A potted history


Independent fine food shops are in decline. Speciality food & drink is also disappearing fast.

The organisation, Guild of Fine Food Retailers is established.


Great Taste Awards is born – the concept simple; retailers & producers need to work together to convince consumers that high quality, great tasting food is mostly prepared in small batches by dedicated makers using fresh, honest & where possible local ingredients.

                        Less than 100 food & drink entries across 5 classes are blind-tasted by 12 experts.

1995 – 1998

Great Taste awards starts to pick up momentum. Judging takes a whole morning and involves around 30 experts blind-tasting approximately 500 products.


Class sizes start to reach unmanageable proportions. Entries top 1000 for the first time.



1500 food & drink products are judged in a single day for the very last time by 50 food buyers and writers.


A new location is secured for Great Taste judging – Westminster Kingsway Catering College, London.


Great Taste continues to grow over the next 10-years. Judging locations include London, Dublin, Dorset, Belfast, Harrogate and Tipperary.

Consumers start to recognise the black & gold logo on award-winning food and major sponsors associated with the fine food world come on board.

Great Taste Golden Fork awards are introduced and the annual Supreme Champion is announced at a black tie dinner at the Royal Garden Hotel, London.


A purpose-built HQ and judging facility, including kitchen and warehouse, opens in Dorset.

Great Taste ‘coordinators’ are recruited for each judging team to help record feedback electronically.


An entry cap of 10,000 is introduced to maintain the rigorous and robust judging process. Great Taste judging now spans 8 weeks and the panel of judges has grown to 400+


Guild of Fine Food sign the lease on an additional judging facility & office space close to Borough Market in London.

This opens up further opportunities for Great Taste, food events and training.


A new entry cap of 12,500 is introduced. The London judging facility opens its doors for the first time.

The annual Great Taste Golden Fork Awards dinner moves to the Intercontinental Park Lane Hotel, London.


As well as receiving a record number of entries being judged over 70 days by 500 food & drink experts,

2018 was also our 25th Anniversary


Over 12,700 entries received, but shortly after the Covid-19 pandemic strikes. Lockdown causes the judging process to be reinvented – Great Taste goes ‘remote’ and experts blind-taste in their own homes, in pairs, via Zoom.

Lockdown gradually eases and our experts return to socially distanced judging rooms and in smaller teams. By the end of August, all 12,777 products have been blind-tasted.

Great Taste Golden Fork awards are announced virtually via social media and the web instead of our usual awards dinner.

Great Taste Golden Fork awards are announced virtually via social media and the web instead of our usual awards dinner.


For the first time in its history, Great Taste accepted over 14,000 entries.

Following 86 socially-distanced judging days in London and Dorset, 355 esteemed palates rigorously blind tasted and judged the 14,113 entries from 108 countries, while providing detailed written feedback.


Research conducted by YouGov in December 2022 illustrates UK adults awareness of Great Taste, and the importance of the awards when making purchasing decisions.

55% of UK adults are familiar with Great Taste logos on food and drink packaging.

Of those who recognise the logo, research shows:
80% said an award would make them consider a product
74% agree it was a sign of quality
56% said it would persuade them to buy a product

1 in 3
In real terms, this means that almost one in three (31%) of UK shoppers would be persuaded to buy a product because it has a Great Taste award.

Source: YouGov fieldwork undertaken December 2022. Total sample size was 2,021 adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

What is Great Taste?

Click here to find out more about the Great Taste Awards

Great Taste entry information

Click here to return to the Great Taste information page

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