The Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) and Ohio Farm Bureau are sponsoring the Ohio Signature Food Contest, which showcases many local flavors and recipes ready for product development assistance.
Great homemade recipes often remain a staple enjoyed within close-knit groups of families and friends. But rarely does an item, such as a unique salad dressing or a delicious cookie, begin mass production for the public to experience. Few have the resources to make their creation a reality—until now.
This friendly competition helps encourage and foster additional business within the state by way of the food industry. Regardless of the stage of the concept whether just a recipe or to the point of packaging prototype, this is an opportunity to apply resources toward taking it to market.
Contestants submit a form outlining the basic details of their recipe and a general concept as to the market and business potential. Emphasis is placed on products integrating Ohio ingredients when possible. Finalists will be selected and food industry experts will evaluate each based on the viability of the product, commercialization potential, business strategy, marketability and overall appeal to the marketplace.
Finalists will be invited to present their business concept and food product to a panel of judges to determine the winners. The contest winner will receive technical and business development assistance from CIFT, which is essential for the advancement of a product into the marketplace, as well as production of the product to be used for consumer feedback. Depending on geographic proximity, additional resources may be available.
Production will be available at the Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen (NOCK) in Bowling Green. The NOCK is a nonprofit commercial facility that educates and advises new and growing businesses, provides access to a commercially licensed kitchen, networking opportunities with other similar entities and technical assistance.
Ohio Signature Food Contest
Deadline to submit the completed application is May 1 (only one product per applicant). Contact Paula Ray, small business coordinator, CIFT, at 419-535-6000, ext. 117 for more information, or obtain an application form along with rules/regulations at the CIFT website.