Launched in 2005, the prestigious Academy of Chocolate awards sought to identify, recognise and showcase the world’s most talented chocolate producers and finest chocolates.
Since then, the awards have gone from strength to strength – mirroring the growth of the fine chocolate market. In its inaugural year, there were 12 entries. By 2019, that figure had grown to more a record-breaking 1,600 submissions from more than 45 countries.
The awards are judged by leading chocolatiers, producers, journalists, bloggers, food writers, and other chocolate experts from across the industry.
Held in London, judges deliberate over key categories including Bean to Bar, Tree to Bar, Flavoured, Milk and White Bars, Filled chocolates, Spreads and Packaging. Further judging by a Supreme Jury considers Gold winners and determines Special Award winners.
Products are marked on appearance, depth of aroma and flavour, length and complexity to determine the gold, silver, and bronze winners in each category. Promising products that are not yet at award-winning level receive commendations.
Last year, the Academy also launched a new Brand Awareness Award which celebrates the pleasure of enjoying chocolate as a complete moment by moment experience, from attractive functional packaging to enjoyable mouthfeel. In addition to the ultimate accolade of The Golden Bean and The Golden BonBon, the awards also seek to identify Rising Stars both in the UK and internationally.