Frequently Asked Questions

The Awards are open to U.S. based companies (including U.S. territories) making products that fall within our sixteen categories and comply with all category specific standards.

We wish we could accept amazing entries from any and all food categories, but due to logistical restraints we cannot accommodate every product, aligned as they might be with our goals of tasty, authentic and responsible food. To check your eligibility, you can view the “subcategories” section of the standards page for each category.

We do review our standards annually and try to add at least one category each year. If you have input on what categories or standards you’d like to see added to the Awards in the future, please feel free to email connect@goodfoodfdn.org.

Entries carry a $75 fee per product. This fee helps cover staff costs for processing, sorting and storing all entries, and expenses associated with organizing the Blind Tasting. Active Good Food Guild members receive 1 free entry automatically as part of their member benefits.

We never want cost to be a barrier for entry so if the entry fee is prohibitive as a small or new producer, please email connect@goodfoodfdn.org.

Products must be shipped a week before the Blind Tasting. Categories that do a prescreening, such as oils, will be asked to ship a little sooner. All the shipping instructions will be emailed to entrants in August after the entry period has ended.

Nope! Just send us your product and we’ll take care of the rest.

The subcategories are instructive for organizing the Blind Tasting, but do not receive their own respective Awards. For example, rather than selecting an individual vodka winner, gin winner and whiskey winner, we select up to three overall spirits category Winners per region.

The Good Food Awards strives to live its mission of supporting vibrant regional and local food systems around the country by recognizing up to three winners and five finalists in each category from each of the five regions (North, West, Central, South and East).

The entry form should take about 10 minutes. After that you can put your feet up until September when it’s time to send us your samples for the Blind Tasting.

Good catch!   Yes, originally we included Kentucky with the Central states and Minnesota with the North (including Alaska). Many of you begged to disagree, so we changed things around. Kentucky is now counted in the South and Minnesota is in the Central region.

In addition to a beautiful medal, all Award Winners are invited to be honored at a special ceremony in San Francisco in January, surrounded by their loved ones, fellow winners and leaders of the good food movement. This kicks off a weekend of events including the Good Food Mercantile (open to all Good Food Guild members) and Good Food Marketplace (a farmers market style event where crafters can sell their recent winners to an eager public).

Additional benefits include exclusive use of the Good Food Awards Winner seal on their website and winning product packaging. Many winners have also reported increased sales and publicity tied to the Awards, in addition to receiving access to a community of like-minded crafters to connect with.

*Winners unable to attend January’s ceremony will have their medal shipped to them.

We will reach out to high scorers in October to verify our sustainability standards. Finalists will be notified by early November, and Winners will be notified shortly after that, so they can prepare for the accompanying festivities. Winners are required to keep their status confidential until the Good Food Awards Ceremony in January, when the Winners are announced publicly.

All entrants are notified of their status regardless of their placement. If you have not heard from us by early November, please don’t hesitate to be in touch.

Both Finalists and Winners have met or exceeded our sustainability standards. Winners have received higher scores in our Blind Tasting than Finalists.

The general rule is that, for each food category, the top five Blind Tasting scores in each region of the country are named Finalists. The top three scoring products in each region then move on to become Winners. That’s 25 Finalists per category, from which 15 are named Winners.

Slight fluctuations to these numbers occasionally occur due to scoring ties or disqualification based on sustainability standards.

We don’t typically share the numerical scores of the entries, because without comparisons to other entries they are not very instructive. We have also found that due the big job of staying focused and fresh for the quantity of entries each judge reviews, their tasting notes are generally not terribly productive to share either. We are working towards a system where every entrant will get useful tasting notes from the judging, but this year are trialing this with the oil and coffee category. Unfortunately, for now, we don’t share scores or notes for other categories.

The judge panel is comprised of nearly 300 industry leaders, technical experts, grocers, chefs, food writers and general ‘food movement leaders’ to achieve a balance of professional and consumer palates that lead to the awardees having a taste profile that has proven to be embraced both by everyday consumers and top chefs, food writers and experts.  The judges for each category are listed on our website. Just click the category you’re curious about in the Awards section of the website.