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The 12th Annual Hot Pepper Awards
Hot Sauce Competition

We are in our 12th season of awarding the best in the business! Over the years we have grown, and we have also had to scale back growth in order to be able to maintain the integrity of the awards. Last year we presented the Hot Sauce Edition which focused on "sauces only" instead of all spicy products (like spices, snacks, and beverages). This was a success and we will continue this method, with the addition of the Condiment category for all those spicy condiments that are not exactly hot sauces, but sauces that are hot.
Q.Can I enter BBQ sauce?
A. Yes you can! But not your average fare, we expect a BBQ sauce for chiliheads with a presence of pepper flavor, or a hot-sauce-for-BBQ. Many categories apply including Condiment, Specialty, Sweet, and Smoky, as well as the pepper and fruit categories where applicable. We even have a BBQ Sauce Foodie Award.
Q. Can I enter a wing sauce?
A. Yuppers, that is a Specialty hot sauce, and we even have a Wing Sauce Foodie Award.
Q. Can I enter a salsa?
A. Absolutely. It will not be judged with chips, it will be judged as a hot sauce condiment just as the hot sauces are, as salsa is often utilized this way on Mexican food, so you can enter any category that is applicable. We even have a Taco Sauce Foodie Award.
Q. What about a pepper jam?
A. Is it used like hot sauce? Sure! Plus we have Sweet and Condiment categories as well as a Dessert Foodie Award.
Q. Can I enter a miscellaneous spicy condiment?
A. Is it a liquid condiment (not a dry spice), and is the heat from peppers? Then yes! We have a Condiment category as well as many others that may apply.
Hot sauce and spicy condiments with peppers all welcome.
The Hot Pepper Award

  • Best Overall
Category Awards
  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards per category
Foodie Awards
  • Best Breakfast Sauce
  • Best Taco Sauce
  • Best Wing Sauce
  • Best BBQ Sauce
  • Best Dessert Sauce
Industry Awards
  • Pepper Patch Award (Best Product Line)
  • Seedling Award (Best Industry Newcomer)
  • Picasso Pepper Award (Best Artwork and Design)
  • Hybrid Pepper Award (For Innovation) 
  • Insane in the Pepper Membrane Award (Hottest Hot Sauce)
  • Spicetime Achievement Award (Awarded to a company that has shown excellence in craftmanship over repeated Award seasons of The Hot Pepper Awards)
-Your product must have heat from peppers; any heat level, from mild to extreme. We do not judge 0 heat products. You can enter different heat levels of the same product if they exist, but if choosing one, we recommend the "chilihead friendly" product.
-No amateur or hobby entries. All entries must be commercially made (commercial kitchen, co-packer, mass-production) or you must be in accordance with your local requirements for production, with labels and tamper-free packaging (preferred). If amateur entries or entries that appear unsafe for consumption are received they will be discarded and no refund will be given, so do not try to bend this rule.
-The product entered must be your (company's) creation and one-of-a-kind. Do not send private-label products that are commercially available for anyone to put their label on.
-You must send two (and only two) commercial size products for each product entered no matter how many categories you enter. Commercial size means the size you sell, not samplers.
-A custom certificate with THPA branding and your product name
-Award-Winning web graphics
-Award-Winning print quality graphics
-Press release inclusion
-Vigorous social media promotion
-Some winners will be included in special contests on thehotpepper forum
-Certain promotion will continue throughout the year

Regular Deadline - submit online entry form by Oct 31 - $50 per entry
Final Deadline - submit online entry form by Nov 11 - $60 per entry (International packages must use Global Priority or Express when sending during Final Deadline)
Extreme Biz members = 25% off of main entry fee, per entry, sign up here before you enter for the discount.
No late requests will be honored. Please ship within 2 days after Final Deadline so entries are received timely.
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We will announce before the year's end! Before 1/1/2019.
After entering please click here.
11th Annual
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3rd Annual
2nd Annual
1st Annual

Terms and Conditions: No refunds. All payments final. If you pay and fail to send the products on time or at all (or we do not receive the products for any reason) there are no refunds. If you send products that are not safe to judge or are not enterable for any reason there are no refunds. We reserve the right to disqualify any product for any reason using our best judgement regarding the rules and food safety.

Agreement: I am either the owner of the product, or am acting on behalf of the owner with permission to enter. To the best of my knowledge all information is correct. I attest that this product was produced in accordance with safe canning, bottling, and sealing procedures and meets or exceeds legal requirements for food processing. I attest this product is in accordance with the requirements set forth by The Hot Pepper Awards, and that I will be held liable for any unsafe products entered. I agree that my name brands and images may be used in conjunction with The Hot Pepper Awards and thehotpepper.com and its partners for the purposes of marketing and advertising.