By Stuart Gates
Published 26th January 2021
There are many awards out there, for food and drink of all shapes and sizes, and they are all judged using various criteria. Of course, competitions are always great if your products win, but on the downside you may feel deflated or consider your efforts a waste of time if you lose – declaring “Who judges these things anyway?” (ahem, me, quite often!).
For new producers, awards can be a great lift or a term of reference for helping with exposure for their brand.
For new producers, awards can be a great lift or a term of reference for helping with exposure for their brand and in turn promote growth and the opportunity of new markets. It often happens that a producer’s first award is a local award such as “Best in X area/region”, which will give confidence to consumers when they encounter your products for the first time in a shop, market, event, online or through social media.
National awards can be a bit trickier and if say they “Best in Wales” this maybe does not resonate as much with consumers in London but an award like the Great Taste Awards has national appeal and understanding and says a lot about products and their quality. The same would apply to more specific awards like ‘organic’ or product specifics like ‘chocolate’.
As I said, there are awards for just about everything these days; ‘natural’, ‘free-from’, etc. and if these categories are important then I would urge producers to enter because consumers and buyers will look for these awards and medals as an endorsement of quality. Some awards are for best packed, best value, etc., but these are generally aimed more at the bigger players and brands.
On balance, I would also suggest producers study the rules and criteria before entering a competition or award programme. Once you have chosen the most relevant one, fill in all the required information and send your products off. If you’ve not been successful, take time to learn from the experience and digest any feedback and see why a competitor may have beaten you. But, do remember that there is always next year to review, adjust, and maybe improve your products. Many producers have successfully used award programmes to do just that. And if you win, shout that out from the rooftops!
Never be shy about success.
Illustration: Ailbhe Phelan
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