First things first …
Read and understand our Criteria & Rules.
Understand the full Awards process outlined in points 1–6 below.
Consider the Categories and Special Awards you wish to enter, and check your products meet our Criteria.
See our FAQs for answers to common questions — including what the benefits of entering the Awards and your chances of winning are.
1. Fees and key dates
a/ Entry opens 1st February 2021.
b/ Fees are as follows:
£165 or £132* — per product, per category.
£25 or £20* — per product, for optional additional participation in the Free From Achievement Award.
£35 or £28* — per brand, for optional additional participation in the Best Free From Brand Award.
* Only brands with fewer than three individuals in employment across the brand and any parent company (owners included, both nationally and internationally, if applicable) qualify for the lower fees, which represent a 20% discount. (NB The condition applies to the cosmetic brand / parent company, and not to any PR, regional representative or independent agent entering the brand’s products. Two full-time individuals and one part-time individual is the maximum total accepted under ‘fewer than three individuals’)
c/ There are no additional fees at any later stage of the Awards: all the benefits of participation are included in these fees. (Although note samples requirements below.)
d/ VAT is not charged.
e/ Final deadline to enter is 21st March 2021.
a/ Once you have decided what to enter, go to our Online Entry Forms.
b/ Complete your Company Details on page 1.
c/ Then, on page 2, complete a Product Entry Form for each product you are entering — choose ‘Add Product Entry’ for additional Product Entry Forms. If you wish to enter the same product into multiple categories, a Product Entry Form must be completed, and paid for, for each one.
d/ You can click the ‘Save’ button at the foot of the page as you go along, and return to your forms later via the unique link provided which can be emailed to you.
e/ Once you have completed all your Product Entry Forms, proceed to page 3 to enter your payment details and ‘Submit’.
3. What happens after you submit entry forms?
a/ You should receive a confirmation of entry email. Do not send samples yet, as in the event of a problem they cannot be returned.
b/ We will check your entry forms for any possible issues: such as products entered into inappropriate categories, or ineligible products. While we endeavour to resolve any issues and make entrants aware of problems before we accept them, we remind entrants it is their responsibility to ensure submissions are accurate and to check whether there are problems that may disqualify them.
c/ We aim to confirm acceptance of your entries within 72 hours.
4. What about samples?
a/ When we confirm acceptance of your entries, we will email instructions for sending us samples — normally, six full-size units of each product in each category will be required. These must arrive from UK brands within 10 days of being requested — we will allow considerably longer for deliveries from Ireland and continental Europe. Samples must be in the size specified on the entry form, and be products as sold to the purchasing consumer in the UK / EU. Pre-trade / tester / trial / mock-up samples cannot be accepted.
b/ In the case of one-time-use products only (eg bath bombs, sheet face masks), more than six samples will be required. The quantity is likely to be around twenty.
c/ We do NOT need extra samples for participation in the Free From Achievement Award.
d/ Brands entering the Best Free From Brand Award and submitting fewer than three entries in the product categories may later be asked to send one or two additional samples if the brand is shortlisted in this particular award.
e/ Entrants are wholly responsible for delivery fees to our UK address. Duties and taxes incurred because of shipment from outside UK must also be met entirely by the entrant. Please consider these fees before submitting entries.
g/ In the following days or weeks, we will welcome you on at least two of our social media channels. (Our hashtag is #FFSA21.)
5. What happens after we receive your samples?
a/ We will confirm their receipt, and begin to send them to our Testers. Four experienced testers, carefully chosen and matched with your products, will test your products for one month.
b/ Once the testing period is over, testers submit detailed feedback and scores to us. Once this is received for all entries, the data will be carefully collated and the List of Finalists compiled.
c/ The Finalists will be announced in May, and shared widely on social media and to the press / beauty media. We will write to all successful and unsuccessful entrants, and send a Finalist Logo to the former. Entrants who do not hear from us by the end of May should contact us.
d/ Products which reach the final are presented to round-table panels of judges consisting of, for example, cosmetic formulators, beauty writers, skincare experts, allergy bloggers, ‘free from’ experts and selected brand owners, for further assessment during a dedicated judging week in May / June. The feedback from the Testers is presented to these judges, along with the products themselves, and this feedback is combined with the views of judges, in order to decide all winners and runners-up, with usually one Gold winner, several Silver and several Bronze in each category and special awards.
e/ To learn more about the testing and judging process, click here.
f/ Winners will be announced online in June / July 2021 (date TBC), and showcased widely on our websites and social media channels.
6. What happens after the announcements?
a/ Soon after the announcements, we will email Winners Logos to all winning brands.
b/ The Overall Winner will receive an Overall Winner or Champion logo.
c/ We will issue press releases about the results, and encourage all winners to participate in publicity regarding their win, which we will aim to support in any way we can. (For previous press coverage, see here.)
d/ We will share news and winners on our social media channels, and showcase a large selection of products and brands across our websites and accounts, and at any shows at which we will be exhibiting, such as The Allergy & Free From Show.
e/ Detailed testers’ feedback on products will be available on request in the weeks after the awards to all participants, whether or not they make the final, whether or not they win.