Irish Quality Food and Drink Categories


These awards are for food products aimed at the mainstream retail market.  If your product is Free From or is a healthy alternative to a mainstream product, enter into the Irish Good Choice! awards here.

Each category has been specifically tailored to represent the key drivers in today’s ever-changing marketplace. Category definitions have been provided to help you select the right place for your product to be entered. If you are unsure where your product belongs, unsure please contact Beth Treleaven (beth.treleaven@irishqualityfoodawards.com).

To enter, click on the name below and you will be taken to the online entry form. You can enter multiple categories within one form. 

Entry fee per product: €335 + VAT.

Small producer entry fee (fewer than 10 staff and annual sales under €1 million): €125 + VAT. Click here to request your Small Producer discount promo code.


For Irish Quality Drink Categories, click here

(IQFA) Bakery - Large Cakes

Cakes that are large enough to be sliced for serving e.g. Victoria sponge, banana bread, carrot cake

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Bakery - Small Cakes

Cake sold as an individual serving e.g. muffins, cupcakes, mini loaf cakes

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Bakery - Morning Goods

Products targeting the breakfast market e.g. crumpets, scones, pancakes, croissants, Danish pastries

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Bakery - Packaged Large Loaves

Large loaves of pre–sliced bread e.g. tiger bread, cobs, bloomers

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Bakery - Small Loaves and Rolls

Individually portioned breads or smaller loaves e.g. rolls, buns, baguettes

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Bakery - Speciality Loaves

Bread that has a particular niche quality providing a unique selling point e.g. cheese bread, olive bread, sourdough, fruit bread

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Bakery - Wheaten and Soda Bread

Bread in any form that is of wheaten or soda origin 

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Biscuits - Savoury

Any biscuit item which has a savoury flavour e.g. biscuits for cheese, crackers, oatcakes

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(IQFA) Biscuits - Sweet

Any biscuit item which has a sweet flavour e.g. cookies, shortbread, sweet biscuits

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(IQFA) Cereals

Cereal that is sold in a packet e.g. corn flakes, granola, muesli 

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(IQFA) Cereals – Porridge

Any variety of porridge sold to the Irish market

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(IQFA) Cheese - Continental Hard Cheese

Cheese that is made in Britain or on the continent, and is of a hard consistency

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Cheese - Continental Soft Cheese

Any cheese made in Britain or on the continent, of a soft consistency e.g. Brie

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Cheese - Irish Hard Cheese

Cheese that is made in Ireland, and is a hard consistency

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Cheese - Irish Soft Cheese

Any cheese made on the island of Ireland, and of a soft consistency 

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(IQFA) Cheese - Speciality

Cheese that has a particular niche quality that is not common in cheese and provides a unique selling point - cheese made from milk other than cows, flavoured cheeses, cheese sold seasonally etc

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Children's Food

Food that is specially designed and marketed for children

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(IQFA) Chocolate and Confectionery

Any chocolate product or sweets e.g. chocolate bars, chocolate boxes, fudge, packets of sweets

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(IQFA) Christmas Q - Bakery and Desserts

Any bakery or dessert item created and marketed to be sold at Christmas e.g. ice cream, mince pies, Christmas pudding, panettone

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(IQFA) Christmas Q – Cakes

Any cake created and marketed to be sold at Christmas e.g. Christmas cake, yule log, stollen

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(IQFA) Christmas Q – Chilled Savoury

Any chilled savoury item created and marketed to be sold at Christmas e.g. stuffing, cheeses, pies, deli products, flavoured butters

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(IQFA) Christmas Q - Chilled Sweet

Any chilled sweet item created and marketed to be sold at Christmas e.g. brandy cream, whiskey cream, seasonal yogurts

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(IQFA) Christmas Q - Confectionery

Any sweet or chocolate item that has been created and marketed to be sold at Christmas e.g. Christmas sweets, fudge, chocolate

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(IQFA) Christmas Q - Grocery Ambient

Any item created and marketed to be sold at Christmas, often stored in a larder e.g. Mint jelly, cranberry sauce, meat glaze, gravy granules

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(IQFA) Christmas Q - Fish

Any fish item created and marketed to be sold at Christmas e.g. smoked salmon, fish mousses, whole fish. These can be stuffed and with garnish, crumb or sauce

