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Creamy, sweet south Georgia pecan butter wins best in the state at 2018 Flavor of Georgia Contest By Merritt Melancon

David and Melody Goodson, co-owners of Goodson Pecans of Leesburg, Georgia, have taken the grand prize at University of Georgia’s 2018 Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest with the Goodson Pecans Honey Cinnamon Pecan Butter.

The annual contest, conducted by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, is a chance for food businesses to showcase their new products.

A team of food industry experts and grocery buyers chose Goodson Pecans Honey Cinnamon Pecan Butter as the best of 33 finalists. They rated the products on qualities including innovation, use of Georgia theme, market potential and flavor.

In addition to the grand prize, Goodson Pecans also won first place in the miscellaneous category.

Governor Nathan Deal, Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean and Director Sam Pardue congratulated the category and grand prize winners during Flavor of Georgia Day, part of Georgia Agriculture Awareness Week at the Georgia Freight Depot in Atlanta.

“We had over 125 products submitted this year and some of the toughest competition we’ve seen in the contest’s 12-year history,” said Sharon P. Kane, Flavor of Georgia contest coordinator. “The 33 products represented are truly the best of the best.”
 
For more information about Goodson Pecans, visit goodsonpecans.com.
 
The winners are listed below by prize name, product name, company name and town.
  • Grand Prize Winner and Miscellaneous Category: Honey Cinnamon Pecan Butter, Goodson Pecans, Leesburg
  • Finalists’ Choice Award and Honey Category: H.L. Franklin’s Healthy Honey Creamed Healthy, H.L. Franklin’s Healthy Honey, Statesboro
  • Barbecue Sauces: Lane’s BBQ Sorta White BBQ Sauce, Lane’s BBQ, Bethlehem
  • Beverages: Olympus Greek Mountain Blueberry Citrus Tea, Olympus Greek Mountain Teas, Lawrenceville
  • Confections: Brown Butter Crunch Gelato, Honeysuckle Gelato, Atlanta
  • Dairy Products: New World Chocolate Milk, Rock House Creamery, Newborn
  • Jams and Jellies: Wild Elderberry Pepper Jelly, Fairywood Thicket Farm, Fairburn
  • Meat and Seafood: Applewood Smoked Bacon, Pine Street Market, Avondale Estates 
  • Condiments and Salsas: Sourwood Balsamic Vinegar, Built by Bees, Atlanta
  • Sauces and Seasonings: Cajeta, Bootleg Farm, LLC, Springfield
  • Snack Foods: Sugar and Spice Cashews, High Cotton Company, Sandy Springs
Showcase events like the 2018 Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest help entrepreneurs spread the word about their products. Many participants have landed spots in regional and national grocery chains like Whole Foods, Ingles, Fresh Market, Earth Fare, Kroger and Harvey’s.
 
Category winners received an award and membership in the state Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown program, statewide notoriety and bragging rights. All winners and finalists earn the right to have their products stamped with the 2018 Flavor of Georgia logo. They also gain exposure to grocery buyers and food industry professionals who judge the final round of the contest.
 
The Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest is sponsored by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development in partnership with Gourmet Foods International, Georgia Center of Innovation for Agribusiness, the Office of the Governor, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Agribusiness Council.
 
The Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest is organized by the UGA CAES Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development with support from the Georgia Center of Innovation for Agribusiness, Nadine’s Wardenga Enterprises Inc., the Office of the Governor, Walton EMC, Gourmet Foods International, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Agribusiness Council.
 
For more information about the contest, visit www.flavorofga.com or follow @FlavorofGA on Twitter and Instagram.

(Merritt Melancon is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

GoodsonPecans
GoodsonPecans

UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean and Director Sam Pardue and Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black congratulate Drew, Melody and David Goodson with Governor Nathan Deal after they won the grand prize.

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UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean and Director Sam Pardue and Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black congratulate Drew, Melody and David Goodson with Governor Nathan Deal after they won the grand prize. Download Image
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