Published on 03/19/19

Atlanta’s Beautiful Briny Sea awarded grand prize in UGA’s Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest

By Merritt Melancon

Suzi Sheffield and Atlanta’s Beautiful Briny Sea have taken the grand prize at the University of Georgia’s 2019 Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest with their Gunpowder Finishing Salt, a tangy mix of Hawaiian volcanic salt, chipotle, black pepper, garlic, onion, and sumac. 

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 Beautiful Briny Sea 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, Beautiful Briny Sea also won first place in the Sauces and Seasonings category.

UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean and Director Sam Pardue congratulated the category and grand prize winners on March 19 as part of Georgia Agriculture Awareness Week at the Georgia Freight Depot in Atlanta.

In just over a decade, the Flavor of Georgia has had more than 1,400 entries from every corner of the state.

“These small starts and big dreams have become big business. Flavor of Georgia winning products are now found not just around the Southeast, but across the nation as well,” Dean Pardue told the Flavor of Georgia awards audience.

“They are a critical part of the innovative work that helps the state’s (food and fiber) industry employ more than 850,000 people in Georgia each year – that’s a little over 14 percent of the state’s total workforce.”

For more information about Beautiful Briny Sea, visit

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

  • People’s Choice Award: AubSauce, Aubs Company, Decatur
  • Barbecue Sauces: Byne Blueberry Farms Inc., Blueberry Barbecue Sauce, Waynesboro
  • Beverages: Montane Sparkling Spring Water, Grapefruit/Peach Flavor
  • Confections: Pie Provisions, Georgia Blueberry Pie Filling, Kennesaw
  • Dairy Products: Smith Family Dairy Farm, Silly Goat Cheese, Norman Park
  • Honey and Related Products: Classic City Bee Company, Smoked Honey, Athens
  • Jams and Jellies: Savy Confections, Black Cherry Pecan Jam, Fairburn
  • Meat and Seafood: Pouch Pies, Chicken, Leek and Thyme Pie, Athens \Norcross
  • Miscellaneous: Olive Orchards of Georgia Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Quitman
  • Condiments and Salsas: Pine Street Market Bacon Jam, Avondale Estates
  • Sauces and Seasonings: Beautiful Briny Sea, Gunpowder Finishing Salt, Atlanta
  • Snack Foods: Hardy’s Peanuts Inc., Delicious Dill Pickle Party Peanuts, Hawkinsville


Showcase events like the 2019 Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest 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 2019 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 organized by the UGA CAES Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development with support from the Office of the Georgia Governor, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Grown, Gourmet Foods International, the Georgia Agribusiness Council, Nadine’s Classic Cuisine and Georgia CEO.

For more information about the contest, visit or follow @FlavorofGA on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

Merritt Melancon is a public relations manager with UGA's Terry College of Business and previously served as a public relations coordinator for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Extension.

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