Having judged more than 100,000 entries from across the globe in the UK and Ireland over the past 22 years, Great Taste is now set to head overseas for the first time, launching Great Taste Portugal in association with ConsumerChoice – Centro de Avaliação da Satisfação do Consumidor, an organisation that champions Portuguese brands delivering exceptional quality to their customers.
With entry now open until the end of June, preparations are well underway for the many weeks of judging ahead. Top chefs, buyers, fine food retailers, restaurateurs, food critics and writers are being assembled to taste each and every entry, before the coveted Great Taste stars are awarded in October and the Supreme Champion is unveiled at the Festival Nacional de Gastronomia de Santarém later that month.
Valuing taste above all else, with no consideration for branding or packaging, the judges will be searching for the very finest food and drink in Portugal, using the same rigorous blind-tasting process and robust judging methods that have been honed by the Guild of Fine Food in the UK over the past two decades.
The winners will earn the right to display the unmistakable gold and black Great Taste logo on their products, helping them to increase sales and improve brand awareness, while all entries will benefit from comments given by the expert panel of judges, providing highly valuable feedback for market research and product refinement purposes. Those products deemed worthy of a 2- or 3-star accolade will also be listed on greattasteawards.co.uk.
John Farrand, Managing Director of the Guild of Fine Food, organisers of Great Taste, explains; “The Great Taste logo is an established seal of approval, reflecting the hard work and commitment of producers who are making outstanding food and drink, so we’re very excited about extending its reach to the Portuguese marketplace in 2016. We’ve been delighted to see more and more international entries coming into Great Taste each year and feel that Great Taste Portugal will give the country’s small artisan producers an even better opportunity to gain recognition for their efforts, raise their profile and jump off the nation’s crowded shelves, as we direct Portugal’s buyers towards the best of the bunch. With so many Portuguese products already awarded Great Taste stars in previous years, we know we’ll be in for a treat when the judging takes place on home soil.”
José Borralho, Managing Director of ConsumerChoice Ltd, creators of the Consumer Choice Awards, adds; “This is an important moment for Portuguese food and drink producers, especially small artisans and those who are looking to export. The Great Taste stamp of excellence is highly sought after throughout Europe and beyond, with buyers and retailers on the lookout for exceptional products using the list of stars as their guide. Great Taste Portugal will offer our artisan producers a unique opportunity to grow their businesses and reach new markets.”
The judging process will take place throughout September and October, with the award-winning products due to be announced on Tuesday 18 October.