Every year suppliers across the country enter their food or drink products into the Great Taste Award. In a bid to signify their quality and individuality.
It has become a real mark of success to the food and drink industry and helps the winning businesses get more recognition for their products, both in the UK and internationally.
In this article we take a brief look at how the awards work, why you should consider entering and, most importantly, what to do next if one of your product is successful.
What are the Great Taste Awards?
The awards are given in an annual contest open to food and beverage companies that are producing exceptional products.
Awarded by the Guild of Fine Food, they are an ideal opportunity to gain recognition for specialty and artisan food or drink producers looking to build their brand in a competitive marketplace.
The aim of the awards is to unearth high quality and unique food products from manufacturers all across the country, and expose them to a wider audience.
Entrants provide a sample of their product to be judged by a group of experts as explained below.
The winners are able to promote that their products have been given a stamp of quality from a well-known organisation and judged on their unique taste.
How to enter (and maybe win!)
First up you need an exceptional product. This is easier said than done – standards are high and it is the taste and texture of the food, not the quality of the packaging, that will determine your success.
Entries are open early in the year and begin with a basic online account and form. There is a fee for each product entered, which varies depending on the size of your business, and there is also a cap of around 13,000 on the total number of entries – so it helps to get in early!
Judging is carried out over several weeks beginning shortly after the closing date for entries. Over 500 specialist judges work in small teams of 3 or 4 people, with a balance of age, gender and experience.
Each of your products will be tasted by at least 6 individual judges and are blind-tested so there is no risk of bias or favouritism – it’s all about the look, smell and, most importantly, the taste of the food itself.
All participants are given detailed instructions explaining how they should prepare and deliver their product to the judges beforehand as different foods and beverages have certain storage and packaging considerations.
Winning products are given 1, 2 or 3 stars – the more the better! In total in 2019 there were over 12,000 products entered:
- 208 achieved 3 stars
- 1,326 achieved 2 stars
- 3,409 achieved 1 star
There are no limits on the number of products that can get a star at each level – if every single entry was somehow top quality next year, they could all get 3!
If your product is extra special, you might also be one of the handful of companies that win a Golden Fork Award – the highest accolade in the competition.
Promoting your Great Taste award
Winners are usually informed in August, which is a great time to make your announcement as there are usually food festivals and events ongoing all across the country.
Below we have given a few ideas you could implement to maximise the PR exposure of your award:
- Share the news on social media accounts – use the award hashtags and tag any relevant Great Taste Award and Guild of Fine Food accounts in your promotion and they might also share your good news,
- Write a blog post about your award and your experience of entering and winning,
- Tell your email list about your achievement,
- Add the logo to the web page of the winning products on your site.
The award organisers also offer various products and opportunities for you to spread the news including labels and digital logos (with brand guidelines for use), branded aprons, bunting, certificates.
You’ll also be listed in the Great Taste Book of the year which gets distributed to over 245,000 people each year.
All in all, the awards are excellent opportunity to gain recognition for your hard work as a food producer and could help you stand out in a competitive market.