This year The Aurora International Taste Challenge will be held in South Africa and will have some of the top food professionals judging products from around the world.

The goal is to identify and award the best-tasting products available to consumers.

WHY ENTER THIS EVENT?

What are the advantages of being awarded?

  • An award shows that your product was evaluated and awarded by independent third-party chefs, sommeliers and food experts, supporting your claims of superior quality.
  • Awards are a symbol of quality to use in marketing – Artwork can be downloaded for free.
  • You will receive an award certificate. If the exact same product is marketed under different brand names, you can receive extra certificates for those at no extra cost.
  • 3 Year international license to use the award.
  • An award will serve as content for social media and PR campaigns.
  • An award will highlight the brand’s prestige and standing.
  • An award could just give you that extra edge you needed, making a buying decision so much easier.
Read More...

SET YOUR QUALITY PRODUCT APART
FROM THE SEA OF OTHERS,
TO SHOW THAT QUALITY,
NOT JUST YOUR MARKETING BUDGET,
STILL COUNTS FOR A LOT.

SUB-CATEGORIES

The main categories will be as follows:

  • Cereal (breakfast cereal)
  • Savoury crisp snacks
  • Other vegetable crisps
  • Dehydrated fruit
  • Nuts (flavour added, raw or roasted)
  • Snack mixture
  • Other snacks

There are numerous subcategories, but entrants are welcome to create their own, to showcase their own unique products.

Entries will be reclassified as necessary, so there should be no fear that a category will not be judged within the correct context.

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METHODOLOGY

The quality of snacks is dependent on the quality of the ingredients, the skill of the producer, and often the technology used. Not all products are created equal, and the purpose of this event is to make the best products shine.

We aim to celebrate the makers who go to great lengths to hone their art with time.

During judging, products are evaluated double-blind, meaning that the tasters have no idea who produced the products, or the name of the products, except the type of product evaluated, and the needs and expectations that the product is supposed to fulfil.

The judges each make up their own minds as to the quality of the product, without conferring with each other to reach a consensus. The judge’s score is not subject to their own taste, instead, they evaluate products from the viewpoint of consumers who loves products in that category.

Each subcategory has its own criteria, but generally, it will be:
  • Appearance
  • Aroma
  • Flavour/Balance
  • Texture
  • Trueness to type

The products will be served on their own without any accompaniments.

Cereals will be accompanied by warm or cold milk or water as indicated by the entrant.

Throughout the process, judges have access to palate cleansers.

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OUR AWARDS

Superior products will be granted Silver, Gold and Double Gold awards to recognise products with excellent taste. These producers will be able to display this award artwork on the product itself, in digital and print media for a period of three years from when the awards are granted, as long as the quality of the product does not change from that of the original sample, and dependent on the terms of a non-exclusive licence agreement.

Trophy awards will also be conferred on products that are truly exceptional and top of their class.

Stickers may be purchased from the organisers and may not be printed by any other party. The stickers can however be incorporated within your packaging material at no extra cost.

There will be only one print run, and extra stickers will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Read More...
OUR JUDGES

Who judges these awards?

The judges will consist of chefs and food industry specialists with international experience, and years of experience.

DATES & TIMELINE

16 January 2024

Registration and entries open

17 May 2024

Early bird entries close
Early bird entry fee - R1 395 excl VAT
(approximately USD75 or EUR75)

21 June 2024

Final Close for entries
Normal Entry Fee - R1 750 excl VAT
(approximately USD95 or EUR95)

28 June 2024

The cut-off date to pay entries
Entries that are not paid at this
final date may be cancelled.

18 June 2024 - 19 July 2024

Delivery of samples to DHL Paarl, or Stellenbosch in South Africa. Use this option when sending samples from overseas, or from a great distance. Allow at least two weeks for samples to be cleared by Port Health.

22 and 23 July 2024

(Monday and Tuesday)
Delivery of samples to the venue outside
Stellenbosch, South Africa. Do not use this option when you are sending the samples from overseas or from a great distance.

31 July 2024

Results released

FAQ's

To find an extensive overview of this element with all the information you need, please download the PDF with all the information.

If the exact same product (that is organoleptically and chemically identical) is produced under a different brand name or packaging, or different volume/ size or weight (250 ml, 500 ml, 1 litre etc.), the award may be used on that product as well. An additional awarded certificate will be granted at no extra cost to the other identical products.

Where the quality of the product is dependent on the vintage, a particular batch of ingredients, or any other factors that make the quality of the product batch-dependant, the award may only be used on the particular batch that won the award.

  • For all snacks and cereal, a minimum of 2 separate containers/packets containing samples, with a minimum combined weight of 400 grams/ml, is needed.
  • Multipacks must not be entered as samples.
  • One entry comprises one variation of a product, for instance banana flavour, and strawberry flavour versions would be two different entries. If there are flavour, taste or chemical differences between products, they would constitute separate entries. When in doubt: One flavour = one entry.
  • If the same product that is chemically, and taste wise identical, come in different forms of packaging (for example glass and plastic refills) or in different sizes (250ml, 500ml etc.), they only have to be entered once in whichever size presented. We will provide additional personalised certificates to all the packaging sizes if necessary, but the certificate is normally made out to the product, not the packaging to the individual packaging formats.
  • If the same product (that is chemically and flavour wise identical), is available under different brand names, the product may only be entered once, and we will provide additional personalised certificates to all the brand names if the product is awarded.
  • The same product cannot be entered twice. For example: Coffee that is available in different formats, for example pods, beans and ground coffee may only be entered once, and if awarded, we will provide additional certificates to represent all formats.
  • The same product may not be entered by separate parties.
  • Products that contain CBD and THC may enter, and if it is not stated in the category entered, please mention it after the name of the product.
  • Please include the flavour or any other distinguishing details of your products after the name of your product, for us to be able to identify every product afterwards.
  • A product may only be entered into one category per year.
  • Products that are entered must be sensorially and chemically identical to commercial products they represent in every practical way.
  • Companies may enter as many products in as they want.
  • You are welcome to choose your own category or contact us.
  • The organisers may change the category of the product to a category more suitable for judging.

