Judging begins with an assessment period, during which entries are assessed to ensure that they meet the relevant criteria and rules of entry. Our Blind Judging process takes place over a three week period, usually in September.  Judging is completed by panels of judges that comprise of industry specialists, food writers, food bloggers and consumers of FreeFrom products.

Judges will make their evaluation based on quality, flavour, aroma, texture, ingredients, price, technical aspect and importantly – FreeFrom declarations. Judging is ‘blind’, i.e., judges are NOT informed of the name of the manufacturer/producer of any product until an initial decision is made regarding the winners of the category. Judges are supplied with information regarding each product and this includes ingredients list, FreeFrom list, preparation instructions etc.

Following the initial decision the packaging will be revealed to the judging panel. The packaging will be re-examined to ensure the product meets the various criteria (e.g. FreeFrom declarations), following which the winning products will be awarded a Gold, Silver, Bronze, Merit and/or Innovation Award.

Gold Award winners will be automatically entered and assessed for the ‘Product of the Year Award’. All product ranges will be considered for our ‘Product Range of The Year Award’. Retailers are entered into ‘Retailer of The Year’. We also have a Special Judges Award for products that stand out to judges, as well as Innovation awards, for those that raise the bar and bring something different to the freefrom marketplace. We also have our FreeFrom Champion Award, sponsored by Juvela, which is presented to someone who has gone above and beyond to support or champion or improve the world of freefrom. 

2021 heralded our ‘Lisa Acton Small Producer of The Year Award‘ for the first time, in memory of our late director, Lisa Acton.

Our Judges debate in detail and with great passion and we insist that no award is easily won.