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Record number of gold awards for chocolate makers from across world

The Academy of Chocolate has today announced the final results of its annual competition – awarding a record number of gold accreditations to chocolate makers from across the globe.


With Covid-19 enforced restrictions delaying the judging, virtual and in-person tastings have been conducted by leading names in the chocolate sector over the course of the last eight weeks. 


The 47 ‘gold’ accreditations have marked a significant increase from previous years, signalling a major shift in the quality of bean to bar production in particular.  


The newly awarded bars have seen a rise in the use of Indian cacao, notably from the Idukki region of Kerala, with its ideal cacao growing conditions. Ecuadorean, Madagascan and Peruvian cacao continues to shine, often inspiring great social enterprise partnerships.  


Flavour profiles which feature heavily this year are classics such as coffee or rum, while the awards have seen continued experimentation and use of less usual ingredients such as chanterelle mushrooms, black garlic and shrimp curry.


The awards have seen the emergence of newcomers to the chocolate world, from Glasgow-based micro-batch producer Bare Bones to Elena Tikhonovich in Belarus and Chocolala OÜ in Estonia, alongside strong growth in quality of previous entrants such as Auro from the Philippines. 


Established brands, among them our previous Golden Bean winners, Åkessons, Castronovo, Chocolat Madagascar and Qantu have returned with new and improved products. 


Previous rising stars such as Desbarres, Fjåk and Metiisto (from Canada, Norway and New Zealand) have also performed strongly.  


The full list of winners can be found here.


The special awards will be announced in due course. 


Sara Jayne Stanes OBE, founder, Academy of Chocolate, said: “Having started the Awards with some of my fellow judges back in 2005 with a handful of products from Europe, I could not be more inspired to have so many exceptional chocolates – and I mean exceptional – among our winners this year. And the movement is truly global. I hope that the Academy of Chocolate and its endeavours have had a hand in this evolution.”



Media contact:
Piers Zangana
Susa Comms
t: 07960 078 935
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