Academy of Chocolate Awards 2019 open for entries

The UK’s Academy of Chocolate annual awards have now opened for new entries, seeking to identify and showcase the world’s most talented chocolate producers and finest chocolates.

Entries are invited across five headline categories – bars, filled chocolates, drinking chocolate, chocolate spreads and packaging – with chocolatiers able to make multiple submissions against a stage one deadline of Wednesday 31 January 2019.

Stage two of the competition will see the submission of final products, which must arrive for judging between Monday 4 February 2019 and noon on Monday 18 February 2019.

More than 100 expert judges will make up the panel, including leading chocolatiers and some of the UK’s most prominent food writers and bloggers. The judges will convene at Westminster Kingsway for a 25 session judging process expected over a 12 week period.

Together they will mark the products on appearance, depth of aroma and flavour, length and complexity to determine the gold, silver, and bronze winners in each category. Promising products that are not yet at award-winning level will receive commendations.

Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony in July next year. These include the famous Golden Bean award, which recognises the achievement of a producer controlling the entire process from roasting the bean to the finished, supremely delicious bar, and the Golden BonBon award, which was introduced in 2017 in response to the quality and creativity increasingly achieved in the popular filled chocolates category.

For the latest accolades, the Academy has also launched a new Brand Awareness Award which celebrates the pleasure of enjoying chocolate as a complete moment by moment experience, from attractive functional packaging to enjoyable mouthfeel. The awards also seek to identify Rising Stars both in the UK and internationally.

Launched in 2005, the prestigious Academy of Chocolate awards have gone from strength to strength mirroring the growth of the fine chocolate market. In its inaugural year, there were 12 entries. By 2018, that figure had grown to more a record-breaking 1,200 submissions from more than 45 countries.

Sara Jayne Stanes OBE, chairman, Academy of Chocolate, said: “Ever since the Academy of Chocolate Awards debuted, the response from across the whole world of chocolate has been overwhelming. Not only has the number of entries soared, so too have the levels of innovation and quality.

“I look forward to seeing the talent and creativity that this year’s crop of entries will bring. I’m sure they will once again make for some very challenging and exciting judging sessions.”

Marie-Pierre Moine, board member and awards ambassador, added: “Purity and sustainability of ingredients remain paramount considerations for the Academy. This year’s new Brand Awareness Award will reward a creative concern with sustainability, as well as the way chocolate information is presented, and the overall packaging quality and suitability.”

The Academy of Chocolate was founded in 2005 by five of Britain’s leading chocolate professionals, united in the belief that eating fine chocolate is one of life’s great pleasures.

Today, Academy members from across the world meet to taste, discuss, demonstrate and debate issues regarding sourcing, transparency, sustainability and the journey from bean to bar.

Producers and chocolatiers can enter via www.acadofchoc.com

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