Published on 03/22/17

Georgia Grinders Pecan Butter takes top prize at UGA's 2017 Flavor of Georgia Contest

By Merritt Melancon

 Jaime and Harry Foster, owners of Georgia Grinders Nut Butters, walked away with the grand prize from the University of Georgia’s 2017 Flavor of Georgia Contest for their Georgia Grinders Pecan Butter.

The annual contest, conducted by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, is a chance for food businesses to showcase their new products.

A team of food industry experts and grocery buyers chose Georgia Grinders Pecan Butter as the best of 33 finalists. They rated the products on qualities including innovation, use of Georgia theme, market potential and flavor.

In addition to the grand prize, Georgia Grinders also won first place in the Miscellaneous Products category.

Governor Nathan Deal, Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean and Director Sam Pardue congratulated the category and grand prize winners at UGA’s Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest’s grand finale at the Georgia Freight Depot in Atlanta.

“We had 117 products submitted this year and some of the toughest competition we’ve seen in the contest’s 11-year history. These 33 products represented are truly the best of the best,” said Sharon P. Kane, Flavor of Georgia contest coordinator. “The legacy of excellence and camaraderie that our Flavor of Georgia finalists and winners have achieved continues to be remarkable.”

For more information about Georgia Grinders Pecan Butter, visit

The winners are listed below by prize name, product name, company name, company representatives and town.

  • Grand Prize Winner: Georgia Grinders Pecan Butter, Georgia Grinders Premium Nut Butters, Chamblee
  • People's Choice Award: Carroll’s Vidalia Onion and Cheese Smoked Sausage, Carroll’s Sausage & Meats Inc., Ashburn
  • Barbecue Sauces: Wicked Que Georgia Vinegar Sauce, Neptune Industries Inc., Watkinsville
  • Beverages: Worryfree Tea, Biron Herbal Teas, Macon
  • Condiments and Sauces: Midland Ghost White Pepper Sauce, 4Saucerers, Columbus
  • Confections: Chocolate Covered Fried Peanut Cluster, West Foods Inc., Edison
  • Dairy or Related Products: Revolution Gelato Chocolate Fantasy, Revolution Gelato LLC, Atlanta
  • Honey and Related: Honey Pecan Crunch, Hahira Honey House, Stockton
  • Jams and Jellies: Satsuma Orange Pepper Marmalade, Fairywood Thicket Farm, Fairburn
  • Meat and Seafood: Carroll’s Vidalia Onion and Cheese Smoked Sausage, Carroll’s Sausage & Meats Inc., Ashburn
  • Miscellaneous: Georgia Grinders Pecan Butter, Georgia Grinders Premium Nut Butters, Chamblee
  • Sauces and Seasonings: Campfire Salt, Beautiful Briny Sea, Atlanta
  • Snack Foods: Toasted Sriracha Pecans, Goodson Pecans LLC, Leesburg

Showcase events like the 2017 Flavor of Georgia competition help entrepreneurs spread the word about their products. Many participants have landed spots in regional and national grocery chains like Whole Foods, Ingles, Fresh Market, Earth Fare, Kroger and Harvey’s.

Category winners received an award and membership in the state Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown program, statewide notoriety and bragging rights. All winners and finalists earn the right to have their products stamped with the 2016 Flavor of Georgia logo. They also gain exposure to grocery buyers and food industry professionals who judge the final round of the contest.

The Flavor of Georgia food product 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, Walton EMC, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Agribusiness Council.

More information about this year’s contest can be found at or by following @FlavorofGA on Twitter. For photos of the event, visit

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