Top Food Products Chosen as University of Georgia’s 2020 Flavor of Georgia Finalists

Madison Thornhill

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.

Barbecue Sauces:

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

Snack Foods:

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.