The University of Georgia 2018 Flavor of Georgia contest winners were announced yesterday, giving consumers who support local food producers 11 more labels to stock up on.
Nabbing the grand prize was Goodson Pecans of Leesburg for its Honey Cinnamon Pecan Butter. Goodson Pecans co-owners David and Melody also walked away tops in the miscellaneous category for their pecan butter.
Goodson Pecans’s Honey Cinnamon Pecan Butter was selected from among 33 finalists by a judging panel comprised of food industry experts and grocery buyers. Products were rated on innovation, use of Georgia theme, market potential and flavor.
The contest, now in its twelfth year, is conducted by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development and provides food businesses in the state an opportunity to showcase their new products. The event was held at the Georgia Freight Depot in Atlanta.
Taking the Finalists’ Choice Award as well as best in the honey category was Statesboro-based H.L. Franklin’s for its Healthy Honey Creamed Honey.
Among barbecue sauces, Lane’s BBQ of Bethlehem impressed judges with its Sorta White BBQ Sauce, while Atlanta-based Built by Bees won in the condiments and salsa category for its Sourwood Balsamic Vinegar. Tops among sauces and seasonings was Bootleg Farm’s Cateja, a Mexican caramel sauce made with the goat milk from its dairy farm in Springfield. The dairy products winner was New World Chocolate Milk, a product by Rock House Creamery of Newborn.
Food and beverage producers from greater Atlanta won in the remaining categories. Pine Street Market of Avondale Estates was named best in the meat and seafood category for its Applewood Smoked Bacon. Fairywood Thicket Farm of Fairburn won in the jams and jellies category for its Wild Elderberry Pepper Jelly. The confections winner was Atlanta-based Honeysuckle Gelato for its Brown Butter Crunch Gelato while the Sugar and Spice Cashews from High Cotton Company of Sandy Springs were named the winning snack food. Finally, Olympus Greek Mountain Teas of Lawrenceville drank success in the beverage category with its Olympus Greek Mountain Blueberry Citrus Tea.
“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.
Category winners received an award and membership in the state Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown program. All winners and finalists earn the right to have their products stamped with the 2018 Flavor of Georgia logo.
The Flavor of Georgia 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.