirits Competition Gold 2022
  • Equiano Original - International Wine and Spirit Competition Score: 96, Gold 2022
  • Equiano Original - The Spirits Business, Rum and Cachaca Masters: Gold 2022
  • Equiano Original - Difford’s Guide Outstanding: 5 stars
  • Equiano Original - International Spirits Challenge: Gold 2022


Pedro’s Premium Ògógóró was co-founded by Lola Pedro and Chibu Akukwe to bring an indigenous Nigerian spirit back to prominence.

Pedro’s is the world’s first Premium Ògógóró, which is made from Ògógóró sourced from riverine communities in Nigeria. Pedro's undertake a final distillation in Lagos before bottling. It is organic, unadulterated with no additional additives. 

Look at your international spirits competitions and you’ll see Gin, Rum, Vodka, Agave, Whisk(e)y categories – but sadly no Ògógóró category, yet. You can imagine the excitement to see it has been awarded Exceptional by Difford’s Guide.  

Difford's Guide is one of the cocktail industry's most popular publications and websites. It serves as a trusted resource for the drink industry, with over 3,000 cocktails listed in 2023’s print edition. You can find it on most backbars around the world.

Review: “Pedro’s is one of the more exciting Spirits we have encountered in a long while. Spiritious grassy fudge with a distinctive metallic note (in a good way) and a flavoursome rawness.


Procera Gin was co-founded by Guy Brennan, Roger Jensen, Chris Cellini and Alan Murungi. 

Procera uses Africa juniper which is never dried, a technique perfected by master distiller Roger Jensen. It is made in Kenya with African botanicals, before being exported to the continent. They have three different expressions.

  1. Blue Dot aka "Sipping Gin" is made up of 11 botanicals and is bottled at 44 abv%. 
  2. Red Dot aka "Negroni Gin" is made up of 18 botanicals and is bottled at 51 abv%.
  3. Green Dot aka “Juniper Botanical Gin” botanicals are all sourced from the Procera Juniper tree and is bottled at 47 abv %. Another world first. 

Procera’s first batch was entered in the International Wine Spirits Competition in 2020. Their judging panels are made up of a balanced mix of experts from a diverse range of sectors drawn from over 30 countries. All gold-awarded spirits are re-tasted by a member of the independent Spirits Judging Committee to give the final seal of approval.

  • Procera Blue Dot - International Wine and Spirit Competition Score: 96, Gold 2020

Review: “Exuberant character of complex soft citrus aromas, complimented by delicate grape and subtle chocolate. Leading to a delicious and well-rounded palate of gentle fruit and pepper. An exceptional classic with a unique twist.” 

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