The judging process

Product Categories

Run in association with Cambridge Market Research, these awards follow a rigorous two-step judging process and use a well-established consumer panel judging protocol. Emotion is a key driver behind purchase in the drinks market and is reflected uniquely in our judging approach. As such, The Grocer Drink awards will not be judged blind but take into account the emotional intent.

Meet the judges

Cambridge Market Research will request a number of samples from the entrant. The volumes of samples requested will be sufficient for both the first and second stages of judging.

Stage 1: The consumer panel

The samples are sent for testing by the consumer panel following guidelines on responsible drinking. The panel participants will be pre-recruited based on their drinking frequency with panels split by alcohol type to ensure that the correct sample is testing the appropriate product. The questions at this stage include among others: initial impression, level of expectation, pre-trial purchase, post-trial purchase, likes and dislikes about the product, packaging, appearance, aroma, taste and value for money.

The product scores and the feedback reports are then compiled by Cambridge Market Research and the highest scoring products move forward to the second-stage judging as finalists. Each entrant will receive their unique feedback reports after the award winners are announced on Monday 5th November 2018.

Stage 2: Product evaluation by expert panel

All finalists are put through their paces by panellists comprising drinks buyers and aficionados. The criteria includes aroma, taste, value, appearance and packaging.


The scores from the two sets of judging are then added together and the Gold and Silver winners revealed at the celebratory networking event on Monday 5th November. After the event, every product entrant will receive a unique feedback report compiled by  Cambridge Market Research. Data in the individual report includes product performance vs category norms and post-purchase intention.

Special Recognition Awards

These categories simply require you to fill out a detailed entry form answering questions and providing information on a number of areas:

  • Creative design and development
  • Campaign results: reach, engagement, sales growth and market share
  • Team structure
  • Strategies and solutions
  • KPIs and metrics.


Tickets Booking

Tickets available for
Awards Dinner & Ceremony
€180 per person /
€1700 for a table of 10