For 33 inventive finalists, the wait is over. University of Georgia’s (UGA) 2019 Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest has chosen a grand prize winner. Suzi Sheffield and Atlanta’s Beautiful Briny Sea took home the grand prize, as well as first place in the sauces and seasonings category. Her winning Gunpowder Finishing Salt is a tangy mixture of chipotle, black pepper, garlic, onion, sumac and Hawaiian volcanic salt.
The annual contest is conducted by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development and gives food businesses across the state the opportunity to showcase their products. Judges are grocery buyers and food industry experts who rate the competing foods on flavor, market potential and use of the Georgia theme. With this year’s crop of participants, the contest has attracted more than 1,400 entries from all over the state in the past 12 years.
Winning entries in the Flavor of Georgia contest have gone on to land shelf space in regional and national grocery chains like Kroger, Fresh Market and Whole Foods. Each category winner is given membership in the Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown program along with bragging rights and statewide notoriety. All winning products will be stamped with the 2019 Flavor of Georgia logo.
In addition to Beautiful Briny Sea, this year’s category winners are:
- People’s’ Choice Award: AubSauce, Aubs Company, Decatur
- Barbecue Sauces: Byne Blueberry Farms Inc., Blueberry Barbecue Sauce, Waynesboro
- Beverages: Montane Sparkling Spring Water, Grapefruit/Peach Flavor, Atlanta
- Confections: Pie Provisions, Georgia Blueberry Pie Filling, Kennesaw
- Dairy Products: Smith Family Dairy Farm, Silly Goat Cheese, Norman Park
- Honey and Related Products: Classic City Bee Company, Smoked Honey, Athens
- Jams and Jellies: Savy Confections, Black Cherry Pecan Jam, Fairburn
- Meat and Seafood: Pouch Pies, Chicken, Leek and Thyme Pie, Athens\Norcross
- Miscellaneous: Olive Orchards of Georgia Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Quitman
- Condiments and Salsas: Pine Street Market Bacon Jam, Avondale Estates
- Snack Foods: Hardy’s Peanuts Inc., Delicious Dill Pickle Party Peanuts, Hawkinsville
From left, UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean Sam Pardue congratulates Beautiful Briny Sea’s Suzy Sheffield and Holly Hollifield on their grand prize win at Flavor of Georgia 2019.
Photo provided by CAES.