TOLEDO, Ohio – Countless well known food products are made in Ohio, including Dannon yogurt,Campbell’s Soup, Pierre’s Ice Cream, Heinz ketchup, Keebler cookies, Smucker’s jellies and jams, and Chex cereals, to name just a few. All started once as a simple idea. Ideas such as these are right around the corner due to the Southwest Ohio Food Product Development Contest. The Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) is sponsoring the contest which showcases many local flavors and recipes ready for actual product development.
Great homemade recipes often remain a staple item enjoyed within close-knit groups of families and friends. Often these cherished recipes are passed down generation-to-generation and enjoyed throughout the year. But rarely does an item, such as a unique salad dressing or a delicious cookie, begin mass production for the general public to experience. Few have the resources tomake their creation a reality – until now.
“Interest in local food products has been on an upward trend for years,” said Rebecca A. Singer, vice president and director of agricultural programs, CIFT. “An entrepreneur can take a recipe, prepare it for the marketplace, which can in turn help fuel local economic activity with the hope of enhanced job creation down the road. The Southwest Ohio Food Product Development Contest is perfectly timed to show the depth of many new, innovative food products from the region.”
Contestants will submit a form outlining the basic details of their recipe, and food industry experts will judge each based on the viability of the product, commercialization potential, business strategy, marketability and overall appeal to the marketplace. The contest winner will receive technical and business development assistance which is essential for the advancement of a product into the marketplace, as well as production of product to be used for consumer feedback.
Following this education, product production will take place at the Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen (NOCK), located at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation in Bowling Green, Ohio. 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.
Deadline to submit the completed application is Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 (only one product per applicant). Obtain an application form along with rules/regulations at ciftinnovation.org. Contact Paula Ray, small business coordinator, CIFT, at 419-535-6000, ext. 117 for more information.
About the Center for Innovative Food Technology
The Center for Innovative Food Technology is a developer and provider of technical innovations and solutions for the food processing, agribusiness and agricultural sectors of the economy in our region, our state and beyond. These innovations and solutions are developed in order to enhance the economic performance of the food processing and agricultural sectors. More information is available at ciftinnovation.org.