After you have registered here, you can either directly do entries online, or later login here to do entries.

Here is an example of an online entry:

Entries FAQ'S

What are the dates and entry fees?

Registration and entries open - 16 January 2024

Early bird close - 17 May 2024 (After this the normal entry fee applies)

Final Close for entries - 21 June 2024

The cut-off date to pay entries - 28 June 2024 - Entries that are not paid at this final date will be cancelled

  • First delivery option (2 days): Delivery of samples to the venue outside Stellenbosch, South Africa - 22 and 23 July 2024 (Monday and Tuesday).
  • Second Delivery option (30-day window): Delivery of samples from 18th of June 2024 to DHL Paarl, and Stellenbosch, South Africa until the 19 July 2024.
  • Delivery of samples to Stellenbosch (window of many months) any time before the final delivery date, 19 July 2024.

Results released 31 July 2024

Early bird entry fee - R1395.00 excluding VAT (approximately USD75 or EUR75 depending on the exchange rate)

Regular entry fee - R1750.00 excluding VAT (approximately $905or EUR95 depending on the exchange rate)

Stickers will be available to buy for winning products at R430.00 excluding VAT per 1000 (approximately USD27 or EU27 depending on the exchange rate)

What constitutes one entry? Can I enter more than one flavour per entry?

One entry comprises one variation of a product, for instance, banana flavour, and strawberry flavour versions would be two different entries. If there are flavour, taste or chemical differences between products, they would constitute separate entries. When in doubt: One flavour = one entry.

If the same product that is chemically, and taste-wise identical, come in different forms of packaging (for example glass and plastic refills) or in different sizes (250 ml, 500 ml etc.), they only have to be entered once in whichever size presented. We will provide additional personalised certificates to all the packaging sizes if necessary, but the certificate is normally made out to the product, and not the particular packaging format.

If the same product (that is chemically and flavour-wise identical), is available under different brand names, the product may only be entered once, and we will provide additional personalised certificates to all the brand names if the product is awarded.

My product category or flavour type is not available, can I add my own?

Most often you can add your own type or flavour, by clicking on "Other" in dropdown menus, as illustrated in the video below.

How does the online entry system work, do you have an example?

To submit online entries, you have to register online on the registration page.

Once you are registered, you can either directly proceed to submit entries online, or login later with your email address and password that was emailed to you, on the login page.

Below is a very short video showing the basic process of logging in, and submitting an entry online.

How many samples do I need to send?

The samples needed for the different categories will be as follows:

Baked Goods and Confectionary

  • For all baked goods and confectionary, a minimum of 2 separate containers/packets containing samples, with a minimum combined weight of 400 grams is needed.
  • Please respect the cold chain at all times when sending samples.

Beer, Cider and Mead

  • Each entry requires a minimum of 2 samples with a minimum total combined volume of 400ml.
  • These samples need to be in their final bottled/packaged format, and no tank samples are allowed. No kegs are allowed.

Charcuterie and Meat products

For dried and cured meats, the following samples are needed:

  • A minimum of 2 separate containers/packets with a minimum combined weight of 240 grams.

For all other meat samples:

  • A minimum of two containers comprising a minimum combined weight of 400 grams is needed.

Please respect the cold chain at all times when sending samples.

Chocolate and Confectionary

  • For all individual chocolates and confectionary that are all of the same types, a minimum of 2 separate containers/packets containing confectionary, with a minimum combined weight of 400 grams/ml is needed.
  • For boxed chocolates, a minimum of 3 boxes is needed.
  • Please ensure that samples will not melt when sending them.
  • Samples will be put in the fridge after receiving them.

Coffee

For pre-ground coffee or beans:

  • A minimum of two containers totalling a minimum combined weight of 500 gram is needed per entry.

For pods:

  • Ten capsules per entry.

Condiments and sauces, including balsamic vinegar and soya sauce

  • A minimum of 2 separate containers/packets with a minimum combined weight of 180 grams/ml.
  • Multipacks may not be entered as samples.

Convenience Foods

  • For all convenience food, a minimum of 2 separate containers/packets containing samples, with a minimum combined weight of 400 grams/ml is needed.
  • Please respect the cold chain at all times when sending samples.

Dairy products

  • For milk, a minimum of two separate containers, with a minimum combined volume of 1 litre, is needed.
  • For all other dairy products, a minimum of 2 separate containers/packets with a combined weight of 400 grams/ml is needed.
  • Entrants may at their own discretion supply one whole cheese with a minimum weight of 750 grams instead of two packets.
  • Multipacks may not be entered as samples.
  • Please respect the cold chain at all times when sending samples.

Drinks

  • Each entry requires a minimum of 2 samples, totalling a minimum combined volume of 400 ml. These samples need to be in their final bottled or packaged format.
  • For drinks that need to be prepared (need to have water, milk etc added), a minimum of two containers, with a minimum combined volume of 400ml is needed.
  • A product may only be entered once, even if it is available under a different brand name.
  • Multipacks may not be entered as samples.
  • Please respect the cold chain at all times when sending samples.

Meat and Charcuterie products

For dried and cured meats, the following samples are needed:

  • A minimum of 2 separate containers/packets with a minimum combined weight of 240 grams.

For all other meat samples:

  • A minimum of three containers comprising a minimum combined weight of 500 grams is needed.

Please respect the cold chain at all times when sending samples.

Olive Oil (Extra Virgin) and Olives

Table olives:

  • A minimum of two containers, totalling a minimum combined weight of 400 grams, is needed for olives.

Olive oil:

  • A minimum of two containers, totalling a minimum combined volume of 400ml, is needed.

Other types of oil (not extra virgin olive oil)

  • A minimum of two containers, totalling a minimum combined volume of 400ml, is needed.

