Products are presented to the judging panel individually within their category, and judges debate and discuss the merits of each product using the following criteria:
- Taste: above all else, the product must taste great.
- Flavour: does the product deliver on the flavours it promises?
- Texture: how is the mouthfeel of the product?
- Aroma: how does the product smell, is it inviting and represent the flavour it should?
- Ingredients List: the quality of the ingredients list will be studied – how clean is it? Does it deliver on it’s claims e.g. health benefits, nutritional profile?
- Provenance: where has the product come from? Tell us about its journey.
- Product Appearance: How does the product look served?
- Packaging: Is the pack eye-catching and does the imagery match the served product? Have you used the least amount of packaging possible with the most sustainable option?
- Price Point/Value for Money: Does the product represent good value for money? The product can be expensive, but as long as the value for money is there it is worth the prize e.g. high-quality ingredients, organic, fair trade etc
- Innovation/Aims in the Marketplace: What is new and exciting about your product? Or, is it a tried and tested product that serves a purpose in the marketplace?
At the end of each category, the panel decides on the finalists for this category. This creates the shortlist; from which the panel deliberates further to decide the category winning product.
After all category winners have been selected a judging panel reconvenes to award the Product of the Year. This award symbolises the product which the panel agree is truly outstanding and worthy of the ultimate accolade.
These awards are highly regarded throughout the industry for the balance and integrity of the results and, naturally, the ambition of everyone who enters is to win. But we are also aware that suppliers whose entries do not make the shortlist are interested in where they fell short of progressing to the final stages.
With this in mind, a huge benefit of entering the Quality Food Awards is the feedback you receive from the judging panel for every product entered. Your feedback will address how the product meets and satisfies the specific criteria, to aid in product development.
Please note: Judges’ feedback will not be available until the month after the awards take place, and will be emailed to the contact provided at entry.