The Judging Process

The Irish Quality Food Awards are renowned throughout the industry for their rigorous and stringent judging process.

The 200-strong panel is comprised of respected food and drink experts to bring the widest pool of knowledge possible to the judging sessions, a long-standing and highly regarded tradition which sets the Irish Quality Food Awards apart. We believe there’s only one way to judge a product – ask an expert.


Stage One
Products are presented to the judging panel individually and judges debate and discuss the merits of each product using the following criteria:

    • taste
    • flavour
    • texture
    • aroma
    • ingredients list
    • innovation
    • packaging/presentation
    • aims in the marketplace
    • price point/value for money
    • provenance

Stage Two
At the end of each category, the panel decides on the finalists for this category. This forms the shortlist; from this the panel deliberates further to decide the category winning product.


Stage Three
After all category winners have been selected a judging panel reconvenes to award the Gold Q. This award symbolises the product which the panel agree is truly outstanding above all other category winners, and worthy of the ultimate accolade.


Judges Feedback 

These awards are highly regarded throughout the industry for the balance and integrity of the results. Naturally, the ambition of everyone who enters is to win, but we are also aware that suppliers whose entries do not make the shortlist are interested in where they fell short of progressing to the final stages.

With this in mind, we will be sharing the feedback from the judging panel with you. Every entry will receive feedback from the judging sessions, concentrating on how the product meets and satisfies the criteria to help you with your product development.

Please note: All judges’ feedback will be available in the month after the awards ceremony on October 24th.