Salt, spices, herbs, pepper, Dukkah and mixtures of dry ingredients.

  • For all salt, spices, herbs, pepper, Dukkah and mixtures of dry ingredients, a minimum of 2 separate containers/packets with a minimum combined weight of 150 grams/ml is needed.
  • Multipacks may not be entered as samples.

Pasta

  • A minimum of two packets/containers with a minimum combined weight of 400 grams or more are needed per entry.

Preserves, Honey and Syrup

  • For all condiments and sauces, a minimum of 2 separate containers/packets with a minimum combined weight of 400 grams/ml is needed.
  • Multipacks must not be entered as samples.

Snacks and cereal

  • For all snacks and cereal, a minimum of 2 separate containers/packets containing samples, with a minimum combined weight of 400 grams/ml, is needed.
  • Multipacks must not be entered as samples.

Spirits, Liqueurs and Wine

  • For products in 500/750ml bottles, a sample has to comprise two bottles/containers per entry. For products in containers smaller than 500ml, a sample has to comprise a minimum of three units with a minimum combined volume of 750ml.
  • Samples need to be in their final bottled or packaged format.
  • No tank samples are allowed.

Tea

  • A minimum of two containers, totalling a minimum combined weight of 400 grams is needed.

Wine, Spirits and Liqueurs

    • For products in 500/750ml bottles, a sample has to comprise two bottles/containers per entry. For products in containers smaller than 500ml, a sample has to comprise a minimum of two units with a minimum combined volume of 400ml.
    • Samples need to be in their final bottled or packaged format.
    • No tank samples are allowed.

Can I use the award artwork for other brands?

The award may only be used for the particular product that was entered, but if the exact same product (that is organoleptically and chemically identical), is marketed under a different brand name, the award may be used on that product as well. An additional award certificate will be granted at no extra cost to the other identical products.

Where the quality of the product is dependent on the vintage, a particular batch of ingredients, or any other factors that make the quality of the product batch-dependant, the award may only be used on the particular batch that won the award.

My product needs to be prepared before being evaluated, will you be able to do it?

Professional chefs, with professional equipment, follow the exact instructions of the person entering. Products are however evaluated from the viewpoint of the consumer, and products that are too complicated for the average consumer to prepare will be scored down.

Will the judging process be audited?

The judging process will be audited by an accredited auditing firm to ensure that the judges are not influenced and that the tasting is done blind, and conforms to international standards.

General entry rules regarding products that can be entered

The same product cannot be entered twice. For example, coffee that is available in different formats, for instance, pods, beans and ground coffee may only be entered once, and if awarded, we will provide additional certificates to represent all formats.

The same product may not be entered by different parties or people.

A product may only be entered into one category per year.

Products that contain CBD and THC may enter, and if it is not stated in the category entered, please mention it after the name of the product.

Please include the flavour or any other distinguishing details of your product in its name when doing the entry online, to be able to identify every product afterwards.

Products that are entered must be sensorially and chemically identical to commercial products they represent in every practical way.

Companies may enter as many products as they want.

You are welcome to choose your own category or contact us.

The organisers may change the category of the product to a category more suitable for judging at their own discretion.

When and where do I have to deliver the samples?

There are three delivery options:

  • First Option (2-day window) - for samples located close to the event
  • Second delivery option (30-day delivery window) - for samples arriving from afar.
  • Third option -  send the samples at any time, as long as it arrives in time.

 

First Option (2-day window) - for samples located close to the event

Samples must be delivered between 09:00 and 16:00 on the 22nd and 23rd of July 2024.

Participants may use any courier, but please ensure that samples are delivered to:

The Aurora International Taste Challenge

C/o Michelle Grimbeek

The Conference Centre

Klein Joostenberg

R304 Muldersvlei

Koelenhof Road

Stellenbosch
7600

South Africa

 

The person receiving the samples:

Michelle Grimbeek

Email:michelle@ttpromotions.co.za

Tel: 082 773 0738

GPS coordinates: - 33 82’ 66 21 S / 18 79” 55 15 W

Samples must be delivered between 9:00 and 16:00 on the two days allocated.

 

Second delivery option (30-day delivery window) - for samples arriving from afar.

Samples are to be delivered between 18 June and 19 July 2024, to DHL Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa.

When sending samples that need to remain at a constant temperature during the cold chain, discuss the appropriate packaging and shipping option with DHL to ensure the products do not arrive over a weekend when no cold chain facilities are available.

Please send samples to:

DHL Paarl
35 Zandwyk Park
Old Paarl Road
Paarl
7646
South Africa
For the attention of The Aurora International Taste Challenge
C/o Marijke Douglas

DHL will consolidate the samples to make sure they are delivered on time.

Products from outside South Africa need the necessary time to clear customs. Also, add the wording: “Samples of no commercial value - for attention The Aurora International Taste Challenge C/o Marijke Douglas”.

 

Third delivery option (any time as long as it arrives on time – even if it arrives early)

If you make you do not make use of DHL, your own courier company will have to take care of every aspect of the journey, including the time the samples may be at the port authority. The AITC does not intervene or facilitate any aspects of transport, except receiving the samples at the designated locations.

Send the samples to:

Tank Town Promotions (Pty) Ltd
Customs Reg # 21782915
VAT # 4160278406
9 Forest Street
Welgevonden
Stellenbosch
7600
South Africa

International spirits/wine/liqueurs and alcoholic beverage samples that are sent by courier, should have every package and way bill marked as, "NOT FOR RESALE. SAMPLES ONLY".

The transport cost of samples, as well as import duty and customs costs, are for the entrant's account. The event organisers will not be responsible for any costs related to receiving the samples. Shipments must be shipped DDP, and the shipping documents must be made out to the following consignee:

Tank Town Promotions (Pty) Ltd
Customs Reg # 21782915
VAT # 4160278406
9 Forest Road
Welgevonden
Stellenbosch
7600
South Africa

DHL is our Logistics partner and is well-versed regarding local shipping. Please contact Marijke Douglas at DHL by email at Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or contact her at +27 (0)21 872 4717 for more details.

