It’s our policy to hold more national and regional competitions for chocolatier products – flavoured bars, bonbons/pralines/ganaches and spreads. We believe this helps to recognise existing local chocolate cultures and helps to develop the fine chocolate market in regions without a strong chocolate tradition.
Our initial category list has evolved and grown since the International Chocolate Awards started. This has followed feedback and requests from entrants and the results of our online surveys of entrants and the wider industry. This is mostly because entrants want the special craft and techniques that have gone into a particular style of piece to be recognised and for us not to judge quite different pieces against each other. For example, a chocolate enrobed marzipan requires quite different skills to a caramel in a moulded shell. Judging these in the same category would not be comparing like-for-like and could mean a master marzipan or master caramel maker goes unrecognised. If you’re a consumer who only likes marzipan or only likes caramels, that’s not very useful.
The ideal for all chocolate judging is to make it completely anonymous and ‘blind’. Many producers have identifying marks on their products or distinctive moulds that might mean that their products are recognised during judging.
While we receive some sponsorship, usually in the form of sponsored venues and accommodation for the organisers, the Awards are run mostly on the goodwill, dedication and free time of our partners, Grand Jury and judges. The entry fees we receive go towards paying for administration and services, printing, equipment, venue and catering costs and additional travel costs. None of our National or Regional partners or Grand Jury are paid in any way at this time, other than for expenses during the competition.