The Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards are renowned throughout the industry for their rigorous and stringent judging process. Using a combination of ranking and discussion, our esteemed panel of expert judges award stand-out products using the well-established criteria outlined below:

One by one, each product is brought into the judging room and reviewed by the panel. Judges first review the product individually, inputting their personal feedback based on their initial impressions using the key judging criteria.

Following individual reflection, judges will discuss the entry as a collective and debate the merits of each product with reference to the below key criteria:

  • Taste
  • Texture
  • Flavour
  • Aroma
  • Ingredients list
  • Provenance
  • Product appearance
  • Packaging
  • Price point/value for money
  • Innovation/aims in the marketplace

Once all entries within a category have been reviewed, the panel will begin discussions on awarding products. The chair of judges will lead the panel through a discussion on each product individually until a general consensus on awards is reached.

Once every product and category has been tasted and judged, and all general judging has been completed, the panel of experts reconvene to award the Product of the Year. This is awarded to the one product that stand out as their overall champion, 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 steps. 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.

Are you a Small Producer?

Don’t forget, if your company has fewer than 10 staff and has an annual turnover of less than €1 million, you are eligible for our Small Producer discount. Find out more below.