You do not need to be registered by a certain body, like the FDA. You will need a commercial invoice with realistic values for the products. For samples with a volume of above 12 litres, special arrangements have to be made.

To make sure alcoholic samples arrive on time, the samples can be sent way ahead of time, earlier than that indicated for other samples.

REGISTRATION FAQ'S

I forgot my username or password. What can I do?

When you register, you receive an email with your username and password. Please search for this email, and if necessary look in your spam folder.

To avoid missing any emails, or correspondence, it is the responsibility of entrants to add the domain "aurorachallenge.com" to the safe sender's list, to avoid missing any correspondence. In Outlook, go to the "Home" Tab, and in the "Delete" group, select the arrow next to "Junk". Select "Junk Email Options". In the "Junk Email Options" dialogue box, go to the "Safe Senders" tab. Select Add. Add the domain aurorachallenge.com and click "OK". The domain will then appear on the safe sender's list. Select "OK".

If you cannot find the email, please contact us.

I cannot find the account we registered.

Every year, the details of companies change, or we need additional information. We, therefore, require all companies to register afresh every year.

When you register for the year, you receive an email with your username and password. Please search for this email, and if necessary look in your spam folder.

To avoid missing any emails, or correspondence, it is the responsibility of entrants to add the domain "aurorachallenge.com" to the safe sender's list, to avoid missing any correspondence. In Outlook, go to the "Home" Tab, and in the "Delete" group, select the arrow next to "Junk". Select "Junk Email Options". In the "Junk Email Options" dialogue box, go to the "Safe Senders" tab. Select Add. Add the domain aurorachallenge.com and click "OK". The domain will then appear on the safe sender's list. Select "OK".

If you cannot find the email, please contact us.

Payment FAQ's

Paying for entries

There are several ways to pay once entries have been completed.

  • Bank EFT - banking details will be on the invoice - only for local payments.
  • Payfast online payment – Some credit cards, including American Express, not accepted.
  • PayPal online in USD and EUR - All credit cards, including American Express accepted.

Foreign currency invoices may only be paid by non-South African companies and individuals.

Entries that are not fully paid by the cut-off date may be disqualified. Samples of disqualified products will not be judged or returned.

No refund of entry fees will be done once entries have closed. If the entry is withdrawn, or if the sample does not arrive in time, no refund will be given. It is the responsibility of the entrant to manage entries and delivery, to make sure the correct samples arrive on time, and only samples that all samples that have to be judged are delivered on time.

Sending & Delivery FAQ's

Can we send our samples very early to make sure they arrive in time?

Yes, if you would like to send your samples at any time as long as it arrives in time – even if it arrives early, this is the address:

Tank Town Promotions (Pty) Ltd
Customs Reg # 21782915
VAT # 4160278406
9 Forest Road
Welgevonden
Stellenbosch
7600
South Africa

Co. Louis Nel
Cell: +27 (82) 775 87 26

International spirits/wine/liqueurs and alcoholic beverage samples that are sent by courier, should have every package and way bill marked as, "NOT FOR RESALE. SAMPLES ONLY".

The transport cost of samples, as well as import duty and customs costs, are for the entrant's account. The event organisers will not be responsible for any costs related to receiving the samples. Shipments must be shipped DDP, and the shipping documents must be made out to the following consignee:

Tank Town Promotions (Pty) Ltd
Customs Reg # 21782915
VAT # 4160278406
9 Forest Road
Welgevonden
Stellenbosch
7600
South Africa

Co. Louis Nel
Cell: +27 (82) 775 87 26

We have two preferred suppliers, namely DHL and Jet8. DHL covers the whole world, while Jet8 specialises in countries like Japan, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Canada.

Please contact Marijke Douglas at DHL by email at Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or contact her at +27 (0)21 872 4717 for more details.

When making use of JET8, please contact Momo Arai by email at event@jet8cargo.com

You do not need to be registered by a certain body, like the FDA, for example. You will need a commercial invoice with realistic values for the products. For samples with a volume of above 12 litres, special arrangements have to be made.

To make sure alcoholic samples arrive in time, the samples can be sent way ahead of time, earlier than that indicated for other samples. Always indicate the alcohol percentage with alcoholic products, and even products that do not contain alcohol, like alcohol-free gin, that might be confused with alcoholic gin.

Will samples that need to be refrigerated, kept frozen or kept cool be appropriately received and stored?

Our system is set up to respect the cold chain when we receive samples. All sampling receiving procedures are geared to allow for cool room temperature, refrigeration or freezing storage conditions as needed.

We will ensure products are handled with the utmost respect and delicacy to maximise quality until the product is evaluated.

Is there a specific procedure involved in sending alcohol to South-Africa?

International spirits/wine/liqueurs and alcoholic beverage samples that are sent by courier, should have every package and way bill marked as, "NOT FOR RESALE. SAMPLES ONLY".

The transport cost of samples, as well as import duty and customs costs, are for the entrant's account. The alcohol level of the samples has to be indicated on the commercial invoice, especially if the product is something that would normally have alcohol (like alcohol-free beer or gin) because it is used to determine the tariff codes. The event organisers will not be responsible for any costs related to receiving the samples. Shipments must be shipped DDP, and the shipping documents must be made out to the following consignee:

Tank Town Promotions (Pty) Ltd
Customs Reg # 21782915
VAT # 4160278406
9 Forest Road
Welgevonden
Stellenbosch
7600
South Africa

Co. Louis Nel

Cell: +27 (82) 775 87 26

We have two preferred suppliers, namely DHL and Jet8. DHL covers the whole world, while Jet8 specialises in countries like Japan, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Canada.

Please contact Marijke Douglas at DHL by email at Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or contact her at +27 (0)21 872 4717 for more details.

