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Irish Quality Food & Drink Awards 2017 :: Entry Hints and Tips

Entry Hints and Tips

Agnes Bouchier-Hayes, IQFA Kitchen Manager 

Over the judging period the judges will look at products right through from confectionery to pies, salad to steak. Every single product will be given the respect it deserves, regardless of complexity. 
 
The products will be looked at as a whole offering to consumers, who of course take more than taste into account when they make their purchases.  Naturally, the products must taste great, and they will be sampled, and examined, and feedback will be given.  This feedback can be so useful for continuing improvement; we see products who heed the advice performing better on an annual basis.  Equally we see products excel in one area but get stuck in a rut as they don’t improve in other areas.
 
Use the competition and the feedback to rejig or rework a product. Some great products miss the mark because of unsuitable cooking times. Make the most of the opportunity. It’s a wonderful benchmarking tool
 
Give your product the best shot possible.  Enter the product in to the most suitable category to make sure that it can be judged against other products in the category. Don’t enter multiples of the same product - flooding the competition doesn’t guarantee success.
 
Make sure you meet the delivery guidelines. It’s a lengthy process so give yourself the best possible chance, adhere to the delivery dates times and instructions to ensure your product can be judged fairly and equally amongst its peers.

 

Dee Laffan, Freelance Editor and Journalist

I look forward to judging the Awards each year as it really gives you a taste, quite literally, of the selection of products on the market. It’s important to me to know this from a food writer’s perspective, but also as a consumer.

A few tips for entrants:

Remember that first impressions are very important and therefore packaging is critical. Think about design, colour, logos, etc. All of these elements add to showcasing your brand to consumers.

The importance of food photography is often overlooked. Ensure the photo of your product on the packaging is representative of the product itself. Try to keep it simple and don’t cover the photo with branding, therefore hiding the food.

If your product has cooking instructions, please test these until you are 100% sure they are correct. Often, the cooking duration or temperature stated is what has let the product down during tasting.

 

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