Food Manufacturers encouraged to enter NZ Chocolate Awards

20 August, 2018 by
FMCG Business

Food manufacturers are being called upon to be part of the 2018 New Zealand Chocolate Awards. The organisers are looking for innovative products to enter the ‘Best NZ-Made Product Using Chocolate’ category. This includes products where good quality chocolate is a key ingredient, such as spreads, sauces, ice cream and bakery items.

Following feedback from last year’s awards, this category has been revised so manufacturers and producers can submit products that include locally made chocolate as well as chocolate imported from overseas.


Co-organiser Nicola McConnell says they have taken on feedback from the industry. “We understand it’s hard to get a consistent supply and therefore many producers need to use the quality couverture from overseas.”

She says Kiwis love artisan products and they are mad for quality chocolate. “We are seeing many artisans and producers working collaboratively to create products – it’s these products we’d love to see in the awards.”

“Fix & Fogg Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter was named ‘Best New Zealand Product using a premium chocolate brand’ at last year’s inaugural awards and we know there are many more quality products available made with high quality chocolate,” she said. Chocolate milks, chocolate croissants, chocolate cookies and cakes using quality chocolate would all be eligible for entry under the new criteria.

Winners receive the recognition and kudos for a job well done and the right for their product to wear the NZ Chocolate Awards medal as a guarantee of quality for consumers. Using medals on products proves they have been independently assessed and therefore they give consumers confidence to purchase.

How to enter

Judging samples must arrive in Auckland between Monday 3 September and Tuesday 11 September. Judging will take place on Wednesday 12 September at Fresh Factory, Auckland.

Results will be sent to entrants via email on Monday 17 September with Gold, Silver and Bronze medal winners made public on Tuesday 18 September. Best in Class winners, including the Supreme Champion will be announced during NZ Chocolate Week on Friday 5 October 2018 on the eve of the NZ Chocolate and Coffee Show at The Cloud on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 October.

NZ chocolatiers have until Friday 31 August 2018 to enter online at

New Head Judge

Elle Crocker aka Elle Coco has been appointed as Head Judge for the 2018 Awards. Elle will add a new level of experience to the judging panel. She will be supported by an independent judging panel of food experts who will receive taste training prior to the judging. This year the only chocolatiers on the judging panel, will be those without products in the competition.

Elle Coco is an experienced chocolate judge at the British Academy of Chocolate and the International Chocolate Awards. She recently moved to Wellington from London taking the long route and starting in Mexico, before covering off all of Central America and the western countries of South America, to visit cacao plantations, meeting growers and tasting chocolate along the way.

In London, Elle ran chocolate making workshops and classes for British chocolatiers, department stores and global companies, including William Curley Patissier, Harrods and PWC. In addition to running workshops, Elle has worked with new and established chocolate makers, including Damson Chocolate (UK), Tri Island Chocolate (Grenada, Caribbean) and Stamba Chocolatier (Georgia, Caucasus). Elle has hosted education and tasting sessions at London’s ‘The Chocolate Show’ and ‘The Grenada Chocolate Festival’ in the Caribbean.