When making use of JET8, please contact Momo Arai by email at event@jet8cargo.com

You do not need to be registered by a certain body, like the FDA, for example. You will need a commercial invoice with realistic values for the products. For samples with a volume of above 12 litres, special arrangements have to be made.

To make sure alcoholic samples arrive in time, the samples can be sent way ahead of time, earlier than that indicated for other samples.

How many samples do I need to send?

The samples needed for the different categories will be as follows:

Baked Goods and Confectionary

  • For all baked goods and confectionary, a minimum of 2 separate containers/packets containing samples, with a minimum combined weight of 400 grams is needed.
  • Please respect the cold chain at all times when sending samples.

Beer, Cider and Mead

  • Each entry requires a minimum of 2 samples with a minimum total combined volume of 400ml.
  • These samples need to be in their final bottled/packaged format, and no tank samples are allowed. No kegs are allowed.

Charcuterie and Meat products

For dried and cured meats, the following samples are needed:

  • A minimum of 2 separate containers/packets with a minimum combined weight of 240 grams.

For all other meat samples:

  • A minimum of two containers comprising a minimum combined weight of 400 grams is needed.

Please respect the cold chain at all times when sending samples.

Chocolate and Confectionary

  • For all individual chocolates and confectionary that are all of the same types, a minimum of 2 separate containers/packets containing confectionary, with a minimum combined weight of 400 grams/ml is needed.
  • For boxed chocolates, a minimum of 3 boxes is needed.
  • Please ensure that samples will not melt when sending them.
  • Samples will be put in the fridge after receiving them.

Coffee

For pre-ground coffee or beans:

  • A minimum of two containers totalling a minimum combined weight of 500 gram is needed per entry.

For pods:

  • Ten capsules per entry.

Condiments and sauces, including balsamic vinegar and soya sauce

  • A minimum of 2 separate containers/packets with a minimum combined weight of 180 grams/ml.
  • Multipacks may not be entered as samples.

Convenience Foods

  • For all convenience food, a minimum of 2 separate containers/packets containing samples, with a minimum combined weight of 400 grams/ml is needed.
  • Please respect the cold chain at all times when sending samples.

Dairy products

  • For milk, a minimum of two separate containers, with a minimum combined volume of 1 litre, is needed.
  • For all other dairy products, a minimum of 2 separate containers/packets with a combined weight of 400 grams/ml is needed.
  • Entrants may at their own discretion supply one whole cheese with a minimum weight of 750 grams instead of two packets.
  • Multipacks may not be entered as samples.
  • Please respect the cold chain at all times when sending samples.

Drinks

  • Each entry requires a minimum of 2 samples, totalling a minimum combined volume of 400 ml. These samples need to be in their final bottled or packaged format.
  • For drinks that need to be prepared (need to have water, milk etc added), a minimum of two containers, with a minimum combined volume of 400ml is needed.
  • A product may only be entered once, even if it is available under a different brand name.
  • Multipacks may not be entered as samples.
  • Please respect the cold chain at all times when sending samples.

Meat and Charcuterie products

For dried and cured meats, the following samples are needed:

  • A minimum of 2 separate containers/packets with a minimum combined weight of 240 grams.

For all other meat samples:

  • A minimum of three containers comprising a minimum combined weight of 500 grams is needed.

Please respect the cold chain at all times when sending samples.

Olive Oil (Extra Virgin) and Olives

Table olives:

  • A minimum of two containers, totalling a minimum combined weight of 400 grams, is needed for olives.

Olive oil:

  • A minimum of two containers, totalling a minimum combined volume of 400ml, is needed.

Other types of oil (not extra virgin olive oil)

  • A minimum of two containers, totalling a minimum combined volume of 400ml, is needed.

Salt, spices, herbs, pepper, Dukkah and mixtures of dry ingredients.

  • For all salt, spices, herbs, pepper, Dukkah and mixtures of dry ingredients, a minimum of 2 separate containers/packets with a minimum combined weight of 150 grams/ml is needed.
  • Multipacks may not be entered as samples.

Pasta

  • A minimum of two packets/containers with a minimum combined weight of 400 grams or more are needed per entry.

Preserves, Honey and Syrup

  • For all condiments and sauces, a minimum of 2 separate containers/packets with a minimum combined weight of 400 grams/ml is needed.
  • Multipacks must not be entered as samples.

Snacks and cereal

  • For all snacks and cereal, a minimum of 2 separate containers/packets containing samples, with a minimum combined weight of 400 grams/ml, is needed.
  • Multipacks must not be entered as samples.

Spirits, Liqueurs and Wine

  • For products in 500/750ml bottles, a sample has to comprise two bottles/containers per entry. For products in containers smaller than 500ml, a sample has to comprise a minimum of three units with a minimum combined volume of 750ml.
  • Samples need to be in their final bottled or packaged format.
  • No tank samples are allowed.

Tea

  • A minimum of two containers, totalling a minimum combined weight of 400 grams is needed.

Wine, Spirits and Liqueurs

    • For products in 500/750ml bottles, a sample has to comprise two bottles/containers per entry. For products in containers smaller than 500ml, a sample has to comprise a minimum of two units with a minimum combined volume of 400ml.
    • Samples need to be in their final bottled or packaged format.
    • No tank samples are allowed.

General shipping instructions

Only samples that are within their sell-by/Best Before/ Use by date will be judged, and will otherwise be disqualified.

Products that arrive that have damage to their packing, or that pose the faintest possibility of being spoilt, will be disqualified without exception. Robust products, like for instance canned goods that may have a few dents, will be allowed.

Packaging involved with the shipping of samples will not be returned.

Late submissions, or entries that are cancelled for any reason, will not be returned.

When and where do I have to deliver the samples?

There are three delivery options:

  • First Option (2-day window) - for samples located close to the event
  • Second delivery option (30-day delivery window) - for samples arriving from afar.
  • Third option -  send the samples at any time, as long as it arrives in time.

