Organised by the Anti Additive Clean Label Organization (AA), the awards are the first of their kind to focus on the clean label concept.
The event has been held annually since 2016 and commends those brands that proudly align with the clean label trend, by using fewer or even no artificial additives.
Considered one of the world’s premium gourmet awards, the A.A. Taste Awards is touted as an ‘incentive to excellence’ that calls for a more conscious food system, recognising the producers dedicated to providing an additive-free food supply.
Growing clean label movement
The consumer’s increasing desire to follow a healthier lifestyle is driving the demand for natural ingredients. Very few shoppers today will place a brand into their basket without first appraising the ingredients list. The fragility of our health, exacerbated by the pandemic, has also placed more importance of the ingredients that we consume.
However, the growth of the global food additives market is accelerating, particularly as convenience remains the priority and the demand for packaged goods rises. According to Market Data Forecast, the global food additives market was valued at $37.9bn in 2021 and is expected to grow at a 6% CAGR to tip over $55bn by 2026.
The brands to watch
This year, the competition received almost 1,000 entries, with 209 bestowed with Special Jury status. 237 were awarded 3 stars, 383 received 2 stars, 115 received 1 star, and 9 won the Great Taste Award.
The jury consists of experts, scholars, physicians, chefs and celebrities, and products are judged on seven criteria, namely, first impression, odour, visual, taste, aftertaste, texture-mouthfeel, and, of course, purity.
Products are blind tasted by a jury comprised of social media influencers, chefs, writers, scientists, doctors and celebrities, and products are judged against seven criteria, namely, first impression, odour, visual, taste, aftertaste, texture/mouthfeel, and, of course, purity.
In fact, the AA encourages “the social ethos of becoming original and pure, whether it is food, beverages or any other products. For any evaluation, if the product or dish already has a clean concept, it will definitely score extra points. Although the idea is not necessary, it must be a future trend.”
To date, over 2,500 products from 50 countries have received an A.A. Award.
Among the recipients were prominent global brands, such as Snyder’s of Hanover (US), Ladurée and St Michel (France), Lotus (Belgium), Arnott’s (Australia) and Walkers and Fortnum and Mason (UK), among many others.
The Anti Additive Clean Label Organization was founded in 2013, initially to promote the concept of an ‘additive-free Europe’ – but now with a reach across the globe. The non-profits works to educate and providing resources for consumers and hospitality owners interested in driving change to a more sustainable food system.
“We believe that everyone deserves an informed choice about whether to consume food additives,” said the AA on its site.
“Working with a collaborative network of technical and communications advisers from all backgrounds and sectors worldwide, we serve as the eyes and ears of consumers to help them make good food choices.”