Accreditation criteria

Entrants select one of two categories: Everyday and Premium. You also need to check if your product is classified as new, existing or pioneer

Tiering categorisation


This category includes the core staple lines that form the basis of an everyday shopping basket; regular products that are familiar and loved. These lines usually fall into the Standard or Value Tier of products sold, reflected in their packaging and branding / sub-branding.


Are the top tier brands sold by all the major food retailers. Products in this category are typically chosen for special occasions and incorporate more complex recipes and ingredients, with an emphasis on presentation.

Product classification

Existing products

The top-selling lines in each category – whether they are defined as Everyday or Premium.  For example, Baked Beans, Cream of Tomato Soup, Mature Cheddar Cheese, Strawberry Conserve etc. Entries in this category are either looking for Accreditation for an existing quality standard or to recognise an improved recipe.  They are widely purchased and enjoyed.

New products

This category includes the main thrust of retailer product development that regularly refreshes the range and stimulates customer interest. They are likely to be new variants of existing products where the recipe twist may limit appeal to those who are more adventurous in their tastes. For example, Slow Roasted Tomato Soup with Basil, Gooseberry Conserve with Elderflower, Antipasti Pizza, Macaroni Cheese with Beef Ragu, Asian Pear & Ginger Kombucha.


True innovators in terms of taste, consumer profile and product positioning, setting a pace that others may follow. These products will be tried by the intended consumer target market.

The basis for Accreditation

A product will be accredited if it achieves an overall consumer rating that falls within the top percentile for products in its category. This is different for each category and is established by Cambridge Market Research using its database of Foodfax norms drawn from 35 years’ of rigorous food and drink consumer product testing. This database is refreshed every six months to include consumer reviews on new lines as they enter the market.

New lines in Everyday and Premium must achieve an overall consumer rating within the set threshold level of products in their category. Thresholds here will acknowledge that consumer wariness of new recipes and formats will lead to lower initial acceptance. At the same time they will seek to recognise innovation in the idea and that the product brings something new and exciting to the consumer.

Pioneer products will be accredited using the same methodology as applied to Everyday and Premium new product lines but in addition will be tested with a targeted set of reviewers – reviewers who not only demonstrate willingness and interest in trying something new but are also in the target market for that type of product.

The consumer review panels

  • All products are reviewed at their normal selling price and must be entered with their normal selling price noted.
  • Each product is tested by 50 reviewers.
  • The reviewers are screened to ensure they are interested in buying and trying new products.
  • There are 12 products reviewed in each home meal format review session.
  • The sessions take place in six different geographic locations split on a North/ South/ Midlands basis to ensure a positive and necessary regional spread.
  • Reviewer ratings include: initial appeal; appearance; aroma; taste; texture; packaging; health; value for money; overall quality; would-buy intention; purchase intention and expected purchase frequency.
  • The resulting Overall Score is compared with Category Database norms, Everyday or Premium, to determine Accreditation.
  • All products are judged in the context of knowledge of the packaging, including ingredients listings and price point, before the product is put through its paces.
  • Reviewer feedback comments can be used in social media, website and promotional activity.

Announcement of the Accreditations

As soon as the product has been reviewed the applicant will be notified whether a product has achieved an accreditation. After this the individual Consumer Product Review Report will be sent out.

End of year celebration

During the year all accredited products will progress into an exciting new end of year event – The Own Label Feast served by The Grocer. It takes place on Thursday November 14 at The Sway Bar, central London. At this day-into-night conference and awards, core category winners will be revealed alongside the winners of new recognition and achievement awards rewarding the people, the teams and the suppliers shaking up the the UK’s thriving own label food and drink sector. This event will bring the UK own label community together into one distinctive and exciting event.