Woolworths Ayrshire Mozzarella triumphs as the South African Dairy Product of the Year

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

An Ayrshire mozzarella, specially manufactured for Woolworths by the RFG Group, was crowned the dairy product of the year at the prestigious South African Dairy Awards on Thursday 25 May 2023 at Eensgezind function venue outside Durbanville.

This year’s event is a remarkable milestone, as it is the 190th SA Dairy Championships competition. This is the biggest and oldest dairy competition in Africa.

The 600g winning Woolworths Ayrshire Mozzarella cheese competed against 929 other dairy products from 71 producers and was evaluated by a team of 80 judges. From many entries, 106 Woolworths products were named SA Champions. The brand stood out as a winner in every championship class. This year, a total of 23 products were honoured with the Qualité mark of excellence (see the full list of crème de la crème below).

“For a product to be chosen as product of the year in a competition of this nature is the dream of every dairy producer,” says dairy expert and chief judge, Alan Fourie. “The 600g Woolworths Ayrshire Mozzarella is an exceptional pizza mozzarella and worthy of this accolade. It is a firm and smooth cheese with a slightly creamy appearance that grates well and melts perfectly. Its creamy, soft texture and caramel flavour is out of this world.” 

Robert Sudell, Operations Manager of RFG Foods, says their team is delighted to be recognised for their signature line. “Mozzarella has been the core foundation product of RFG Foods for over 25 years,” says Sudell. “Our small, artisanal cheese-producing team, under the guidance of cheesemaker Kerwick Boonzaaier, are true experts. They use a manual process (cutting cheese by hand) as well as Italian ingredients and equipment to create mozzarella that is on par with the best in the world.” 

“We are proud of our collaboration with Woolworths, a business that values quality as much as we do. RFG Foods would like to congratulate Agri-Expo on the 190th SA Dairy Championships and their continued support of innovation and excellence in the industry.”

An Ayrshire Mozzarella, specially manufactured for Woolworths by the RFG Group, was crowned the dairy product of the year at the prestigious South African Dairy Awards on Thursday 25 May 2023 at Eensgezind function venue outside Durbanville.

Read more about how the awards work here.

Agri-Expo honours top dairy specialist

At the 2023 SA Dairy Awards, Agri-Expo honoured dairy specialist, Suzy O’Regan, for her exceptional and dynamic leadership in the dairy industry.

O’Regan, Product Development Manager for Woolworths Food, is the second woman whose name is inscribed on the list of industry stalwarts on the Agri-Expo Roll of Honour. She has been a judge at the SA Dairy Championships for over 20 years and she is a member of the Super Jury of internationally recognised experts at the World Cheese Awards.

“The decision to develop the Agri-Expo Roll of Honour in 1992 was to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of industry leaders to our dairy projects,” says Breyton Milford, general manager of the Agri-Expo.  “Only nine individuals received this award in 31 years, which is an indication of the extremely high requirements of the nominations.”

O’Regan has been nominated for her admirable contribution to the growth, development and long-term success of the SA Dairy Championships. “Her commitment to excellence, her extensive knowledge and her willingness to share her expertise have significantly advanced the industry’s standards, fostered innovation and inspired a lasting legacy for future generations to build on,” says Milford. “She is more than deserving of this accolade.”

2023 Qualité Award Winners:


The Menu Vanilla Flavoured Custard

The Menu Chocolate Mousse

Woolworths Low Fat Yoghurt with Salted Caramel & Chocolate coated Honeycomb

Vital Medium Fat Strawberry Yoghurt

Royale Full Cream Yoghurt with Peaches & Cream Flavoured


Melrose Glass Jar Spread Cheddar Flavour

Woolworths Mature Cheddar 20 months

Woolworths Mature Gouda 10 months (Black)

Président Gouda Mature 6 months


Boerenkaas Matured Gouda

Boerenkaas Mature Extra Hard

Boerenkaas Semi Hard Black Pepper


Polar Signature Ice Cream Salted Caramel – Caramel Ice Cream 

Polar Dairy Ice Cream – Blueberry Cheesecake Buttermilk Frozen Yoghurt


Halloumi Skewer


Pizza Mozzarella


Royale Full Cream Yoghurt – Mixed Fruit and Custard


First Choice Full Cream Peach Yoghurt


Woolworths Blue Pearl




Braailoumi Cajun


Woolworths Ayrshire Mozzarella 600g


Pizza Mozzarella – Press release, Agri-Expo

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