Many consumer brands, such as SkyScanner, Fever Tree, Innocent Drinks, Made.com, Just Eat, The Gym, 99p Stores and Secret Escapes, have previously won at the Amazon Growing Business Awards. However, with this specific consumer sector award, we’ll be able to look back in five or so years at an impressive list of some truly incredible consumer businesses that have won and gone on to hold powerful market leading positions.The Amazon Growing Business Awards have now been a staple in the UK business calendar for 17 years, celebrating the very best of small and medium-sized British businesses. The accolades on offer range from digital to retail and from entrepreneur to brand builders: showcasing the diverse nature of the British economy and the personalities that populate it. However, knowing that we constantly need to evolve to reflect the market, Real Business has added a new category for 2016: Consumer Business of the Year. As we’ve readily identified in our annual Everline Future 50 analysis, the period since the financial crisis has seen vast swathes of innovative and exciting companies crop up – all looking to disrupt and shake up a particular segment. Whilst scale was once an advantage for a consumer business, whether a company is in the food and drink, products, travel or retail space, shifts in technology, product innovation and new more flexible business models have enabled smaller operators to scale fast and focus on the key elements of the proposition and brand that differentiate each to the consumer. Investors are well aware of the potential returns a high-growth consumer company can bring. So, alongside our category sponsor, ECI Partners, what are we looking for from our maiden Consumer Business of the Year winner? Quite simply, we’ll be recognising exceptional, market-leading, high-growth and innovative consumer businesses that have significant potential to continue to scale. If you have a consumer business you think deserves recognition, we’d like to hear from you. “As a growth-focused investor, it is an exciting time to be investing in the consumer sector. The increase in use of online distribution, outsourced business models as well as creativity in branding and customer proposition is helping to create successful, high growth and highly profitable consumer companies with big growth ambitions,” said George Moss, head of consumer at ECI Partners. These consumer companies deserve respect and recognition and that is why we have created this new award.” About ECI Partners: Having provided finance to more than 250 companies over nearly four decades, the ECI team has a wealth of experience in supporting the management teams of consumer businesses and are, therefore, very proud to be sponsoring this category. Some current ECI Consumer investments include Great Rail Journeys, the UK’s leading, premium rail travel specialist, Evans Cycles, the UK’s leading specialist cycling retailer, MPM, the high-quality, natural pet foods company for discerning cat and dog owners and rhubarb, the premium food and drink brand for iconic locations.
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