Hundreds of creative cranberry recipe and décor entries were received in the Cranberry Marketing Committee’s first-ever Cranberry Friendsgiving Photo Contest, but only one social media maven brought home the prize. Laura Podlich (@lpodlich) of Madison, WI, was declared the $2,000 grand prize winner for her unique cranberry apple galette submission.
Cranberries have long had a place at the Thanksgiving table, but America’s Original Superfruit® is also a star at any Friendsgiving feast – a millennial-driven trend of celebrating with close friends and family either on Thanksgiving or the weeks before or after. In honor of this new American tradition, the Cranberry Marketing Committee (CMC) launched the 2015 Cranberry Friendsgiving Photo Contest inviting millennials to feature the versatility of cranberries during their Friendsgiving festivities. From October 26, 2015 through December 14, 2015, millennials were asked to share their cranberry creations on social media with the hashtag #FriendsgivingCranberryContest, and then submit their entries on CranberryFriendsgiving.com, for a chance to win the grand prize of $2,000 toward their next dinner party.
Submissions were judged based on taste appeal or décor attractiveness, originality, creativity and social media value and Podlich’s entry came out on top. Podlich, founder of Beauty & the Beard, a lifestyle blog featuring DIY projects, recipes, holiday guides and snippets of life in the Midwest, created a unique cranberry apple galette for her Friendsgiving feast.
“I love using cranberries in all parts of the meal,” said Podlich. “My favorite way to use cranberries at Friendsgiving is to freeze a bunch of them and put them in whatever cocktails I end up serving – they are festive, useful, and delicious. Besides that, since Wisconsin is the leading producer of cranberries in the United States, I wanted to represent my state. I love cooking with cranberries because of their tart pop; they can cut through the sweetest cocktails and balance the richness in any dessert.”
The contest yielded hundreds of entries including sweet and savory cranberry recipes, as well as inventive cranberry décor from Friendsgiving-celebrators nationwide. Photo submissions ranged from cranberry stuffed squash and cranberry mimosas, to white chocolate cranberry pound cake and handcrafted cranberry place settings.
“We were very excited to see the creativity behind the delicious cranberry recipes and beautiful decorations we received from millennials across the nation,” said Michelle Hogan, executive director of the Cranberry Marketing Committee. “The response was overwhelming and we look forward to making this an annual tradition.”