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Sharma’s Kitchen wins Dairy Award for its Milk Badam

Sharma’s Kitchen product Milk Badam has won an Australian Grand Dairy Award in the Flavoured Dairy Drink category.

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Sharma’s Kitchen product Milk Badam has won an Australian Grand Dairy Award in the Flavoured Dairy Drink category.

The win marks a remarkable achievement for the brand, once again overshadowing Gold Medal winners in its category. Another Sharma’s Kitchen product Mango Lassi has previously won in this category.

The latest triumph underscores the essence of traditional flavours meeting contemporary excellence.

Akaash Sharma, Chief Operating Officer at Sharma’s Kitchen, says it’s gratifying to receive such recognition.

“Our products like Mango Lassi and Badam Milk are deeply rooted in Indian tradition, making them quite unique in the Australian market,” Mr Sharma told Indian Link. “So, when we earn accolades like these, it not only brings satisfaction but also fuels our motivation. We’re up against big players like Dairy Farmers, so winning awards against them really solidifies our position.”

Akaash Sharma
Creme de la creme: Siblings Akaash and Tanisha Sharma at the awards ceremony (Source: Supplied)

Sharma’s Kitchen is a household name in Australia’s Indian community. Its journey traces back to 1998 when the burgeoning Indian diaspora in Australia began seeking products that resonated with the tastes of home. While Indian cuisine was relatively accessible, it was the quintessential dairy delights such as yoghurt (dahi) and paneer that evoked a sense of nostalgia among many.

It was a need Akaash’s dad Bipen Sharma identified, and jumped in to fulfil.

After years of experience in the restaurant industry, founder Bipen Sharma, lamenting the lack of good quality processed Indian dairy foods in Australia, knew he had to make his own.

His first two products at Sharma’s Kitchen, the yoghurt and the paneer, flew off the shelves, and there was no looking back.

Bipen Sharma
Founder Bipen Sharma (Source: Supplied)

The Mango Lassi followed, forging the path for a variety of other flavoured drinks – almond, saffron, cardamom, and a unique date (khajoor) milk. The product range soon expanded to khoya, ghee, shrikhand and a line of desserts.

Almond milk, unlike its more popular dairy-free namesake, is actually almonds cooked with milk. Rich and decadent, it is filled with the flavours of cardamom and saffron and  rosewater. It is served chilled in summer and warm in winter. Protein-packed, it is considered a healthy and restorative drink.

Akaash Sharma says it’s his favourite product.

“We’ve received wonderful feedback for Milk Badam, and for our Mango Lassi,” he revealed. “Expanding our reach is one of our key objectives now. We’re currently in the process of setting up a new production facility. The next step would be to approach supermarkets like IGA, Harris Farm, and Woolworths to stock our products. This would give us direct access to a much wider market.”

Meanwhile his dad Bipen, buoyed by Australian success, has explored larger markets in Europe. Setting up a manufacturing base in Bulgaria in 2012, where he found easy access to good quality buffalo milk, his journey in innovation has opened up great new pastures.

Badam Milk
Image: Shameel Mukkath

A family-run business from the get go, Bipen has able lieutenants in his son and also his wife Umesh and daughter Tanisha.

The 25th edition of the Australian Grand Dairy Awards hosted by Dairy Australia and the Royal Agricultural Societies, took place in Melbourne this year. It celebrated excellence and innovation across 18 distinct dairy product classes. The panel of judges, comprising leading food and dairy experts, meticulously assessed 380 entries from various states, spanning cheese, ice cream, milk, yoghurt, butter, and gelato.

Among the standout winners of the evening, Victoria’s Berry’s Creek Gourmet Cheese Oak Blue clinched the coveted title of Grand Champion Cheese, while Queensland’s artisan gelato establishment Milani Minus Eight Degrees, was crowned as the Grand Champion Dairy for its Peanut Caramel Gelato.

The award-winning products, including Sharma’s Kitchen’s Milk Badam, will proudly showcase the blue and gold medal on their packaging, signifying excellence and distinction within the Australian dairy landscape.

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