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Drinks Awards

Why should producers enter their drinks in The Aurora International Taste Challenge?

The Aurora International Taste Challenge will be hosted in South Africa this year, and will have some of the top sommeliers and food professionals judging  drinks from around the world.

Producers of superior products will be granted Gold and Double Gold awards, to reward excellent taste. Besides the normal technical criteria used during judging, wow factor and the reading on the judge’s hedonic scale of enjoyment will be taken into account.

Here is a list of the broad categories:

Non alcoholic drinks

  • Water
  • Non-alcoholic alternatives to popular drinks
  • *Mixers for spirits (to be mixed during judging)
  • Soft drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Sports drinks
  • Health/nutritional drinks
  • CBD infused drinks
  • Fruit juices
  • Smoothies
  • Vegetable juices
  • Yogurt based drinks
  • Flavoured milk
  • Vegetable milk
  • Kombucha (must have less that 0.5% alcohol)
  • Tea
  • Coffee (ready-to-drink)

Alcoholic drinks

  • Beer
  • Cider
  • Mead
  • Spirit based drinks
  • *Spirits to be combined with mixers (to be mixed during judging)
  • Wine based drinks
  • Cocktails that are well known
  • Other cocktails that are fruit / vegetable based
  • Shots / shooters liquid
  • Jelly / jello shots

Watch the short clip regarding the 2020 awards below:

Here are some examples of the award artwork. Colours can be adjusted to suit packaging. No physical trophies or awards are awarded.

The award artwork can be used where very little space as available, and artwork with less detail is also available.

Stickers for gold and double gold awards will also be available for purchase for the winners. A one-time print run will be done, and extra stickers will be available on a first come, first served basis. You do not have to order stickers.

Here is a close approximation of what the 25 x 25 mm stickers look like.

Maybe unknown today, but on everybody’s lips tomorrow.

 

 

We are proud to be partnering with the following companies to make the 2021 Aurora International Taste Challenge a big success.

About the drinks awards

The Aurora International Taste Challenge was formed to recognise superior food products and guide consumers on their path to purchasing the best products with confidence. This year, besides alcoholic drinks, bottled water in every form, from still to sparkling to flavoured as well as ready to drink products including beer and cider will be judged in South Africa by sommeliers and other food industry professionals. The goal is to identify and award the best-tasting products available to consumers.

While many consumers are brand-loyal, most would choose another product if they had access to fair product ratings. We are proud to be setting new quality standards in the food and beverage industry.

We live in a world where drinks are almost considered generic. An award will  instantly set you apart.

Timeline for 2021 event

16 March 2021 Early Bird Special
Entries Open

Early bird entry fee R990 excluding VAT (approximately USD76 or EUR66) from 16 March until 7 June 2021

8 June 2021 Entries are R1300 excl VAT (approximately USD96 or EUR84)
Regular entry fees

Early bird entry price ends, and the regular entry fee of R1300 excluding VAT (approximately USD96 or EUR84) applies from 8 June to 2 August 2021

3 August 2021 Regular entries close and late entry fee applies afterwards
Late entry fees

Late entry fee of R1440 excluding VAT (approximately USD115 or EUR101) applies from 4 August to final close on 10 August 2021

10 August 2021 Final close of entries
Final close of entries

Final entries close

16 and 17 August Monday and Tuesday delivery between 09:00 and 16:00
Delivery of samples

Final delivery of samples to Stellenbosch, South Africa

Entry Fees and dates
  • 16 March 2021 – Entries open and the Early Bird special is R995 excluding VAT (approximately USD76 or EUR66) per entry.
  • 8 June 2021 – Normal entry fee is R1300 excluding VAT (approximately USD96 or EUR84) after this date.
  • 3 August 2021 – Late entries can be submitted for R1550 excluding VAT (approximately USD115 or EUR101) after this date.
  • 10 August 2021 – Entries close

Stickers will be available to the winners at R330 excluding VAT per 1000. There will be only one print run, and extra stickers will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Drinks awards information

What sets one product apart from another?

Products will be judged on aroma, flavour, mouthfeel and overall impression using a proprietary scoring system. Products are tasted blind, and scored on their own merit. Judges score the products on their own in silence, without conferring with other judges. The category that the product is entered will place the criteria of judging in context.

The judge’s personal preference is not taken into account.

Can I use this award artwork for all the brands that this product is produced under?

The award artwork may only be used for the particular brand that was entered. If the company markets the exact same product under different brand names,  additional non-exclusive licences will be granted to be used for the additional brands the product is sold at, at a price equal to the original entry fee.

Who will be judging the competition?

