The judging


Run in association with Cambridge Market Research, these awards follow the same rigorous two-step judging process as The Grocer Own Label Food & Drink Awards and use the same well-established consumer panel judging protocols. However, The Grocer Drink Awards will use new key measures and norms built specially for each alcohol category – this is completely new and unique to these awards. Emotion is a key driver behind a 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 account the emotional intent.

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 will move forward to the second stage judging and become our finalists. Each entrant will receive their unique feedback reports after the award winners are announced on Monday 6th November 2017.

Stage 2: Product evaluation by expert panel

All finalists will be put through their paces by panellists comprising drinks buyers and aficionados. The criteria will include 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 6th November.

View our 2016 Gold and Silver winners here

Tickets Booking

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