Wagyu Branded Beef Competition

Recognising the most exciting and innovative Wagyu brands

Australia’s leading luxury Wagyu beef brands on display

The Australian Wagyu Association (AWA) is proud to present the 2023 Wagyu Branded Beef Competition (WBBC) – the only branded beef competition supported by an independent breed representative organisation.

The competition aim is to recognise and reward the most exciting and innovative Wagyu brands. At the same time, the competition recognises and pays tribute to the hard work and dedication of all those involved in the Wagyu sector, inspiring and promoting Wagyu as the World’s Luxury Beef.

The award winners for the best Wagyu brands in Australia were celebrated at the Wagyu Sectors Industry Dinner evening on the 19th of April, in front of 600 leading producers, experts and brands. This was the 12th year of the Wagyu Branded Beef Competition, with a total of had 58 world class entries judged by a panel of 36 food and beef industry experts to crown the very best Australian Wagyu. Judged across five classes –Fullblood Japanese Black Steak, Purebred Wagyu Steak, Open Crossbred Wagyu Steak, Open F1 Wagyu Steak, Commercial Wagyu Steak Marble Score 5-7– with judges scoring visual appeal (raw and cooked), juiciness, flavour, aroma and the physical sensation in your mouth. The WBBC promotes excellence in the production of Wagyu beef and advancement of Wagyu – the worlds luxury beef.

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2023 Class descriptions

CLASS ONE – Fullblood Japanese Black Steak
All entries must be Herdbook registered or DNA sample will be taken by AWA for genomic testing and parent verification.

Class one optimises the ultimate in the Fullblood Wagyu eating experience, with elevated marble score, fineness and high levels of unsaturated fat producing a luxury eating experience like no other.



CLASS TWO – Purebred Wagyu Steak
No Marble score restriction, DNA sample will be taken by AWA for genomic testing, Wagyu Content testing and parent verification.

Class two is a new category for the WBBC, recognising the outstanding gains being seen in the Purebred Sector (93+% Wagyu). Capable of achieving very high marble scores, these purebred entries are combining leading Fullblood genetics with new characteristics such as polled.



CLASS THREE Open Crossbred Wagyu Steak
No Marble score restriction, DNA sample will be taken by AWA for Wagyu Content testing and parent verification. Class three is a long-standing feature of the WBBC. With Fullblood and Purebred entries allocated to Class one and Class two.

Class three is open to all non-Fullblood and non-Purebred Crossbred Wagyu cattle of at least 50% to a maximum of 93% Wagyu (F1 – F3+). It celebrates the best of Crossbred Wagyu production.



CLASS FOUR Open F1 Wagyu Steak
No Marble score restriction, DNA sample will be taken by AWA for genomic testing, Wagyu Content testing and parent verification.

Class four is a new category for the WBBC, recognising the power of Fullblood Wagyu genetics over optimal dam genetics from other breeds. The Open F1 Wagyu Steak class provides an opportunity to showcase the best of F1 Wagyu production.



CLASS FIVE Commercial Wagyu Steak Marble Score 5-7
DNA sample will be taken by AWA for Wagyu Content testing and parent verification.

Class five is a staple for all Crossbred Wagyu brands, representing value and premium quality within Crossbred wagyu production. Within the Marble Score 5-7 category, the Wagyu Commercial steak can provide access to unique fine marbling and dining characteristics unique to Wagyu influenced products.




Gary McPherson Memorial Packers Award
Each year, the judges are amazed by the size and quality of the entries nominated by our Australian Wagyu supply chains. The Gary McPherson Memorial Packers Award pays homage to out mate Gary and recognises the most visually appealing entry, typifying the excitement and anticipation of the Wagyu dining, as judged by the back-room handlers preparing entries for the judging days.
Reserve Champion
The Reserve Champion is the second place overall highest score across all entries in the WBBC. The entry can be from any category and the Reserve Champion recognised outstanding achievement in the production of Wagyu beef to its highest standards.
Grand Champion
The Grand Champion is the entry with the highest overall score across all categories in the WBBC. Each year, the Grand Champion is celebrated by all in the Wagyu Sector as being the pinnacle of Wagyu production for the year within the WBBC, the only Wagyu-specific beef competition that puts the best Wagyu brands and new entries head-to-head to enable continual improvement in Wagyu quality in search of the ultimate eating experience.


Judging Terminology

Wagyu Branded Beef Judging Terminology

What does the Wagyu taste like? What flavours are present? And how does it feel when I eat it?