 

First Option (2-day window) - for samples located close to the event

Samples must be delivered between 09:00 and 16:00 on the 22nd and 23rd of July 2024.

Participants may use any courier, but please ensure that samples are delivered to:

The Aurora International Taste Challenge

C/o Michelle Grimbeek

The Conference Centre

Klein Joostenberg

R304 Muldersvlei

Koelenhof Road

Stellenbosch
7600

South Africa

 

The person receiving the samples:

Michelle Grimbeek

Email:michelle@ttpromotions.co.za

Tel: 082 773 0738

GPS coordinates: - 33 82’ 66 21 S / 18 79” 55 15 W

Samples must be delivered between 9:00 and 16:00 on the two days allocated.

 

Second delivery option (30-day delivery window) - for samples arriving from afar.

Samples are to be delivered between 18 June and 19 July 2024, to DHL Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa.

When sending samples that need to remain at a constant temperature during the cold chain, discuss the appropriate packaging and shipping option with DHL to ensure the products do not arrive over a weekend when no cold chain facilities are available.

Please send samples to:

DHL Paarl
35 Zandwyk Park
Old Paarl Road
Paarl
7646
South Africa
For the attention of The Aurora International Taste Challenge
C/o Marijke Douglas

DHL will consolidate the samples to make sure they are delivered on time.

Products from outside South Africa need the necessary time to clear customs. Also, add the wording: “Samples of no commercial value - for attention The Aurora International Taste Challenge C/o Marijke Douglas”.

 

Third delivery option (any time as long as it arrives on time – even if it arrives early)

If you make you do not make use of DHL, your own courier company will have to take care of every aspect of the journey, including the time the samples may be at the port authority. The AITC does not intervene or facilitate any aspects of transport, except receiving the samples at the designated locations.

Send the samples to:

Tank Town Promotions (Pty) Ltd
Customs Reg # 21782915
VAT # 4160278406
9 Forest Street
Welgevonden
Stellenbosch
7600
South Africa

International spirits/wine/liqueurs and alcoholic beverage samples that are sent by courier, should have every package and way bill marked as, "NOT FOR RESALE. SAMPLES ONLY".

The transport cost of samples, as well as import duty and customs costs, are for the entrant's account. The event organisers will not be responsible for any costs related to receiving the samples. Shipments must be shipped DDP, and the shipping documents must be made out to the following consignee:

Tank Town Promotions (Pty) Ltd
Customs Reg # 21782915
VAT # 4160278406
9 Forest Road
Welgevonden
Stellenbosch
7600
South Africa

DHL is our Logistics partner and is well-versed regarding local shipping. Please contact Marijke Douglas at DHL by email at Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or contact her at +27 (0)21 872 4717 for more details.

You do not need to be registered by a certain body, like the FDA. You will need a commercial invoice with realistic values for the products. For samples with a volume of above 12 litres, special arrangements have to be made.

To make sure alcoholic samples arrive on time, the samples can be sent way ahead of time, earlier than that indicated for other samples.

General rules regarding the sending and receival of samples

Only samples that are within their Sell-by/Best Before/ Use by date will be judged, and will otherwise be disqualified.

Products that arrive that have damage to their packaging, or that pose the faintest threat of being spoilt, will be disqualified without exception. Robust products, like for instance canned goods that have a few dents, will be allowed.

Packaging involved with the shipping of samples will not be returned.

Entries that arrive too late to be judged, or entries that are cancelled for any reason, will not be returned.

Is there a reduced-price option through DHL?

Because DHL consolidates deliveries, the prices will be reduced. Make sure you arrange with Marijke on Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or phone her on +27 (0)21 872 4717 to get the necessary detail.

Overnight deliveries and deliveries from outside of South Africa will be at normal DHL rates.

Do taxes and customs fees only relate to imports?

Only samples sent from outside of South Africa will accrue taxes, clearance and customs fees.

International spirits/wine/liqueurs and alcoholic beverage samples that are sent by courier, should have every package and waybill marked as, "NOT FOR RESALE. SAMPLES ONLY".

The transport cost of samples, as well as import duty and customs costs, are for the entrant's account. The event organisers will not be responsible for any costs related to receiving the samples. Shipments must be shipped DDP, and the shipping documents must be made out to the following consignee:

Tank Town Promotions (Pty) Ltd
Customs Reg # 21782915
VAT # 4160278406
9 Forest Street
Welgevonden
Stellenbosch
7600
South Africa

DHL is our Logistics partner and is well-versed regarding local shipping. Please contact Marijke Douglas at DHL by email at Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or contact her at +27 (0)21 872 4717 for more details.

You do not need to be registered by a certain body, like the FDA for example. You will need a commercial invoice with realistic values for the products. For samples with a volume of above 12 litres, special arrangements have to be made.

To make sure alcoholic samples arrive in time, the samples can be sent way ahead of time, earlier than that indicated for other samples.

What documents have to accompany my samples, and how should I send samples from abroad?

For every country, this is different, so it is best to liaise with your courier company regarding this to make sure you are covered.

Normally, the paperwork needed is not that complicated, but we know for the following two instances where extra paperwork is needed:

  • For dairy products, you need a veterinary certificate and an import permit.
  • Honey needs to be radiated, and you need an import certificate.

It is best to consult your courier/transport company to make sure.

DHL and JET8 are our Logistics partners, and they are well-versed regarding local shipping.

Please contact Marijke Douglas at DHL by email at Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or contact her at +27 (0)21 872 4717 for more details.

When making use of JET8, please contact Momo Arai by email at event@jet8cargo.com

International samples that are sent by courier, should have every package and way bill marked as, "NOT FOR RESALE. SAMPLES ONLY".

The transport cost of samples, as well as import duty and customs costs, are for the entrant's account. The event organisers will not be responsible for any costs related to receiving the samples. Shipments must be shipped DDP, and the shipping documents must be made out to the following consignee:

Tank Town Promotions (Pty) Ltd
Customs Reg # 21782915
VAT # 4160278406
9 Forest Road
Welgevonden
Stellenbosch
7600
South Africa

Co. Louis Nel
Cell: +27 (82) 775 87 26

We have to stress how important the courier company is for transporting your samples. They can be the difference between success, and failure to arrive.

