The awards scheme, organised by the UK's Periodical Publishers' Association and sponsored by Britvic soft drinks, aims to promote clear, fair, original and well-researched media coverage of the food and drink industry.
In identifying the sector's best publications, the judges were looking for "a publication and associated services of the highest quality and value to its audience".
The 11-person judging panel was drawn from the media and industry and included senior staff from the BBC, trade publishing groups and trade associations, including the Food and Drink Federation.
The panel tested for evidence that readers' issues were being addressed and valuable business advice offered. They also looked at circulation and advertising volume growth, innovation and brand development and design.
The four finalists for best publication were The Grocer, Convenience Store, Morning Advertiser and NutraIngredients.com. At a recent ceremony in London, The Morning Advertiser was highly commended and the overall winner was The Grocer.
As one of the finalists, NutraIngredients has been presented with an award certificate.
The judges said they had been "particularly impressed with the standards of the entries in this category. The leading titles were clearly excellent examples of innovative business magazines and could match competition in any other sector".
"The finalists clearly demonstrated a deep understanding of their reader issues and had driven innovative developments. They are editorially targeted with great precision and no shortage of humour, demonstrating a true understanding of their target markets."
They described NutraIngredients.com as "a ground-breaking initiative and undoubtedly a sign of things to come".
"Nutraingredients.com has a global audience, yet effectively serves the UK with comprehensive and balanced research. It is well constructed andapproachable."
NutraIngredients.com was launched in September 2001 and took off rapidly. By the end of its first year it had achieved circulation figures and advertising revenue equivalent to many long-standing publications in the food and drink business-to-business media. In 2003, it achieved further growth in readership - as measured directly by daily and weekly newsletter subscriptions - and in advertising sales, of more than 50 per cent.