Academy of Chocolate Awards entries open

The UK’s annual Academy of Chocolate awards have opened for entries, aiming to showcase some of the world’s most talented chocolate producers.

Confectionery Production will once again be part of the judging process for the accolades (one of last year’s winners, Denise Castronovo, who claimed the coveted ‘Golden Bean’ honours), which invite chocolatiers and chocolate makers to are able to enter multiple products across five key categories.

These include bars, filled chocolates, drinking chocolate, chocolate spreads and brand awareness, giving them the opportunity to be recognised in the world’s most prestigious chocolate awards.

With the increase in ‘Tree to Bar’ submissions, the Academy has expanded this area to include separate categories for dark, milk and white bars.


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. Judging sessions take place at Westminster Kingsway College in London over a 16-week period between February and May 2020.

Products will be marked 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, including 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.

The ceremony will also witness the announcement of the Golden BonBon award, which was introduced in 2017 in response to the quality and creativity increasingly achieved in the popular filled chocolates category.

The Academy launched a Brand Awareness Award last year which celebrates the pleasure of enjoying chocolate as a complete moment by moment experience, from attractive functional packaging to enjoyable mouthfeel. This will also be announced as a one of the major winners at the ceremony.

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 the first year, there were 12 entries. In 2019, that figure had grown to a record-breaking 1,600 submissions from 45 countries.

Sara Jayne Stanes OBE, chairman, Academy of Chocolate, said: “We are delighted to launch our 12th awards this year. In 2005, I could barely dream that the artisan chocolate world would have flourished and identified so many talented chocolatiers and chocolate makers from across the world.

“In addition, the close relationships of the chocolate makers and the cocoa growers have helped both to understand each other’s needs and challenges – resulting in ongoing experimentation and products with complexity and character not previously tasted. What will the next 15 years bring?”

Marie-Pierre Moine, board member and awards ambassador, added: “Like the rest of the AoC’s activities, our Awards are strictly non profit-making. We are very grateful to the many experts who will generously give their time to judge the chocolates submitted and help producers with constructive comments. This year again we look forward to high quality exciting entries from all over the world.”

The deadline for the competition is 31 January. For more information, visit

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