About the Aurora International Taste Challenge olive and olive oil awards.

This year The Aurora International Taste Challenge will be held in South Africa, and some of the top food professionals will be judging products from around the world.  The goal is to identify and award the best-tasting products available to consumers.

The aim of the panellists is to assess the quality of products from the consumer’s point of view, in similar circumstances to those in which a consumer would enjoy the product.

Olives will be judged in sub categories according to the following main criteria:

  • Curing method
  • Colour
  • Treatment
  • Flavoured or natural
  • Cultivar used

Olive oil will be judged in sub-categories according to these main criteria:

  •  Extra virgin olive oil (evoo) on intensity and cultivar
  • Flavoured or infused olive oil
  • Flavour type if flavoured or infused

While many consumers are brand loyal, most would choose an alternative if they had access to fair product ratings. The Aurora International Taste Challenge will grant merit and trophy awards to exceptional products that are readily available worldwide. We are proud to be setting new quality standards in the food and drinks industry.

Set  your quality product apart from the sea of others to show that quality, not just a marketing budget, still counts for a lot.

Why should producers of table olives and olive oil enter The Aurora International Taste Challenge?

Winners of The Aurora International Taste Challenge will enjoy bragging rights and will be able display their award artwork in their tasting room, in email signatures, on the product itself, as well as in digital and print media, all royalty-free.

Superior products will be granted Gold and Double Gold status to reward excellent quality. Exceptional products that exceed expectations will be eligible for Trophy awards. Besides the normal technical criteria used during judging, a wow factor and a reading on the judge’s hedonic scale of enjoyment will be taken into account.

Winning producers will be able to display award artwork on the product itself, in digital media, and in print media for a period of one year from when the awards are granted. Winners will receive a media kit with all permutations of the artwork related to the award received, and will be able to use the artwork subject to a non-exclusive licence agreement. No royalties are charged.

Stickers for gold and double gold awards will also be available for purchase at R310 excluding VAT (approximately Euro 20 or USD 22) per 1000. 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 sticker will look like.

 

Winning producers will be able to display award artwork on the product itself, in digital media, and in print media for a period of one year from when the awards are granted. Winners will receive a media kit with all permutations of the artwork related to the award received, and will be able to use the artwork subject to a non-exclusive licence agreement. No royalties are charged.

By winning an award you will ensure that your product is discovered, or rediscovered in a blind tasting, without bias or prejudice.

 

 

We are proud to be partnering with the following companies to make the 2020 Aurora International Taste Challenge a big success

 

 
 

Table olives and olive oil competition information

What criteria are used to judge the products?

For table olives, the following criteria will be judged:

  • Visual quality
  • Firmness and texture
  • Aroma
  • Flavour profile
  • Total mouthfeel and flavour balance

For both flavoured and unflavoured olive oils, the following criteria will be used:

  • Aroma complexity, freshness and purity
  • Aroma intensity
  • Flavour complexity and purity
  • Flavour intensity
  • Flavour persistence and harmony

Products are tasted blind and scored on their own merit. Judges will score the products on their own in silence, without conferring with other judges.

The judges’ personal preferences are 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 product and batch that was entered.

Stickers will also be available for purchase at R310 excluding VAT (approximately Euro 20 or USD 22) per 1000. A one-time print run will be done, and extra stickers will be available on a first come, first served basis.

Who will be judging the competition?

Products will be judged by food professionals who have an intimate knowledge of table olives and olive oil.

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 media 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 one year from the time the awards are announced. No physical trophies or awards are presented.

Entry Fees and dates
  • 17 March 2020 – Entries open and an early bird special price of R950 excluding VAT (approximately USD76 or EUR66) per entry.
  • 9 June 2020 – Normal entry fee of R1200 excluding VAT (approximately USD96 or EUR84) after this date.
  • 21 July 2020 – Late entries can be submitted for R1440 excluding VAT (approximately USD115 or EUR101) after this date.
  • 28 July 2020 – Entries close.
Do the table olives or olive oil submissions have to be labelled?

The table olives or olive oil entries do not have to be labelled, but they have to be in their final bottled state. A sticker showing all the product entry information should also be attached to each sample.

Are tank samples allowed?

Each olive oil sample has to be in its final bottled state, but it does not have to be labelled. Stickers identifying the sample are needed, however.

Do I need an analysis certificate?

No analysis certificate is necessary, but the competition reserves the right to test samples to determine authenticity and claims made.

How many samples are needed?

