Entry Deadline Friday 17 July

The Judging Process

The Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards are renowned throughout the industry for their rigorous and stringent judging process. 

The 200-strong panel is comprised of respected food and drink experts to bring the widest pool of knowledge possible to the judging sessions, a long-standing and highly regarded tradition which sets the Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards apart. We believe there’s only one way to judge a product – ask an expert.

Stage One 

Products are presented to the judging panel individually 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?

Stage Two 

Once every product in the category has been judged, the panel decides on the finalists. This forms the shortlist; from this the panel deliberates further to decide the winning product for that category.

Stage Three 

After all category winners have been determined, the judging panel reconvenes to deliberate the winners of the Product of the Year Award. This award symbolises the product which the panel agree is truly outstanding, and worthy of the ultimate accolade.


Judges Feedback  

Naturally, the ambition of everyone who enters is to win, but we are aware that suppliers whose entries do not make the shortlist are interested in where they fell short of progressing to the final stages.

Every entry will receive a feedback report from the judging sessions, with notes from judges on how the product meets and satisfies the criteria, which may also help you with your future product development. 

Please note: All judges’ feedback will be available in the month after the awards ceremony on 29 October.