36 Finalists Advance in 2024 Flavor of Georgia Contest

Lillian Dickens

Thursday, March 21st, 2024

Working their way through 139 hopeful food products organized in colorful rows, a panel of judges selected 36 finalists for the 2024 Flavor of Georgia food product contest to be held in downtown Athens on April 4.

Organized by the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), the first round of the annual competition was held at Gourmet Foods International in Decatur last month. The popular contest, a CAES Signature Event, features market-ready products from small businesses across the state of Georgia.

Maggie Brown, Signature Events coordinator for CAES, and Joseph Harrison, Extension program coordinator for the Department of Food Science and Technology(FST), are dedicated to showcasing this year’s contestants.

“A successful Flavor of Georgia is like a great recipe: Add amazing products from incredible Georgia businesses. Then, add a hardworking planning committee. Mix in support from CAES, FST, and Signature Event sponsors. Drizzle in fantastic judges. Last, but certainly not least, throw in a dash of creativity from everyone involved. When combined, we have something truly flavorful to offer our state,” Harrison said.

Since its inception, more than 1,700 products have been entered in the competition, said Brown.

“This is my first full year being involved with Flavor of Georgia and it’s been a great experience,” she added. “This contest demonstrates just how diverse and creative Georgians can be, and it’s so interesting to see the ideas the contestants come up with.”

The final round

The final round of Flavor of Georgia will take place at 4 p.m. April 4 at The Classic Center. Finalists will gather to network with other finalists and participate in a full day of judging, including a Shark Tank-style panel of judges who will hear their product pitches.

Products are judged based on flavor, texture and ingredient profile. Judges also consider marketability, how the product appeals to the consumer and how well the product represents Georgia.

The Flavor of Georgia award ceremony and reception is open to the public. Attendees will get to sample the product category finalists before judges announce winners from each category and choose the overall contest winner.

2024 Flavor of Georgia finalists

This year’s finalists are listed by product name, company and hometown within the 12 competition categories. Each product comes from a company based in Georgia.

Baked Goods

  • Salty Toffee Cookies by The New Old-Standard Baking Company in Savannah

  • Banana Pudding Cheesecake by Sweet to the T Cheesecakes in Newnan

  • Peach Cobbler Kit by Pearson Farm in Fort Valley

Barbecue Sauces

  • Buzzy's BBQ Sauce by Built by Bees in Atlanta

  • 1946 Sugar Free BBQ Sauce by Braswell's Food Company in Statesboro

  • Richard's Mustard BBQ Sauce by OKEE Foods in Homerville


  • Masala Tea by Jar Masala in Snellville

  • PECHES Georgia Peach Soda by New Creation Soda Works in Bishop

  • Chai Concentrate by The Chai Box in Marietta

Condiments, Sauces and Seasonings

  • Habeeb's Gourmet Sauces Roasted Garlic and Herb Salad Dressing by Kay's Cookery in Peachtree Corners

  • Raspberry Reduction by EM Sauces and More in Peachtree City

  • Duke's Steak Rub by ResQue Rubs in Cumming


  • Sweet Orange Pecans by Goodson Pecans in Leesburg

  • Snickerdoodle Toffee by Maybird Confections in Alpharetta

  • Peach Martini Gourmet Lollipop by Good Lolli in Perry

Dairy Products

  • Garlic Dill Chevre by The Cheese Plant at Hidden Creek Farm in Blairsville

  • Bacon French Onion Dip by Jensen Reserve in Loganville

  • Pimento Cheese by FarmHouse PoundCakes Bakery & Cafe in Cornelia

Honey and Syrups

  • Linda's Favorite Raw Honey by Byne Blueberry Farms Inc. in Waynesboro

  • Garlic Hot Honey by Noble Honey Company in Dallas

Jams and Jellies

  • Blue Satsuma Jam by Anna's Garden in Fitzgerald

  • Meyer Lemon Blood Orange Pepper Jelly by Braswell Food Company in Statesboro

  • Fire! Pepper Jelly by Wisham Jellies in Tifton

Meats and Seafood

  • Little Lonzina by Jensen Reserve in Loganville

  • Bell Pepper and Onion Smoked Sausage by Sunset Farm Foods in Valdosta

  • Lawton's Chicken Sausage by Lawton Sausage Company in Lithonia


  • Toasted Pecan Fudge Butter by Goodson Pecans in Leesburg

  • Pecan Oil by Peacock Orchards in Woodstock

  • Plant-Based Pasta Sauce by Chef Tiffany Moore Gourmet Foods in Atlanta

Pickled Vegetables, Relish and Salsas

  • Smoke Rings by Point Blank Pepper Company in Marietta

  • The Banana Pickle by Evergreen and Market in Atlanta

  • Pickled Okra by Bramble in Columbus

Snack Foods

  • Cherry Pistachio Granola by FarmHouse PoundCakes Bakery & Cafe in Cornelia

  • Sea Turtle Pecan Caramel Popcorn by Golden Isles Gourmet Popcorn in Brunswick

  • Buffalo Ranch Popcorn by Corks Popcorn in Statesboro

“The Flavor of Georgia contest allows the Department of Food Science and Technology to engage and promote food entrepreneurs in Georgia,” said Manpreet Singh, food science and technology department head. “Experts from our department work with these food entrepreneurs in understanding food ingredients, product profiles and other key aspects of developing new products. Through this CAES Signature Event, the department and its Extension faculty provide a platform for entrepreneurs to showcase their innovations in food.” 

To learn more and to register to attend the April 4 event, visit the Flavor of Georgia website at flavorofgeorgia.caes.uga.edu.