Top Food Products Chosen as University of Georgia’s 2020 Flavor of Georgia Finalists
Wednesday, March 4th, 2020
Judges have selected 30 products to compete in the second and final round of the University of Georgia’s annual Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest. Narrowed from a field of 117 products, the finalists will compete on April 7 in Athens with an awards ceremony following.
The contest is the state’s proving ground for small, upstart food companies as well as established products looking for recognition or new markets. This year’s finalists represent all corners of the state and the best of Georgia’s diverse culinary heritage.
"Year after year, winners tell me that the prestige of the Flavor of Georgia award opens doors for additional business opportunities, whether they are highlighting a product line, considering expanding into new variations, or launching a new product or company,” said Sharon P. Kane, contest coordinator and economist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ (CAES) Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development. “They enjoy meeting not only food industry representatives, but other food entrepreneurs, often sharing ideas or stories to help one another.”
Judges for the final round of the contest will include food brokers, grocery buyers and other food product experts. Entries are evaluated by category based on their Georgia theme, commercial appeal, taste, innovation and market potential. Contestants will provide samples to judges while pitching their products in a three-minute presentation. Winners will be named for each category, the overall grand prize, and a people’s choice award, which will be chosen by event attendees.
This year’s finalists are listed by product name, company and city.
Dusty Boot Cookshed BBQ Sauce, D.B. Cookshed, Lizella, Georgia
Southern Sweet Heat, Southbound Provisions, Kennesaw, Georgia
Strawberry Balsamic and Rosemary Barbecue Sauce, Aubs Company, Decatur, Georgia
Costa Rica Tarrazu Coffee, Grassroots Coffee Roasters, Thomasville, Georgia
Georgia Grey Black Tea, Thistle & Sprig Tea Company, Atlanta, Georgia
Ginger’s Bunkhouse Spicy Ginger Ale, Bunkhouse Beverages, Athens, Georgia
Condiments & Salsas:
Georgia Peach Balsamic Vinegar, A&A Alta Cucina Italia, Johns Creek, Georgia
Kiss of Heat, Argentina Gold Foods, Atlanta, Georgia
Wildflower Honey Vinegar with Smoky Serrano, Built By Bees, Atlanta, Georgia
Carrot Cake Cupcakes, RoHo Bakery, Decatur, Georgia
Cookie Butter Pecan Ice Cream, DaddyO’s Ice Cream, Sugar Hill, Georgia
Georgia Fried Peanut Cluster – Vanilla, Georgia Fried Peanut Company, Edison, Georgia
Honey & Related Products:
Expresso Whipped Honey, Built By Bees, Atlanta, Georgia
Fig and Walnut Dessert Topping, MarRay Foods, Atlanta, Georgia
Wildflower Honey, White Oak Pastures, Bluffton, Georgia
Jams & Jellies:
Apple Fig Pepper Jelly, Wisham Jellies, Tifton, Georgia
Orange Meyer Lemon Fruit Spread, Regina’s Farm Kitchen, Atlanta, Georgia
Organic Pepper Jelly, White Oak Pastures, Bluffton, Georgia
Meats & Seafood:
Smoked Chicken Sausage, Pine Street Market, Avondale Estates, Georgia
Wild Georgia Shrimp IQF (Individually Quick Frozen), Anchored Shrimp Co., Brunswick, Georgia
920 Pork Sausage, 920 Cattle & Co., Millen, Georgia
Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Butter, Georgia Grinders, Atlanta, Georgia
Lemon Cream Cheese, Bootleg Farm, Springfield, Georgia
Pecan Hickory Syrup, Sutton Mill Creek Syrup Co., Clarkesville, Georgia
Sauces & Seasonings:
Magic Dust Rub, Lane’s BBQ, Bethlehem, Georgia
Yard Bird Shake, Southbound Provisions, Kennesaw, Georgia
You Saucy Thing Soy Ginger Vidalia, Chinese Southern Belle, Smyrna, Georgia
Cheddar Rounds, Charleston & Church, Atlanta, Georgia
Spicy Pork Snack Stick, White Oak Pastures, Bluffton, Georgia
Vanilla Espresso Pecans, Goodson Pecans, Leesburg, Georgia
Showcasing Georgia’s Best
Flavor of Georgia is more than a contest, it helps promote and showcase the variety and success of food entrepreneurs in the state. Since 2007, more than 1,500 products have been entered into the contest, and participating businesses have experienced increased sales, business contacts, publicity and overall interest in participants’ products.
Past finalists report that participation in the contest boosts their annual sales by about 20% on average. Taking into account multiplier effects, it is estimated that increased sales from participating in Flavor of Georgia contribute to more than $5.6 million in annual revenue for the Georgia economy, according to a follow-up survey to previous finalists and winners from 2015-2019.
“Not only were these products sold in Georgia, sales have been reported in all 49 other states,” said Kane. Significant sales were reported throughout the southeast in Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, Florida and South Carolina.
The Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest is organized by the UGA CAES Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development with support from the Georgia Department of Agriculture and Georgia Agribusiness Council.