Greek and Cypriot food & beverage products thrive

International Taste Institute Awards

Two hundred products awarded with the 2023 Superior Taste Award by world-class chefs & sommeliers

The jury of the International Taste Institute, composed of some of the world’s best chefs and sommeliers, has revealed the recipients of the 2023 Superior Taste Award: 2574 food and beverage products have won this year recognized distinction, amongst them 200 products from Greece and Cyprus. The number of food and beverage products that underwent the institute’s rigorous taste evaluations has increased significantly, reflecting the growing investment of producers in the quality and the taste of their products.

The 2023 Superior Taste Award

The Superior Taste Award, a highly recognized certification granted to products that meet or surpass the expectations of a jury composed of professional chefs and sommeliers, was given to 2574 products this year. The award is based on the evaluation of a product’s sensory characteristics, namely its visual aspect, olfaction, taste and texture. Only the products that achieve an average score of 70% and more are recognized with the award, establishing that they are well-made, balanced and delicious.

Check out the list of award-winning products for 2023 >>

103 Prestige Awards

The International Taste Institute recognizes producers with products which received exceptional scores consistently over several years. In 2023, we have awarded:
77 Crystal Taste Awards, granted to products that have been awarded 3 stars for 3 years in a row. 26 Diamond Taste Awards, granted to products that have been awarded 3 stars 7 times over a period of 10 years.

Excellent performance of Greek and Cypriot products

Producers from Greece and Cyprus stood out for the excellent taste of their products, achieving great success and being awarded a total of 200 Superior Taste Awards and 7 Prestige Awards.

We should be proud, as Greece has been awarded one of the 26 Diamond Taste Awards at a global level this year for Natural Mineral Water ‘Loutraki – Ydria’ by the company Nera Kritis SA.

It is also remarkable that out of the 77 Crystal Taste Awards, six were awarded to Greek products. The products Theoni Natural Mineral Water (Carton) and Theoni Natural Mineral Water (Glass) by AHB GROUP S.A., Samaria Natural Table Water by ETANAP SA, Apollonio 1Lt by the company VAP KOUGIOS SA, as well as DODONI Authentic Greek Yogurt 2% by DODONI S.A. and Kefir with stevia and red fruits / Κεφίρ με στέβια και κόκκινα φρούτα by Koukakis Farm S.A. received this honorable distinction.

Following the path of the previous years, the dairy/cheese products, fish farming products, water and bakery products were the strongest categories of Greek and Cypriot participations.

In addition, it is relevant to highlight that more and more Greek and Cypriot producers, who export their products, express their interest in the Superior Taste Award. According to them, this specific distinction that comes after a strict evaluation, internationally recognized, could be a powerful ally in their business negotiations, enhancing the taste of their products.

Delicious plant-based alternatives

To persuade consumers to switch to plant-based alternatives, manufacturers need to address one of the main barriers to uptake: the sensory experience.

In 2023, at the Taste Institute, we have again seen a strong growth in submission of plant-based products such as meat alternatives burgers or nuggets, dairy alternatives for milk or cheese, but also some very interesting seafood alternatives. Our data shows that the gustative quality of those products has improved significantly compared with previous years.

Alan Coxon, president of the International Taste Institute chef jury states: “It is great to see more and more companies developing plant based alternative products. The jury has been very impressed by the overall quality of those products this year. Some of the products we evaluated where getting very close to matching animal protein on aspects such as smell, taste and texture”.

Making the world a tastier place with the best gastronomy experts

Our jury is composed of some of the world’s best chefs and sommeliers from around the world representing leading culinary associations, Michelin starred chef’s, MOF’s, competition winners, all sharing a common passion for food and qualitative products.

Eric de Spoelberch, CEO of the International Taste Institute adds: “We are extremely pleased to receive many applications from chefs and sommeliers from around the world to join our Jury. It allows us to assemble the best jury possible to help and encourage food and drink producers to step up the gustative quality of their products, contributing to our mission to make the world a tastier place.

About the International Taste Institute

The International Taste Institute, founded in 2005 and based in Brussels, Belgium, evaluates and certifies the taste of foods and drinks from around the world. Its jury is composed of over 250 renowned chefs and sommeliers from 15 European culinary and sommelier associations.

Over the years, more than 20,000 products have been certified by the International Taste Institute’s jury, which features prestigious chefs and sommeliers such as Christian Brancaleoni (Best sommelier of Italy, 2022), Ferran Vila-Pujol, (Best Sommelier of Spain 2022), Alain Nonnet (2 Michelin Stars for 36 years), Bernard Vaussion (Head chef to the president of France), and Julie Dupuis (best woman sommelier of the world), among many other accomplished Chefs and Sommeliers.

The International Taste Institute performs objective sensory evaluation: its jury follows a rigorous blind- tasting methodology in which product samples are anonymised to avoid any scoring biases. In addition to scoring product performance according to the 5 standard sensory criteria, the jury provides comments as well as suggestions for further product improvement and food pairing.