2017 Awards of Excellence


View the Results for the 2017 Awards of Excellence


2017 NBBQA Awards of Excellence

Entry and Judging Criteria

Judging Criteria

For each entry, judges will assign a score from 1-10 in the categories of Appearance, Taste and Texture, with Taste being weighted at 300 percent. All scores are then combined to create a single cumulative score for each product. Your entries will be evaluated by themselves as well as with the cooked product. Product labels and other packaging for all food entries will be covered and assigned a random number to assure anonymity. Barbecue Specialty Items and Labels will be judged on a ten point scale based on appearance, design, content and consumer appeal.

Rules and Conditions
Sauces, rubs and seasonings must be commercially available to the general public through wholesale, retail or direct market outlets. Entries must be professionally labeled with product name, ingredients and all current FDA required nutritional information. All entries must be properly processed and sealed. Any entry received with broken seal will not be eligible for judging. The minimum weight for product samples is 8 oz. for sauces and 2 oz. for spices and rubs. Items requiring refrigeration cannot be accepted. All items submitted for the Awards of Excellence become the property of NBBQA and all judges’ decisions are final. NBBQA Member discounts on entry fees apply only to paying member levels (Trade Partner, Operator or Competitor.)  Entry fees are not refundable.  Don't forget to complete the Awards of Excellence application form for each entry and send it with your product samples.  Please send one form and at least two product samples for each entry.  Entries must be received by Friday, January 22, 2016.

Awards Presentation
Results will be announced during the Awards of Excellence ceremony on March 30, 2017 and posted online shortly thereafter. The ceremony will take place at the I AM BBQ 2017 NBBQA Annual Conference & BBQ Bash (March 29 – April 1, 2017) at River Ranch, Fort Worth, TX. All entrants are encouraged to attend the conference to accept potential awards in person, be recognized by peers, and take advantage of official photo and press release opportunities. However, you do not need to be present to win. Awards will be mailed to winning entrants who are not able to receive them in person. First, second and third place winners in each category receive medals (gold, silver, and bronze) along with custom award certificates. Fourth and fifth-place finishers are also awarded certificates. All winners are linked on the NBBQA website, published in the National Barbecue News and recognized in an official NBBQA press release. Winners are also entitled to showcase the Awards of Excellence and NBBQA logos on the labels, publications and websites of winning products.

People’s Choice Awards
Contestants who enter sauces in the Awards of Excellence are also invited to submit samples in the People’s Choice Awards – a public tasting competition on April 1st at the 2017  NBBQA BBQ Bash. The above AOE Rules and Conditions also apply to the People’s Choice Awards. Members of the public will join conference attendees to sample each sauce and vote for their overall favorite. First, second and third place finishers will be announced at the conference. There is no additional fee to participate or form to complete. However, sauces must have been entered in the Awards of Excellence to be eligible for the People’s Choice. These sauces must be mailed to the hotel and received by Wednesday, March 29, 2017 to be included in the People’s Choice Awards. A maximum of 2 bottles, please!