Manitobans Invited to Enter Competitive New Food, Beverage Challenge: Struthers
Manitoba’s creative food producers, processors and individuals turned entrepreneurs are encouraged to showcase new dishes and food creations at this year’s Great Manitoba Food Fight, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Stan Struthers said today.
“The Great Manitoba Food Fight is an exciting opportunity to promote innovative, new taste-tempting cuisine or unique beverages that may have originated from the family’s treasured recipe or from the vivid imagination of a creative entrepreneur,” said Struthers. “The winners receive the opportunity to make their food products market ready and Manitobans get to witness the launch of tempting new taste treats.”
The one-day competition is a feature of the Capturing Opportunities event taking place April 22 to 23 in Brandon and is delivered by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI). The Great Manitoba Food Fight is held April 22 at the Keystone Centre.
Competitors pitch their product ideas and provide a sample to a panel of judges. First-, second- and third-place finalists receive awards valued at $15,000, $10,000 or $5,000 at Capturing Opportunities. The prize monies can be directed towards commercializing their innovative idea through research and development, training activities, relevant membership fees and/or market research, the minister said. Help from the Food Development Centre in Portage la Prairie or other Manitoba research facilities such as the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals or the University of Manitoba or other government financial programs is also available to recipients.
Additionally, finalists receive complimentary tickets to the Hydro Celebration Banquet sponsored by Manitoba Hydro. Each finalist will also receive a complimentary membership to the Manitoba Food Processor’s Association which facilitates access to a network of business development professionals who offer one-on-one support.
“This competition is an excellent opportunity for new and experienced Manitoba food and beverage creators to challenge themselves and demonstrate their product to a panel of expert judges,” said the minister. “Many fine Manitoba products, like Hemp Bliss, the world’s first certified-organic hemp milk, started as a great idea and are now recognized nationally and internationally. It’s exciting to know each entry has the potential to become the next taste sensation.”
Last year the competition was won by Colleen Dyck of Niverville with her innovative new ‘GORP Bar’ product. The GORP Bar is an all-natural endurance energy bar that has been specifically designed for athletes and active people. This new product will be appearing on store shelves in Manitoba in September.
The application deadline is March 30. Interested food entrepreneurs can visit http://www.capturingopportunities.ca/ for more details. Competitors in the Great Manitoba Food Fight 2010 are encouraged to connect with MAFRI staff for assistance in preparing their product and business for this competition.