ATHENS — Hart Dairy has won the grand prize in the 2022 Flavor of Georgia Culinary Competition for its pasture-raised, grass-fed 365 Days A Year Whole Chocolate Milk.
Hart Dairy is an ethical dairy company based in Waynesboro and run by Tim Connell and Richard Watson. Their cows are pasture raised, never confined and grass fed 365 days a year. Agribusiness promotes its chocolate milk not just as a treat for the whole family, but as a beneficial post-workout beverage due to the milk’s protein and carbohydrate content.
Hart Dairy promises milk that is nutritionally better, better for the environment and better for animals.
“We are thrilled to be among so many wonderful finalists,” said Mandy Schulz, Marketing Director at Hart Dairy. While our pasture-raised, grass-fed 365-day-a-year milk is spread across the country, it all starts in Georgia, where our farms use regenerative farming systems, which support the environment, and where our herd is certified cruelty-free. It is important that we tell this story.
Hart Dairy was among 32 finalists out of 148 registered in the first round of judging on March 11. Contest judges include food brokers, grocery shoppers and other food experts. Entries are categorized based on Georgian theme, marketability, taste, innovation and market potential.
“The feedback we received today from UGA vendors, students, alumni and faculty has been tremendous,” Schulz said. “Winning is nice too, of course, but really it’s letting everyone know that dairy can be made responsibly and affordably. It’s time to take care of your milk.
Flavor of Georgia, a UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences flagship event hosted by the Department of Food Science and Technology, has helped launch small food start-ups while gaining recognition in new markets for brands established.
“Congratulations to all of our 2022 winners and thank you to all of our volunteers, faculty and staff for supporting this event and making it a major success,” FST Department Head and Professor Manpreet Singh said in a press release. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work not only with the winners, but with all of the contestants who entered, helping them with product development, getting their products ready for market, and helping them through the through the Department of Food Science and Technology at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
The 2022 Flavor of Georgia winners, ranked by company, product name and city in the 11 competition categories (all entries are from Georgia-based companies):
BBQ sauces: Brooksmade Gourmet Foods Inc., Habanero Soulful Sauce, Alpharetta
Drinks: Byne Blueberry Farms, Blueberry Cider, Waynesboro
Condiments and salsas: Pride Road LLC, Peach Hibiscus Chutney, Lithonia
Confectionery: Maybird Confections, White Gold Pecan Toffee, Alpharetta
Dairy and Related: Hart Dairy, Pasture Raised and Grass Fed 365 Days a Year, Whole Chocolate Milk, Alpharetta
Honey and related products: Savannah Bee Company, Hot Honey, Savannah
Jams and Jellies: We Bee Jammin’ LLC, Strawberry Lemonade Marmalade, Pooler
Meat and Seafood: White Oak Pasture, Pasture Pork Bacon, Bluffton
Miscellaneous: Sutton Mill Creek Syrup Co., Spiced Apple Cider Hickory Syrup, Clarkesville
Sauces and seasonings: Komodo sauces, Komodo Black, Kennesaw
Snacks: Mokipops LLC, Mokipops Basil Lemonade Frozen Fruit Bar Popsicle, Atlanta
A People’s Choice Award, chosen by event attendees, was awarded to HIBO LLC for their HIBO Classic Hibiscus Superdrink + Peach.
While some of this year’s winners were new to the Georgia flavor, others have a long track record of contest success.
White Oak Pastures won the Honey and Related Products category and was a finalist in the Jams and Jellies and Snacks categories in 2020. The company was also a finalist in the Meats and Seafood category in 2015, 2016 and 2018 and was won both the meat category and the grand prize in 2008.
Sutton Mill Creek Syrup Co. was a finalist in the Miscellaneous category in 2020. Byne Blueberry Farms won BBQ Sauces in 2019. They also won for Confectionery in 2012, Snacks in 2013, and Beverages in 2014.
Pride Road was a finalist in Jams and Jellies in 2018. Savannah Bee Company won the Barbecue and Hot Sauces award in 2012. They also won the Natural and Organic Products award in 2007 and 2008 and the grand prize in 2010.
Each Flavor of Georgia contest entry is featured in the print and digital product directory, including professional photography and a brief preview, which is seen by major food industry buyers and the media. The 32 finalists received a personalized press release, use of the Flavor of Georgia finalist logo on their label and promotional materials, and the opportunity to pitch their product to a panel of food industry experts during final judging. . Finalists also received a one-year membership in Georgia Grown, courtesy of the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
The grand prize winner received exhibit space at the Georgia Food Industry Association annual convention (a $1,500 value) and three UGA Food Product Innovation and Commercialization Center consultation sessions on product or process design , ingredient functionality, sensory testing or shelf life. determination (a value of $1,500).
In his comments at the awards ceremony, CAES Dean and Director Nick T. Place said Flavor of Georgia is an opportunity for competitors to embark on improving their end products and their business plans during the competition itself and to network with other UGA experts. .
“The University of Georgia Innovation District is one of the resources that contestants can connect to while at Flavor of Georgia,” Place said. “With experts in business, entrepreneurship, small business and marketing, the Innovation District is one of the most effective resources available to small business owners. CAES is proud to partner with the UGA on initiatives like these to see Georgia-based businesses thrive.
“At the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, we place a high value on innovation and entrepreneurship. We recognize that without these two elements, it is unlikely that we will succeed in advancing agriculture and the environment in the future. I firmly believe that Flavor of Georgia is a shining example of what happens when innovation and entrepreneurship come together in the food industry.
To learn more about the contest, visit flavorofgeorgia.caes.uga.edu.