Judging FAQ's

How long can I make use of the artwork?

The award artwork may be used on the specific product that was awarded, subject to a non-exclusive licence agreement, subject to the terms of the non-exclusive license agreement. As long as the award is used, along with the year it was achieved, it may be used indefinitely.

Where the quality of the product is dependent on the vintage, a particular batch of ingredients, or any other factors that make the quality of the product batch-dependant, the award may only be used on the particular batch that won the award.

Can I use the award artwork for other brands?

The award may only be used for the particular product that was entered, but if the exact same product (that is organoleptically and chemically identical), is marketed under a different brand name, the award may be used on that product as well. An additional award certificate will be granted at no extra cost to the other identical products.

Where the quality of the product is dependent on the vintage, a particular batch of ingredients, or any other factors that make the quality of the product batch-dependant, the award may only be used on the particular batch that won the award.

Will the judging process be audited?

The judging process will be audited by an accredited auditing firm to ensure that the judges are not influenced and that the tasting is done blind, and conforms to international standards.

What criteria will be used to judge products?

Products will generally be judged on aroma, flavour, mouth feel and overall impression using a proprietary scoring system. Besides these basic criteria, each category will have more relevant and specific criteria to evaluate every category on its own strengths.

My product needs to be prepared before being evaluated, will you be able to do it?

Professional chefs, with professional equipment, follow the exact instructions of the person entering. Products are however evaluated from the viewpoint of the consumer, and products that are too complicated for the average consumer to prepare will be scored down.

How are the products evaluated?

During judging, products are always evaluated double-blind, meaning that the tasters have no idea of who produced the products, or the name of the products, except the type of product evaluated, and the needs and expectations that the product is supposed to fulfil.

The judges each make up their own minds as to the quality of the product, without conferring with each other to reach a consensus. The judges' score is not subject to their own taste, instead, they evaluate products from the viewpoint of consumers who loves products in that category.

Beverages, sauces and food products will be served at the appropriate temperature.

Who will be the judges?

We make use of the finest experts with intensive international experience to evaluate the products. The judges consist of chefs, sommeliers and product-specific experts with an intimate knowledge of quality.

AWARD ARTWORK & STICKERS FAQ'S

May we print our own stickers?

Stickers may only be purchased from the organisers and may not be printed by any other party. With the stickers, there is a very high standard involved, with the printing, paper and foiling.

Only Silver, Gold and Double Gold stickers will be printed by the AITC. Silver, and Trophy stickers may be incorporated into packaging, and the artwork may be used digitally.

The sticker artwork may however be incorporated in packaging, as long as the artwork is not used on its own to represent a free standing sticker.

Representation of what the individual stickers will look like:

Examples of sticker artwork that may be incorporated in packaging.

Stickers can also be represented in black and white, or in other colours in packaging, as long as the original award is not called into confusion. For example, a silver award cannot be represented with gold colours.

Similar artwork that can be used, with or without the bottom ribbon.

Can we incorporate the award artwork in our label, or on our packaging?

You may definitely incorporate your award in your label, and we will provide you with the vector artwork at no extra cost. The artwork comes in a few different versions, but you are welcome to change the colours to fit in with your label, as long as you do not change the colour of a silver award to gold, or something similar that can be confusing.

Here is an example of the variations of the artwork that can be used.

 

The individual stickers, however, may only be printed by the AITC. With the stickers, there is a very high standard involved, with the printing, paper and foiling. Only *Gold and Double Gold* stickers will be printed by the AITC.

 

 

What is the cost associated with the stickers?

Stickers will be available to buy for winning products at R430.00 excluding VAT per 1000 (approximately USD25 or EU25).

Stickers come in multiples of 1 000.

The stickers are 25 mm in diameter.

The stickers are printed with bright, cold foil.

The stickers come on rolls that have a 41 mm core diameter, and are wound leading edge left. Different core sizes, or winding techniques if needed, must be specified when the final sticker count is confirmed.

Will we receive certifiates for our winning products?

An electronic certificate will be emailed to the winning participants. Subject to adherence to the terms of the non-exclusive licence agreement, winners will also have a non-exclusive licence to make use of the digital award artwork kit, with various logos and award artwork to use on their product, in email signatures, in digital and in print media for a period of three years from the time the awards are announced (except for products that are vintage dependant, or subject to special circumstances that vary from batch to batch). No physical trophies or awards are presented.

Availability of stickers

There will be only one print run, and excess stickers will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Your stickers are printed especially for you at your request, and if you do not want the stickers, please do not order.

The company where we will leave the stickers to be picked up can arrange transport to anywhere in the world. The award winners deal directly with the transport company, for transport quotes or any pick-up related issues.

Award guidelines

There are no licensing costs, and the entrants are free to use the award artwork as they see fit for a period of three years (subject to a non-exclusive licence agreement).

Where the quality of the product is dependent on the vintage, a particular batch of ingredients, or any other factors that make the quality of the product batch-dependant, the award may only be used on the particular batch that won the award.

Stickers may only be printed by the AITC.

Sticker and award artwork may be incorporated into the labels of products at no extra cost.

Artwork may only be used in association with the product that won the award, for a period of three years.

Award artwork may be used on the awarded producer's website, or email signature to show that they won an award, but must be associated with the specific products that won the award.

Award artwork may not be used in any way where it is implied that other products that did not win awards, won awards.

If the product changes significantly chemically, or sensorially, the award cannot be used in association with the product any more.

When do I have to order the stickers?

When you enter your product, you are asked how many stickers you would like to order if that product is awarded.

After that, you are again on two different occasions asked to confirm the quantity (in case the quantity changes, or if you decide either to order or not to order).