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(IQFA) Christmas Q - Turkey

Any turkey item created and marketed to be sold at Christmas e.g. whole turkeys, turkey crowns etc. These can be stuffed and with garnish, crumb or sauce

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(IQFA) Christmas Q – Other Meats

Any meat item created and marketed to be sold at Christmas e.g. ham joints. These can be stuffed and with garnish, crumb or sauce

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Cold Beverages – Juices & Smoothies

Cold drinks that are made out of fruit and/or vegetables e.g. fruit juices, cold press juices, smoothies

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Cold Beverages – Soft Drinks

Any other cold beverages e.g. cordials, fizzy drinks or waters

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Cooking Sauces

Includes cooking sauces and marinades applied to food prior to cooking and serving

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Dairy - Butters and Spreads

Any dairy product that can be spread e.g. butter, soft cheeses, margarine

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Dairy - Chilled

Dairy products refrigerated at home e.g. milks, creams, crème fraiche

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(IQFA) Dairy - Yogurts

Any type of yogurt product in small or large pots e.g. flavoured, natural, Greek style

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(IQFA) Delicatessen - Antipasti

Products that are sold on the deli shelves or at the deli counter e.g. olives, stuffed peppers, sundried tomatoes

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(IQFA) Delicatessen - Continental Meats

Products that are sold on the deli shelves or at the deli counter e.g. Parma ham, chorizo, salami, pastrami

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Delicatessen – Dips

Any dip style product e.g. hummus, sour cream, salsa, tzatziki

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(IQFA) Delicatessen - Other Products

Products that are sold on the deli shelves or at the deli counter e.g. pork pies, scotch eggs, pâtés

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(IQFA) Delicatessen – Pre-cooked Meats

Products that are sold on the deli shelves or at the deli counter e.g. sliced ham and cooked chicken

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Desserts and Puddings

Any sweet pudding or dessert e.g. mousses, pies, roulades, cheesecakes

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Eggs

Any variety of eggs, in whole or liquid form e.g. hens eggs, duck eggs, quail eggs, liquid egg whites

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Fish – Fresh

Fish that is stored and cooked from chilled e.g. seafood, fillets, shellfish 

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Fish - Frozen

Fish that is stored and cooked from frozen e.g. frozen seafood, frozen fillets, frozen shellfish 

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Fish – Prepared

Fresh or frozen fish that is pre-prepared and ready to be cooked or eaten e.g. breaded fish, marinated fish, fish goujons, fish chowder, prawn cocktail.  Doesn't include smoked fish.

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Fish – Smoked

Fish that is smoked and ready to eat e.g. smoked salmon, smoked mackerel 

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Food To Go

Pre-prepared, ready to eat food and snacks e.g. sandwiches, salads, wraps

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Fresh Produce - Fruit Prepared

Fruit that is sold pre-cut e.g. fruit pots, pre-cut bags of fruit, pineapple slices or fruit salads

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Fresh Produce - Fruit Unprepared

Whole fruits bought in their natural, un-cut state e.g. apples, berries, nectarines, peaches

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Fresh Produce - Salad Prepared

These are pre-prepared salad products e.g. coleslaw, potato salad, salad kits

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Fresh Produce - Salad Unprepared

Salad items bought in their natural, un-cut state e.g. tomatoes, lettuce

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(IQFA) Fresh Produce - Vegetables Prepared

These are pre-prepared vegetable products e.g. stir fry kits, roasting trays, pre-cut vegetables ready to cook. Please enter cut herbs here also.

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(IQFA) Fresh Produce - Vegetables Unprepared

Whole vegetables bought in their natural, un-cut state e.g. potatoes, peppers, broccoli. Please enter potted herbs here also.

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Frozen Food – Savoury

Savoury products that are stored frozen at home e.g. pies, quiches, burgers, chips, vegetables

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Frozen Food – Sweet

Sweet products that are stored frozen at home e.g. ice cream, desserts, pastry

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Home Baking

Products used by the home baker e.g. cooking chocolate, pre-made mixes, fruit mixes, syrups  

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(IQFA) Hot Beverages

This category includes coffee (instant or pods), tea (black, white, herbal, fruit and infusions). They can be of any variety and country of origin. Alternative hot drinks also include e.g. hot chocolate, hot cordials, malted milks.