These are the questions our judges ask when comparing Wagyu beef.

Each aspect will be influenced by marbling, the firmness and texture of the beef, as well as the hints of how the Wagyu cattle were raised.

To describe how it feels to chew Wagyu beef we use: chewy, enjoyable-chewy, fibrous, granular, greasy, mushy, silky, tender, textureless, tough, very-tender, other.

The impression given from the release of the meat’s water-holding capacity on first eating defines the juiciness. The melted intramuscular fats in highly marbled beef will be a major contributor to this but will also include the consumer’s saliva. The salivation response will be tempered by aroma and hunger.

Very-dry, dry, slightly-dry, initial juiciness, very juicy, lasting juiciness.

There are five taste receptor groups; sweet, salt, bitter and sour plus the Japanese flavour ‘umami’ (which means beefy, savoury, brothy or delicious). There are up to 880 volatile compounds of different chemical classes reported in cooked Wagyu beef.

Descriptors: beany, bitter, buttery, caramel, cereal, chemical/medicinal, citrus, clean and fresh, creamy, dairy, earthy, fatty, fishy, herbal, kerosene, livery, low, putrid, metallic, nutty, popcorn, rancid, rich, rounded, salty, soapy, sour, stale, sweet, toasty, unami, other.

What does the Wagyu beef smell like? The perception of the volatile characteristics of food is perceived by receptors primarily in the nose.

Descriptors: Beefy, caramel, cardboard, cereal, citrus, sulphury, fishy, medicinal/chemical, herbaceous, putrid, stale, musty, livery, kerosene/solvent, low/faint, toasty, popcorn, fresh, floral, pungent, other.

Past competitions

Mayura Station and Rangers Valley take out big wins in 2022 competition

In its 11th year, the renown Wagyu Branded Beef Competition saw an enormous 46 entries in the 2022 competition, from 31 world class brands judged by a panel of 32 food and beef industry experts.

The WBBC represents the very best Australian Wagyu has to offer, with truly exceptional world-class entries.

Grand Champion and Class 1 Champion
Signature Series by Mayura Station

Class 2 – Crossbred
WX9 by Rangers Valley

Class 3 – Commercial Marble Score 5-7
WX by Rangers Valley

Important Notice and Disclaimer

It is very important that you appreciate when viewing the AWA database that the information contained on the AWA database, including but not limited to pedigree, DNA information, Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) and Index values, is based on data supplied by members and/or third parties.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information reported through AWA, AWA officers and employees assume no responsibility for its content, use or interpretation. AWA disclaims all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs you may incur as a result of the use by you of the data on this AWA database and the information supplied by ABRI and AGBU being inaccurate or incomplete in any way for any reason.

Regarding EBVs and Index values, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • EBVs are derived using Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN technology developed independently by the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU), using the information contained within the AWA database.
  • AGBU is a joint venture of NSW Department of Primary Industries and the University of New England, which receives funding for this purpose from Meat and Livestock Australia Limited.
  • AWA relies solely on advice provided by AGBU and ABRI in accepting Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN software.
  • EBVs published in Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN are estimates of genetic potential of individual animals and may not reflect the raw animal phenotype.
  • EBVs can only be directly compared to other EBVs calculated in the same monthly Wagyu Group BREEDPLAN analysis.

Regarding pedigree and DNA testing results submitted to the AWA, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • Pedigree and DNA data submitted and supplied to AWA may have errors in it which cannot be detected without further DNA testing.
  • Technology may have advanced since a particular test was undertaken so that previous inaccuracies which were not detectable are now able to be detected by current testing technology.
  • AWA estimates that less than 1% of the pedigree entries, ownership or breeding details in the AWA Herdbook may have errors or which may be misleading. For this reason, users ought to consider if they need to obtain independent testing of the relevant animal (if possible) to ensure that the data is accurate.

Regarding prefectural content, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • Prefectural content is based on the estimation of prefectural origin from Japanese breeding records of 201 foundation sires and 168 foundation dams.  As genotype-based parent verification is not used in Japan, and full Japanese registration certificates are not available for all foundation animals, exact prefectural composition for these sires and dams cannot be validated.
  • The calculation of prefectural content for Australian Herdbook animals relies on the accuracy of pedigree records and DNA samples provided by AWA members.
  • The reporting of prefectural content for animals within the AWA Herdbook relies on the calculation provided by ABRI.

If you consider that you do not understand or appreciate the nature and extent of the data provided on this website or the EBVs of a particular animal, then AWA strongly recommends that you seek independent expert advice.