After the results are released, there is the final cut-off time for sticker confirmation, and the stickers are printed on your request, and you are obliged to pay for the stickers.

Please ensure you are reachable by email because if you do not change your order, your last order will stand.

If you do not want stickers, if you are in doubt that you want stickers, or if somebody who determines if your company will order the stickers has perhaps not given the go-ahead, do not order stickers. Enter “0” – zero during entry, or later when asked to confirm the sticker quantity.

There will be only one print run, and excess stickers will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Your stickers are printed especially for you at your request, so if you do not want the stickers, do not order them.

The company where we will leave the stickers to be picked up can arrange transport to anywhere in the world.

If you cannot arrange for the collection of the stickers in South Africa, which is very straightforward, please do not order stickers.

What is the format of the stickers?

Stickers come in multiples of 1 000, and 2000.

The stickers are 25 mm in diameter.

The stickers are printed with bright, cold foil.

The stickers come on rolls that have a 41 mm core diameter, and are wound leading edge left. Different core sizes, or winding techniques if needed, must be specified when the final sticker count is confirmed.

The individual stickers, however, may only be printed by the AITC. When printing the stickers, there is a very high standard involved, with the printing, paper and foiling. Only Silver, Gold and Double Gold Stickers will be printed.

When will the stickers be available?

The stickers will be available approximately two weeks after the results have been confirmed.

The stickers will be available for collection at an address in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa, for the account of the entrant. It is the responsibility of the entrant to arrange payment for the stickers, and arrange for the pick-up of the stickers. The company where the stickers can be picked up can arrange for the stickers to be sent by courier, and you can liaise directly with them.

How do I pay for the stickers?

There are several ways to pay for the stickers:

  • EFT payment to bank account. Banking details will be on the invoice - only for local payments
  • Payfast online payment – Some credit cards, including American Express, not accepted.
  • PayPal online in USD and EUR - All credit cards, including American Express accepted.

Foreign currency invoices may only be paid by non-South African companies and individuals.

General FAQ's

What are the awards that can be achieved?

Superior products will be granted Silver, Gold and Double Gold awards to recognise products with excellent taste. Very rarely are Trophy awards awarded. These producers will be able to display this award artwork on the product itself, in digital and print media for a period of three years from when the awards are granted, as long as the quality of the product does not change from that of the original sample, and dependent on the terms of a non-exclusive licence agreement.

Trophy awards will also be conferred on products that are truly exceptional, and top of their class.

Stickers may be purchased from the organisers and may not be printed by any other party. Only Silver, Gold and Double Gold stickers will be printed by the AITC.

There will be only one print run, and extra stickers will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

The sticker artwork may however be incorporated in packaging, as long as the artwork is not used on its own to represent a free standing sticker.

Our products are tailored for the local market, how will the taster be able to evaluate them?

Our judges have extensive international taste experience and can judge products from both a local and international standpoint.

General Rules

A product may only be entered once, even if it is available under a different brand name.

Entries will only be accepted in English.

Tank samples will not be accepted as entries into the event.

There is no minimum stock quantity needed to enter a product.

A product that received an award in a previous year’s event may be entered again.

Each participant will be responsible for all delivery costs, customs, duties, taxes and insurance. These must be paid by the participant before sending the entry samples, and the participant will be responsible for clearing and the associated costs at customs where applicable.

It is the participant’s responsibility to have insurance for samples, as they will be transported at the participant’s risk. Tank Town Promotions (Pty) Ltd will not be accountable in any way whatsoever for any loss or damage to the samples before, during, or after the event.

All samples are to be clearly labelled to identify the entries. This information includes the name of the manufacturer, the commercial name of the product, and the particular variant of the product if appropriate.

Because this is an international event, the basic guidelines for classes must be followed, but it is up to the entrant to choose a class that is appropriate relative to their own frame of reference. The judges reserve the right to move the product to a more appropriate class.

All entries must arrive, having maintained the cold chain as appropriate, from the producer to the delivery point, and must be in suitable and hygienic packaging.

The same product, even if under a different brand or name, may not be entered twice.

Any products left over after judging become the property of the event.

Only commercially operated importers, producers or distributors that abide by the food laws of the country of origin may enter.

Winners will be asked to supply the event organisers with high-resolution pack shots for use on its website, and in marketing materials. By entering this event, the participant grants The Aurora International Taste Challenge unlimited use of these images.

Be sure to securely wrap entries with bubble wrap or similar material to secure your entries against breakage. Please wrap your final package in a plastic bag and make it leakproof to prevent leakage and damage to other products. Label samples as fragile.

Specialised packaging material or any other packaging material will not be returned. Specialised packaging material can significantly preserve the final quality and viability of the sample being judged.

If styrofoam peanuts are used for packaging, please secure them in a container that will not cause leakage or spillage of the packaging materials.

International entries must take the necessary precautions to prevent breakage and hold-ups in customs, and are encouraged to use local agents to deliver samples.

If more than one box of samples is delivered, please mark the boxes as “Box 1 of 5”, “Box 2 of 5” etc.

After winners are announced, no additional samples are needed.

Leftover samples will become the property of the event.

The decision of the judges is final, and no feedback will be given.

We will not engage in correspondence involving products that did not win an award or did not do well enough.

Some of the judges may be producers or sponsors, but none of them will judge the category they entered a product.

Products that are not fit for human consumption (e.g. dog food, foul smelling food (unless it is characteristic of type e.g. certain cheeses or kimchi) etc.), or that are perceived to be such, will not be evaluated.

Is there any discount offered?

Discounts will be given to entries in the form of a reduced fee (the early bird fee), for entries done by 17 June 2024.

Will you have a show event for people/companies to attend?

The Aurora International Taste Challenge is not a trade show or public event. Only the organisers and judges are present.

There will be no prize-giving ceremony or trade / public tasting afterwards.

CONTACT US

Contact Person: Sanet van Heerden

Email: hello@aurorachallenge.com

Cell: +27 (0)84 446 0412