The Awards

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can enter the Good Food Awards?

The Awards are open to U.S. based companies (including U.S. territories) making products that fall within our fifteen categories and comply with all category specific criteria.

Can I enter my bread, brownies, wine, granola, smoothies, etc.?

We wish we could accept amazing entries from any and all food categories, but due to logistical restraints we cannot accommodate every product, aligned as they might be with our goals of tasty, authentic and responsible food. To check your eligibility, you can view the “subcategories” section of the criteria page for each category.

We do review our criteria annually and try to add at least one category each year. If you have input on what categories or criteria you’d like to see added to the Awards in the future, please feel free to email connect@goodfoodfdn.org.

Is there a cost to enter? Why?

Entries carry a $70 fee per product. This fee helps cover staff costs for processing, sorting and storing all entries, and expenses associated with organizing the Blind Tasting. Current Good Food Merchants Guild members receive 1 free entry automatically as part of their member benefits.

We never want cost to be a barrier for entry so if the entry fee is prohibitive as a small or new producer, please email connect@goodfoodfdn.org.

When do I ship my product for the tasting?

Products must be shipped a week before the Blind Tasting. Categories that do a prescreening, such as Oils, will be asked to ship a little sooner. All the shipping instructions will be emailed to entrants in August after the entry period has ended.

Do I have to come to San Francisco for the Blind Tasting?

Nope! Just send us your product and we’ll take care of the rest.

Are there winners in each subcategory?

The subcategories are instructive for organizing the Blind Tasting, but do not receive their own respective Awards. For example, rather than selecting an individual vodka winner, gin winner and whiskey winner, we select up to three overall Spirits category Winners per region.

How long will the entry form take to fill out?

The entry form should take about 10 minutes. After that you can put your feet up until September when it’s time to send us your samples for the Blind Tasting.

I’m from Kentucky/Minnesota, and my entry region seems different this year. Did something change?

Good catch!   Yes, originally we included Kentucky with the Central states and Minnesota with the North (including Alaska).  Many of you begged to disagree, so we changed things around. Kentucky is now counted in the South and Minnesota is in the Central region. If you’d like more information about how the regions are divided up, you can check out our map here.

What benefits do Good Food Award Winners receive?

Aside from the satisfaction of a product-well-made and a beautiful medal representing their winning category, all Award Winners are invited to be honored at a special ceremony in San Francisco in January, surrounded by their loved ones, fellow winners and leaders of the good food movement. This kicks off a weekend of events including the Good Food Mercantile (open to all Good Food Guild members) and Good Food Marketplace (a public-facing event exclusively for that year’s winners).

Additional benefits include exclusive use of the Good Food Awards Winner seal on their website and winning product packaging. Many winners have also reported increased sales and publicity tied to the Awards, in addition to receiving access to a community of like-minded crafters to connect with. For a full list, please review our benefits to awardees page.

*Winners unable to attend January’s ceremony will have their medal shipped to them.

When will I find out if I won?

We will reach out to high scorers in October to verify our sustainability criteria. Finalists will be notified in late November, and Winners will be notified shortly after that, so they can prepare for the accompanying festivities. Winners are required to keep their status confidential until the Good Food Awards Ceremony in January, when the Winners are announced publicly.

All entrants are notified of their status regardless of their placement. If you have not heard from us by early November, please don’t hesitate to be in touch.

What is the difference between Finalist and Winners?

Both Finalists and Winners have met or exceeded our sustainability criteria. Winners have received higher scores in our Blind Tasting than Finalists.

The general rule is that, for each food category, the top five Blind Tasting scores in each region of the country are named Finalists. The top three scoring products in each region then move on to become Winners. That’s 25 Finalists per category, from which 15 are named Winners.

Slight fluctuations to these numbers occasionally occur due to scoring ties or disqualification based on sustainability criteria.

Can I see my score?

We don’t typically share the numerical scores of the entries, because without comparisons to other entries they are not very instructive. We are happy, however, to share the judges’ tasting notes on your entry. Email connect@goodfoodfdn.org after the Blind Tasting in September with your company name and the names of the products for which you’d like to receive feedback.

Who judges my entry?

The judge panel is comprised of 250 industry leaders, technical experts, activists, journalists and “citizen tasters” to achieve the right balance of professional and consumer palates. The judges for each category are listed on our website. Just click the category you’re curious about on the goodfoodawards.org banner.