Blueberry barbecue sauce. Gunpowder finishing salt. Fig bourbon jam. Pecan-peanut butter. These are a few of the unique flavors from every corner of Georgia that have vied for top prizes in past Flavor of Georgia contests. Now registration is open to hopeful contestants for the 2022 Flavor of Georgia contest to be held April 21 in Athens.
Held at the Classic Center, Flavor of Georgia helps Georgia food entrepreneurs launch new products and garners increased publicity and sales for products already on the market. From rural farmers to urban businesses, successful and talented food artisans have emerged from all over the state with delicacies created from Georgia’s abundant agricultural products.
More than 1,500 products have been entered into the contest since it began in 2007.
Registration is now open
Registration for the 2022 contest, coordinated by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) Department of Food Science and Technology and UGA Cooperative Extension, is now open and closes at 5 p.m. Feb. 15. Contest rules and product guidelines are available to help prepare applicants for registration.
“The Department of Food Science and Technology in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UGA is excited to organize the Flavor of Georgia competition and we look forward to the opportunity to showcase food entrepreneurs in Georgia who we have the privilege of supporting through Extension,” said department head Manpreet Singh and assistant professor Laurel Dunn in a joint statement.
Finalists will be announced to contestants via email on March 16, with the final round of judging taking place in Athens on April 21 ahead of the 6 p.m. awards ceremony.
More than the grand prize
The registration fee is $100 per product and all entries are featured in the annual product directory, which is seen by leading food industry buyers and media outlets.
Finalists will receive personalized press releases, the use of the Flavor of Georgia logo on their label and promotional materials, and the opportunity to present their product to a panel of food industry experts at the April 21 event. Finalists also receive a one-year Georgia Grown membership, compliments of the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
The grand prize winner will be awarded an exhibit space for up to two registrants at the Georgia Food Industry Association Annual Convention (a $1,500 value) and three consultation sessions from the UGA Food Product Innovation and Commercialization Center (FoodPIC) on product or process design, ingredient functionality, sensory testing or shelf-life determination (a $1,500 value).
Savory or sweet? A category for every flavor
With 11 categories to choose from, there is an opportunity to shine for every flavor Georgia has to offer. The 2022 competition categories are: barbecue sauces, beverages, condiments and salsas, confections, honey and related products, jams and jellies, meats and seafood, miscellaneous, sauces and seasonings, and snack foods.
Flavor of Georgia is one of three CAES Signature Events. These special events showcase outstanding faculty contributions, foster community and industry collaboration, and spotlight the college’s impact on a global scale.