Chocolate Awards: Competitions for the Best Chocolate

The world of chocolate is vast and full of unique and delectable creations, crafted by passionate artisans and small-scale producers. To celebrate and honor their hard work, dedication, and innovation, prestigious chocolate awards have been established around the globe. These competitions not only showcase the best in the industry but also help raise awareness, appreciation, and understanding of craft chocolate. The two most prestigious competitions are the International Chocolate Awards and the Academy of Chocolate.

International Chocolate Awards

Established in 2012, the International Chocolate Awards serves as an annual global platform, shining a spotlight on the most exceptional artisan and craft chocolate makers worldwide. Founded by renowned chocolate expert and journalist, Paul A. Young, alongside former CEO of the Academy of Chocolate, Suzie Suchet, the awards have become an eagerly anticipated event in the chocolate industry.

The International Chocolate Awards hosts regional competitions for the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Africa, recognizing outstanding chocolate products on a local level. Winners of these regional competitions then proceed to the World Finals, where they compete against other regional winners for the coveted title of "World's Best Chocolate."

With a judging panel comprising international experts, including chocolate makers, pastry chefs, and industry professionals, the competition assesses a broad spectrum of chocolate products, ranging from plain/origin chocolate bars to filled chocolates and even packaging design. Each entry is evaluated on various aspects, such as taste, texture, and appearance, through a comprehensive scoring system.

Beyond the awards, the International Chocolate Awards also organizes educational events and workshops to elevate the public's awareness and understanding of artisan and craft chocolate. These informative gatherings shed light on the bean-to-bar chocolate-making process, emphasize the importance of ethically sourced ingredients and sustainable practices, and promote the commendable work of small-scale chocolate makers.

Academy of Chocolate

Founded in 2005, the UK-based Academy of Chocolate promotes and celebrates the art and craft of chocolate making. Comprising a team of chocolate experts, including chocolate makers, writers, and industry professionals, the Academy is dedicated to supporting and advancing the craft chocolate industry.

The Academy of Chocolate Awards, an annual program, honors and recognizes the finest artisan chocolate producers in the UK and beyond, across a variety of categories. A panel of experts, employing a scoring system akin to that of the International Chocolate Awards, judges the entries.

The International Chocolate Awards and the Academy of Chocolate have both played instrumental roles in increasing awareness and appreciation for craft chocolate. Both organizations advocate for ethical and sustainable practices within the chocolate industry, encouraging the use of direct trade or fair-trade cocoa and supporting chocolate makers who prioritize environmental sustainability and ethical labor practices.

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