Table olives:

A minimum of three containers comprising a minimum combined weight of 600 grams of olives.

Olive oil:

A minimum of three containers, comprising a minimum combined volume of 750ml.

What categories will be evaluated?

Olives will be judged in sub categories according to the following main criteria:

  • Curing method
  • Colour
  • Treatment
  • Flavoured or natural
  • Cultivar used

Olive oil will be judged in sub categories according to these main criteria:

  • Flavoured/infused/natural
  • Flavour type if flavoured or infused
  • If unflavoured, intensity and cultivar
What awards are conferred?

Superior products will be granted 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 in print media for a period of one year 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 signed by both parties.

Trophy awards will also be conferred on products that really stand out in their special area.

What Covid-19 protocols have you implemented, and does it amend any of your current rules and guidelines?

Because of the Coronavirus scourge we have a comprehensive Coronavirus / Covid 19 contingency plan that is posted on our website here.

In case the event cannot take place, it will be postponed to a later date, and if worse comes to worse all entries will be unconditionally refunded.

When do I send the samples after we entered?

Samples need to be delivered on the 3rd and 4th August 2020 between 9:00 and 16:00 at The Conference, Joostenberg Deli, Stellenbosch South Africa.

You can make use of any courier, but we have partnered with DHL to allow for timely delivery. 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”.

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 Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com 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.

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 Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com 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 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.

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.

How do I enter and where do I get an entry form?

You can register online here and after registration enter online. Once you are registered, you can just go to this link here to enter products later.

At what stage do I pay for entries?

Payment must be done online before the close of entries.

By winning an award you will ensure that your product is discovered, or rediscovered in a blind tasting, without bias or prejudice.

Use of award artwork illustrated with mock-up examples

Awarded participants can use the award artwork that is supplied in the media kit in various ways to enhance the image of their superior products.

Please consult the guide to award artwork here.

Timeline for the 2020 competition

Competition opens
17 March 2020


Early Bird special entry fee
is R950 excluding VAT (approximately USD76 or EUR66).

Normal Entry Fee applies
2 July 2020



Normal entry fee is
R1200 excluding VAT
(approximately USD96 or EUR84).

Late fee
21 July 2020

Late fee is R1440 excluding VAT
(approximately USD115 or EUR101).

Entries close
28 July 2020

Delivery of samples
3rd and 4th of August 2020

Results released
11th August 2020

Contacts and delivery of samples

Table olives – A minimum of three containers comprising a minimum combined weight of 600 grams of olives.

Olive oil A minimum of three containers comprising a minimum combined volume of 750ml.

Participants may use any courier, but please ensure samples are delivered between 9:00 and 16:00 on August 3rd and 4th, 2020, to the Conference Centre at: Joostenberg Deli, Koelenhof Road, Stellenbosch, South Africa, for the attention of Celia Gilloway. Late entries might not be accepted.

You can contact Celia on: Tel: +27 82 782 1977 or email her at celia@eventsbycelia.com

We have partnered with DHL to allow for timely delivery. When making use of DHL, please ensure that 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”. Contact Marijke at Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com  or phone her on +27 21 872 4717.

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 Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or phone her on +27 (0)21 872 4717 for more details.

Late entries might not be accepted.

For additional information, contact  Sanet van Heerden at hello@aurorachallenge.com

Rules particular to olives and olive oil

  • The qualify as evoo the oil has to have a a free acidity level of < 0.8% and a peroxide value of no more than 20 milliequivalent O2 per kg oil.
  • In the infused and flavoured oil category, only 100% olive oil may be used.
  • A product may only be entered once, even if it is available under a different brand name.
  • No artificial flavours may be used.
  • Table olives samples a minimum of three containers comprising a minimum combined weight of 600 grams per entry.
  • Olive oil samples a minimum of three containers comprising a minimum combined volume of 750ml  per entry.
  • Samples may not be past their sell by date.
  • All costs related to delivery, including customs fees and taxes etc. are at the participant’s expense.
  • Only commercially operated producers that abide by the food laws of the country of origin may enter.
  • Winners will be asked to supply the competition with high resolution packshots for use on its website, and in marketing materials. By entering this competition, the participant grants The Aurora International Taste Challenge unlimited use of these images.
  • Be sure to wrap entries securely with bubble wrap or similar material to secure your entries against breakages. Please wrap your final package in a plastic bag and make sure it is leakproof in order 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 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 breakages 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 the boxes as “Box 1 of 5”, “Box 2 of 5” etc.
  • After winners are announced, no additional samples are needed.