Value-added food producers need to complete the application so that two different jury panels can review the product. Only one panel, the “Packaging/Labeling” panel, will review your application online. Retailers, dieticians, ServSafe instructors, current or former Indiana State Health Department staffers, and others knowledgeable in packaging/labeling/food retailing comprise this panel. After reviewing your app, the group will meet and evaluate your sample in terms of how it is packaged and labeled, determining if it meets state health department guidelines and requirements and assessing how marketable it is in terms of its appearance and price points.
A second panel, one comprising of chefs, culinary instructors, dieticians, food editors, and others with sophisticated palates, blindly review the samples (out of their package and in small, nondescript “taste tests”) as part of the “Taste/Texture” panel. This panel references your application for details regarding ingredients (are some or all Indiana-sourced?). They also review the applications to learn the applicant’s story. How is the product made? Where is it made? Why is it made? The application tries to draw these answers out of food applicants. Tell your story as part of the application!
IMPORTANT: BEFORE FILLING OUT YOUR APPLICATION, PLEASE READ THE FOOD + BEVERAGE APPLICATION GUIDELINES.
The guidelines include information regarding what can and cannot be submitted, the four criteria used by the jury panel, and tips for a successful submission.