 

Drinks will be judged by sommeliers, chefs and other food industry professionals who have an intimate knowledge of taste and who will be able to discern superior products.

Are there any royalties involved?

No royalties are payable.

An electronic certificate will be emailed to winning participants. This will be accompanied by a non-exclusive licence agreement that, after being signed by both parties and dependent on adherence to the stipulations of the agreement, will give the winners a non-exclusive licence to make use of the digital award artwork kit, with various logos and award artwork on their product, in email signatures, digital and in print media for a period of one year from the time the awards are announced. No physical trophies or awards are awarded.

For how long can I use the Award artwork?

The award artwork may be used on the brand’s product that was awarded, and have a non-exclusive licence agreement signed by both parties, for a period of one year, subject to the terms of the non-exclusive licence agreement.

Non-Alcoholic Categories include:
  • Water
  • Non-alcoholic alternatives to popular drinks
  • *Mixers for spirits ( to be mixed during judging)
  • Soft drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Sports drinks
  • Health/nutritional drinks
  • CBD infused drinks
  • Fruit juices
  • Smoothies
  • Vegetable juices
  • Yogurt based drinks
  • Flavoured milk
  • Vegetable milk
  • Kombucha (must have less that 0.5% alcohol)
  • Tea
  • Coffee (ready-to-drink)
Alcoholic Categories:
  • Beer
  • Cider
  • Mead
  • Spirit based drinks
  • *Spirits to be combined with mixers (to be mixed during judging)
  • Wine based drinks
  • Cocktails that are well known
  • Other cocktails that are fruit/vegetable based
  • Shots/shooters liquid
  • Jelly/jello shots
Other important information:
  • Each entry requires a minimum of 6 containers comprising a minimum combined volume of 1500ml for products less than 500ml, and 2 containers for containers bigger than 500ml. These samples need to be in their final bottled or packaged format.
  • A product may only be entered once, even if it is available under a different brand name.

FAQs regarding sample delivery

Where do the samples need to be sent?

 

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

 

The Aurora International Taste Challenge

C/o Celia Gilloway

The Conference Centre

Klein Joostenberg

R304 Muldersvlei

Koelenhof Road

Stellenbosch

South Africa

 

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

 

Samples must be delivered between 9:00 and 16:00 on August 16th and 17th, 2021.

 

Person receiving samples: Celia Gilloway

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 082 782 1977

We have partnered with DHL to allow for timely delivery. When making use of DHL, please ensure you send your samples by 16 July 2021, to: DHL Paarl, 35 Zandwyk Park, Old Paarl Road, Paarl, South Africa, for the attention of: “The Aurora International Taste Challenge C/o Marijke Douglas”. You can contact Marijke on [email protected]  or phone her on 021 872 4717. 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”. Contact Marijke on [email protected] or phone her on +27 (0)21 872 4717 for more details.

Products that are sent that have to maintain the cold chain, need to be packed accordingly, and the DHL overnight service can be used.

Late entries might not be accepted.

For additional information contact Sanet van Heerden at [email protected]. This competition is run by the Awards Show (Pty) Ltd.

With regards to DHL and overnight delivery, how certain can I be that the sample receives the necessary urgency to deliver on time?

When making use of DHL, please ensure you send your samples to DHL Paarl, 35 Zandwyk Park, Old Paarl Road, Paarl, South Africa, for the attention of: “The Aurora International Taste Challenge C/o Marijke Douglas”. Make sure you arrange with Marijke on [email protected] or phone her on +27 (0)21 872 4717 to make sure everything will be in order. 

Does taxes and custom fees only relate to imports?

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

As you have partnered with DHL, do entrants get a reduced-price option?

Because DHL consolidates deliveries, the prices will be reduced. Make sure you arrange with Marijke on [email protected] 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.

Will you have a show for people / companies to attend if they are not entering the competition?

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

There is also no prize giving ceremony or trade / public tasting afterwards.

Rules particular to drinks

  • Samples may not be past their sell by date.
  • Entries must be commercially available.
  • Al cost related to delivery, including customs fees and taxes etc. are for the participant’s expense.
  • Only commercially-operating producers, which abide by the food laws of the country of origin, may enter.
  • Winners will be asked to supply the competition with high resolution pack shots for use on its website, and in marketing material. By entering this competition the participant grants The Aurora International Taste Challenge unlimited use of these images.
  • Be sure to securely wrap entries with bubble wrap, or similar to secure your entries against breakage. Please wrap your final package in a plastic bag and make it leak proof and 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 greatly increase to 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 material.
  • 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 are delivered, please mark boxes as “Box 1 of 5”, “Box 2 of 5” etc.
  • After winners are announced, no additional samples are needed.