N.B. The Kitchen Team will have a coffee grinder, cafetiere, nespresso machine and frother available

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Jams, Sweet Spreads and Sauces

Sweet products e.g jams, honey, maple syrup, lemon curd, dessert sauce

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Meat - Bacon

Bacon products sold as rashers, smoked and un-smoked. Includes gammon.

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Meat - Beef

Beef products e.g. beef joints, diced beef, prepared beef cuts. These can be stuffed and with garnish, crumb or sauce

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Meat - Beef Steaks

Beef steaks from all cuts. N.B. Entries will be assessed against similar products during judging, and the category split accordingly e.g. day-aged-steaks/cuts 

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Meat – Puddings

Black and white puddings.  Includes those that are both black and white pudding in one product.

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Meat - Burgers and Meatballs

Burgers and meatballs of any meat type, including similar options such as kebabs/kofte. Products can include sauces and flavours. Low fat or reduced salt burgers should be entered into the Irish Good Choice! Quality Food Awards.

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Meat – Game

Game meats and birds e.g. duck, pheasant, venison, rabbit. These can be plain, stuffed or with garnish, crumb or sauce

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Meat – Lamb

Lamb products e.g. lamb joints or prepared lamb cuts. These can be plain, stuffed or with garnish, crumb or sauce

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Meat – Pork

Pork products e.g. pork joints or prepared pork cuts. These can be plain, stuffed or with garnish, crumb or sauce

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Meat – Poultry

Poultry products e.g. chicken, turkey, goose. These can be plain, stuffed or with garnish, crumb or sauce

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Meat – Sausages

Sausages can be of any meat variety and can be plain or flavoured. Low fat or reduced salt sausages should be entered into the Irish Good Choice! Quality Food Awards.

*Please note: this category may be split at judging into Breakfast Sausages and Flavoured Sausages, depending on the quantity and type of entries.

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Oils and Vinegars

e.g. olive oil, flavoured oil, balsamic vinegar

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Pasta, Rice & Grains

Pasta can be fresh or dried, with or without filling. Rice and grains e.g. couscous and pearl barley, can be of any variety or flavouring.

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Pizzas

Chilled or frozen pizzas, ready to cook or prepare

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Quiches, Pies and Pasties

These are products bought fresh, either cooked or uncooked. If your product is frozen please enter Frozen Food – Savoury.

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Ready Meals

Pre-prepared, ready to cook and eat as a whole meal e.g. roast dinners, filled potatoes, stews

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Ready Meals – Ethnic

Pre-prepared, ready to cook and eat as a whole ethnic flavoured meal e.g. Chinese, Indian, Thai

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Ready to Cook

Products comprising the main ‘ready to cook’ component of a meal. The consumer adds a garnish or side dish themselves e.g. marinated/stuffed meat portions, en croute dishes, ribs, stuffed vegetables

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Relishes and Chutneys

Any spicy condiment, sauce or pickle eaten with plain food to add flavour e.g. red onion relish, cucumber pickle, mango chutney

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Sauces and Salad Dressings

Products either ambient or chilled used straight from the bottle as a pouring condiment or dressing alongside a meal e.g. ketchups, dressings, sweet chilli sauce, mustards, jarred pestos

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Seasonal Occasions

Products sold for specific time periods during the year like Easter, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Halloween (excluding Christmas as we have Christmas Q categories) e.g. hot cross buns, Halloween cookies, mother’s day chocolates

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Side Dishes

Any pre-prepared or partly prepared dish which serves the purpose of accompanying a meal e.g. stuffings, red cabbage, gratins

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Snacks – Savoury

Any snack that is sold in a bag or packet that has a savoury flavour e.g. crisps, savoury nuts, savoury popcorn. This may be split at judging depending on the quantity of entries.

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Snacks – Sweet

Any snack that is sold in a bag packet that has a sweet flavour e.g. sweet popcorn, dried fruit 

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Soups

These can be ambient or chilled, of any variety

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Store Cupboard Ingredients

Dry products e.g. seasonings, salts, rubs and spice mixes, dried herbs, as well as seed and nut mixes or dry toppings

This category is now closed

(IQFA) Value Q

Any type of product sold as part of a company’s ‘value’ led range only e.g. Basics Range, Essentials, Family Favourites, Daily Basics, Everyday Value.

This category is now closed