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Superior Taste Award-iam water scardica





Press Release

18 May 2018

1.850 Food and Drink products from 90 countries receive the Superior Taste Award, attributed by the International Taste and Quality Institute (ITQI) from Brussels

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Brussels, 18/05/2018, The International Taste and Quality Institute (ITQI) has published the results from their blind tastings that brought together 175 chefs and sommeliers from the most prestigious European culinary associations. The tasting results are available publicly via www.itqi.com

Among the 1.850 awarded products:

*19% have received the Superior Taste Award of 3 GOLDEN STARS.

*57% have received the Superior Taste Award of 2 GOLDEN STARS

*24% have received the Superior Taste Award of 1 GOLDEN STAR.

67 products have received a Crystal Taste Award: a recognition for products that have been awarded 3 golden stars (meaning they have obtained more than 90% score) for three consecutive years by three different juries in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

This year, 32 products have been recognized with a Diamond Taste Award for being awarded 7 times 3 stars over the last 10 years. A fantastic achievement.

Eric de Spoelberch, Managing Director of iTQi: “We are very pleased with the 2018 tests. Our mission at iTQi is to contribute to improving the quality of consumer food & products. So we were pleased to hear Jury members comment that the level of taste of tested products this year was exceptionally high. We awarded over 1.800 products. This is a sign that producers are increasingly looking for ways to differentiate their products in crowded markets and to reassure their customers about the quality of their products.”

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iTQi is the world’s leading TASTE certification organization. The Institute analyzes, scores and certifies the TASTE of consumer food and beverages from all over the world. Since 15 years, iTQi has analysed over 10.000 products from more than 130 countries.

The iTQi jury is composed of renowned chefs and sommeliers from 15 prestigious European Culinary or Drink associations such as the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France, the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI), the Federazione Italia Cuochi (FIC), the Euro-Toques, the Federación de Asociaciones de Cocineros de España or the Verband der Köche Deutschlands.

Products are analysed and scored following a strict, and neutral methodology. Products are tasted blind by a large panel of independent food and drink professionals who do not know the product brand nor its origin as they taste it. For the first time in 2018, the tests where done with a digital application enabling the scoring according to a large set of category-specific criteria. In addition to the scoring, the chefs and sommeliers provide comments and suggestions for further product improvement. The iTQi processes are ISO 9001 certified themselves.

The iTQi award is a guarantee of excellent TASTE and high QUALITY. The testing process is not a competition but an evaluation of products on their own merit. Products reaching a score of more than 70% are granted the prestigious “Superior Taste Award”, with one, two or three Golden Stars similarly to the Michelin stars for gastronomy:

· 1 golden star: overall score between 70 and 80 % - very good taste

· 2 golden stars: overall score between 80 and 90% - remarkable taste

· 3 golden stars: overall score over 90% - exceptional taste

Furthermore, products with 3 golden stars for three consecutive years are awarded the "Crystal Taste Award" .

The "Diamond Taste Award" is attributed to products awarded 3 stars 7 times by different juries over the last 10 years. This is really the highest distinction reserved for products with proven consistency in exceptional quality.

Food and Beverage producers submit products to the iTQi evaluation to obtain an objective and constructive opinion on their taste. This unbiased certification is a strong tool to:

· Credibly communicate on the quality of their product and build differentiation in crowded market categories.

· Establish the quality of their products with potential distributors and buyers.

· Monitor product quality and continue innovating over the years

In fact, many producers report significant sales increase after using the iTQi award on their packaging and integrating the taste certification in their communication strategy.

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