Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The Melbourne Royal Australian Food Awards return for 2023

The Melbourne Royal Australian Food Awards are back after a three-year hiatus with a new five-category format.

The awards, which celebrate excellence in Australian food production, are one of the largest programs of their kind and have been a launching pad for some of Australia’s most successful food products and brands.

Melbourne Royal Manager, Awards Programs – Food, Beverage & Horticulture Damian Nieuwesteeg says the awards provide producers from around the country with an incredible benchmarking opportunity.

“All entries receive comprehensive feedback on the six attributes against which their products are assessed – colour, flavour, aroma, texture and body, trueness to description, and finish of product. This is from some of the most well-regarded experts in the industry, and for many is the main motivation for entering,” Mr Nieuwesteeg said.

“These coveted awards bring together the best of the best in the Australian food industry and, for those organisations and makers who win their category, it can be life changing.

“After a detailed review, the five new categories better reflect the needs, wants and expectations of Australian food producers, as well as showcasing industry trends, production techniques and consumer interest,” he said.

The five new food award programs to be introduced over the coming 12 months are:

  • Melbourne Royal Sweet and Savoury Preserves Awards (judging in July)
  • Melbourne Royal Dairy Awards (judging in August)
  • Melbourne Royal Meat and Smallgoods Awards (judging in August)
  • Melbourne Royal Bread and Baked Goods Awards (judging in March 2024); and
  • Melbourne Royal Chocolate and Confectionery Awards (judging in March 2024).

Entries for Sweet and Savoury Preserves are now open and close on Friday, 5 May.

“We expect entries in this category to be hotly contested, reflecting the preserves industry’s upswing in creative fermenting, pickling and third-wave hot sauce,” Mr Nieuwesteeg said.

“With unique Asian preserves and sauces highly sought after by home cooks and dining venues, Australian kimchi, natto, wasabi pastes, Indian pickles, chilli oil and truffle condiments are now found in local stores beside luxe versions of European favourites such as sauerkraut and piccalilli.”

The Melbourne Royal Australian Food Awards are open to commercial food producers of all sizes, from boutique operators to large-scale manufacturers. In 2019, when the awards were last held, they attracted more than 1400 entries from about 380 Australian producers, with the reworked program set to see even further growth.

Organisations who enter their products into the newly relaunched program in 2023 can elevate their brand, gain valuable feedback, and increase their reach among their target audience.

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