Entry Hints and Tips
Top Tips from Three of our Judges
I look forward to judging the Quality Food Awards every year – I enjoy seeing what’s new, who has something fresh and different, who has been true to their values and who has managed to maintain a certain standard. It is not just about the products being delicious, but about them being the best in many other ways. Of course the flavour is key, but texture is also often very important. Does the description of the product truly represent it? Are the instructions (if there are any) accurate and easy to follow? What does the packaging do for the product? I have been a food photographer for 30 years and have worked on campaigns for many companies, large and small. Packaging is what catches the eye, shows the product and tempts someone to buy it. So, yes, I look closely at the packaging – style, structure, and, of course, the photography.
This year could be your year to win an award. Good luck to you all!
Every year we look forward to judging the QFAs, excited by the huge number of entries from the industry. Here are some tips on what we need to know:
Give the facts about the inspiration behind a product.
Think about the complexities of the recipe: explain any critical, creative quality processes – proving, growing, maturing, cooking format, moulding, rare breed, etc.
Are there any innovative or high-quality new ingredients that help to make this product outstanding?
Explain the background of the product – its key qualities and any unique methodology used.
Does the packaging help make this a high-quality product in some way? If so, explain why.
Having been a judge and Chair for the Quality Food Awards over some years now, I have seen many products; some outstanding and others that require some development. The name ‘Quality Food Award’ is a giveaway; this marks a quality product within the category it is placed. This may be something that is innovative, top quality, nutritious, flavoursome, well presented or good value for money.
All of these aspects are what we are able to look for in our judging process, thanks to the calibre of judges spanning many food disciplines including photographic experts, chefs, food stylists, buyers, food producers and more. This ensures fair judging across all products. We judges approach the awards as a serious but enjoyable process that we look forward to. It is therefore disappointing when certain products are poorly executed with avoidable failings such as inappropriate packaging or incorrect cooking instructions.
My advice to companies entering products is to look long and hard, not only at the products you enter but, at every aspect from packaging to cooking. Then ask yourself, do they deliver? Do not just take a lucky dip of ten items and enter them because you need to enter them, but look at your existing ranges that have been in place for a while. Many of us judges know products that we think are outstanding but we never see them presented to us. Sometimes the best of what you have is not the new product but the longstanding one that is staring you in the face.
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