Judging process

cambridgeThe consumer research is conducted by Cambridge Market Research , an independent market research company with more than 25 years experience in testing food and drink products. The company has a database of 14,000+ standardised new product evaluations conducted through its Fast Foodfax® Market Intelligence service covering more than 100 product categories, which is updated every 6 months.


Each product is tested with a minimum sample of 50 respondents from 6 sampling points across Great Britain. Entrants choose the consumer base most appropriate for their entry from three option: family, pre and post family, or a range representative GB sample.
•Tests are conducted in-home under fully controlled conditions and are evaluated individually having been prepared in the normal manner
•After assessing pre-trail interest and visual appearance, the product is tasted and rated on a number of key measures covering taste, texture, packaging, value for money and post-trial would-buy intention
•It will be rated on its level of originality and its relevance to the consumer
•Individual characteristic and overall product ratings out of a maximum of 50 are defined for every product and reviewed in the context of a database of two sets of norm scores:

The ratings achieved by similar products in the previous two years of testing for The Grocer New Product Awards and the current Fast Foodfax® database of innovations tested in that category of products.


Entries going forward to the 2nd stage expert panel judging will be evaluated by an expert panel of judges drawn from a range of disciplines.

They will evaluate each successful entrant on the set of criteria of taste, texture, appearance, packaging, value for money and clarity of labelling.

Products are prepared in professional kitchens in London, where the judges factor the consumer judging scores together with their own informed opinions select the winner for each category.

A summary report for every entrant:

A one-page report is prepared for each entry incorporating these ratings and a written analysis – including illustrative verbatim consumer feedback – complete with a summary consumer verdict. This is reviewed and used as the basis for defining which products go forward to the stage 2 product evaluation by an expert panel of judges.

After the winners have been announced, all entrants are provided with a copy of this report. Cambridge Market Research is happy to interpret these findings with each entrant, exploring any diagnostic feedback that may help in future product development and optimisation.

Here’s a sneak peak into The Grocer New Product Awards 2018 judging!

View our 2016 Winners, Highly Commended and Finalists here