Great Taste 2018 results announced, revealing this year’s stars of food and drink
Following more than 65 days of judging, the results of the world’s most coveted food awards, Great Taste, have been released, with many food and drink producers in the UK and beyond now celebrating. Out of a record breaking 12,634 products to be judged in 2018, 4,653 were awarded a highly prized Great Taste accolade and of those products, 192 have been awarded a 3-star, 1,207 received a 2-star and 3,254 were given a 1-star.
With a more diverse line up of food and drink products than ever before, this year’s Great Taste awards list is peppered with some truly unique and unusual products, such as the Great Taste 3-star winning Mount Mayon Premium Pili Nuts with Ecuadorian Cacao from Subic Superfood Incorporated in the Philippines, The Birch Syrup Company’s North Pennine Birch Syrup, which took a Great Taste 2-star back to Durham, and the Great Taste 1-star Deer Jerky from Wild Game Meat in Suffolk.
Emerging themes among this year’s Great Taste winners include big success for imported products, a strong showing for the UK and Ireland’s farmers and more stars than ever before for fermented food and drink. Among the more traditional products to see stars this year are a Great Taste 3-star Saddleback Neck Steak from Devon-based Pipers Farm, Great Taste 2-star Oatcakes, handmade in Aberdeenshire by JG Ross, and Pearson’s Cider’s Great Taste 1-star Medium Dry Cider, which is made in Warwickshire.
While these producers revel in their success and begin displaying the unmistakable gold and black Great Taste logo, with 1-, 2- or 3- stars, on their award-winning products, they will wait with much anticipation to see if they also scoop a Golden Fork for their region. These final honours, including the Great Taste 2018 Supreme Champion, will be announced at the Great Taste Golden Fork Dinner on Sunday 2 September, to be held at the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel, London.
Recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike, Great Taste, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, values taste above all else, with no regard for branding or packaging. Whether it is vinegar, granola, bacon or cheese being judged, all products are removed from their wrapper, jar, box or bottle before being tasted. The judges then savour, confer and re-taste to decide which products are worthy of a 1-, 2- or 3-star award.
The final panel of judges this year included; MasterChef 2018 champion, Kenny Tutt, chef and food writer, Elly Curshen, eco chef and food writer, Tom Hunt, author and chef, Zoe Adjonyoh, baker Tom Herbert, author and blogger, Izy Hossack, and baker and recipe writer, Martha Collison, as well as food buyers from Harrods, Selfridges and Sourced Market. These esteemed palates have together tasted and re-judged the 3-star winners to finally agree on the Golden Fork Trophy winners and the Great Taste 2018 Supreme Champion.
Details of this year’s winners can be found here and a wide range of award winning products are available to buy in delis, farm shops and independent retail outlets across the country.
Facts and figures about Great Taste 2018:
Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers
A record breaking 12,634 different products were entered in 2018
Less than 37% of products entered achieved a Great Taste 1-, 2- or 3-star
Over 500 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, restaurateurs, cooks, producers and a host of food writers, journalists and social media influencers, blind taste each product over 65 days of judging
Judging took place at the following locations:
Guild HQ in Gillingham, Dorset, as well several other Dorset venues
The Guild of Fine Food’s London home, No. 42 Southwark Street, SE1
3,254 awarded 1-star
1,207 awarded 2-star
192 awarded 3-star
As the judges searched for the stars of 2018, waste was kept to a minimum, with unused products being donated to local food banks and hampers made up of excess products for local businesses to raffle in aid of charities. No plastic plates or cutlery were used during the judging rounds, reducing plastic waste by almost 100%. The Guild of Fine Food also donates surplus computer equipment, used to record the judges’ comments, to community-based projects across the UK, which are then refurbished and used to facilitate after school clubs and many other initiatives designed to support underprivileged families.
Great Taste ratings
3-star: Extraordinarily tasty foods – less than 3% of products are awarded a 3-star each year – don’t leave the shop without buying it!
2-star: Above and beyond delicious – less than 10% of entries will achieve this rating
1-star: A food that delivers fantastic flavour. Approximately 25% of entries will achieve this rating each year.
What are Great Taste judges looking for?
They’re looking for great texture and appearance. They judge the quality of ingredients and how well the maker has put the food or drink together. But above all, they are looking for truly great taste.
How do they work?
Each team of four judges blind-tastes around 25 products per session, discussing each product as a coordinating food writer transcribes their comments directly onto the Great Taste website which producers access after judging is completed. Over the years, numerous food businesses, start-ups and well-established producers have been advised how to modify their foods and have subsequently gone on to achieve Great Taste stars. Food or drink that is deemed worthy of Great Taste stars is also tasted by a team of arbitrators, who taste, confer and agree on the final award given. If judges feel that a product needs some adjustment, and therefore not likely to receive an award, the food or drink gets a second chance on a referral table, where another team blind-tastes and deliberates. For a Great Taste 3-star award, the vast majority in the room – which can be as many as 30-40 experts – must agree that the food or drink delivers that indescribable ‘wow’ factor.
What should consumers look for?
The logo. The Great Taste symbol is their guarantee a product has been through a rigorous and independent judging process. It’s not about smart packaging or clever marketing – it’s all about taste.