Organizers of the 2013 Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest are looking for a few new jams, confections, barbecue sauces, cheeses, popsicles, granolas, soups and any other products that are exceptionally edible.
The contest — sponsored by the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development — helps food entrepreneurs showcase their food products.
Many former contest winners now have their products sold in specialty food stores and supermarkets across the Southeast. The 2012 Flavor of Georgia contest winner, Atlanta’s High Road Craft Ice Cream & Sorbet, went on to be featured in magazines such as Southern Living, Cooking Light, Everyday with Rachel Ray and sold in the freezer section of Whole Foods.
“Flavor of Georgia is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to gain publicity and exposure for their products,” said Sharon P. Kane, food business development specialist with the UGA CAED. “It’s also a chance for them to network with other food entrepreneurs and industry experts.”
Georgia-based entrepreneurs can submit as many products as they like. Registration will open Nov. 1, 2012 and run through Feb. 8, 2013. Finalists will be invited to take part in a final judging and public tasting in March in Atlanta, Ga.
Contestants can submit products that are already commercially available or foods that are in the prototype stage. There is not a limit on the number of products that an individual can submit. Product categories include: barbecue and hot sauces; jams, jellies and sauces; confections; meat products; dairy products and snack foods.
A panel of judges — made up of food marketing experts, grocery buyers, chefs and Georgia agricultural experts — will judge each product based on flavor, use of Georgia ingredients, Georgia theme, unique or innovative qualities, commercial appeal and originality.
More information about the contest and registration information is available online at www.flavorofgeorgia.caes.uga.edu or by calling (706) 583-0347. The cost to enter is $50 per product if the contestant uses the competition website. Registration costs $60 per product if you register by mail.
(Merritt Melancon is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)