Rules and regulations for “The Elegant Spice Awards” Best crafted Hot Sauce Competition

These rules and regulations are subject to change as we curate our contest and edit our language.

1.     Eligibility Requirements-Void where prohibited by law. Be sure to read these rules and regulations carefully and thoroughly. All entrants must be 18 years of age or older. All entries must be produced in a professional, inspected food facility. All entries must be correctly canned and sealed according to standard food and health safety procedures.  All entrants must be certified professional manufacturers, following all FDA or Home (origin) Country regulations and Better Process Control practices designated for consumer mass production by a certified kitchen, and/or co-packer. All products must be shelf stable and have no requirements for refrigeration prior to opening. Labels must meet FDA or Home (origin) Country guidelines. All products must be labeled properly and packaged for resale. All nutritional facts, nutritional panels and ingredients list must be in full compliance of FDA and Better Process Authorities requirements.

No “home packed” products may be entered. No homemade, amateur or experimental sauces will be accepted. If your entry product does not meet and comply with the stated requirements in this document (above), you will be disqualified, your product will be deemed ineligible, and your product entry will be disposed of. You will be promptly informed in full detail if this happens. If your entry is not certified or produced in a regulated facility in compliance with all health and low acid and acidified canning laws and shelf stabile practices, your product will be destroyed and no refunds will be issued (Thank you for the free money)

Entry form must be filled out completely.

Contest management reserves the right to discard and disqualify any entries that are not properly canned or sealed, according to food and health safety procedures.


2.     GEOGRAPHICAL RELEVANCE-This contest is open to North American sauce producing companies only (The United States of America, it’s territories and Canada.)


3.     ENTRY CRITERIA AND PAYMENT- To enter The 2019 Elegant Spice Award, please fill out the entry form. Pay your entrance fee. Submit two (2) samples of your product and the accompanying paperwork. And hopefully you win all the loot. We keep it as simple as possible.

All entry fees go towards prize packages, event overhead, labor cost and traveling judges accommodations.


Two (2) bottle samples of each product must be sent for consideration. These two (2) bottle samples have to be at least five (5) ounces by weight/volume. A single company can enter as many SKU’s (sauce styles/branded products) as they have available. Each SKU (sauce style/branded products) counts as one (1) entry and an entry fee must be paid per entry.

No capsicum extracts or sauces made with extracts will be considered, only the best, honestly produced sauces will be considered.


 To be considered eligible all entry products must be shipped along with a completed entry form if not filled out online and full payment of fees if not paid online. Fees not paid online can be sent by mail. We accept company checks, personal checks, certified checks and bank to bank transfers via Zelle ( Other payment options are being considered. Checks should be made out to (Ground-Up Flavor Company LLC. All entry fees, entry products and required documents must be received by the entry deadline (October 1st 2019) to be considered eligible. Entry forms must be filled out completely and submitted online or a hard copy must be mailed with product. A certificate of inspection is required to be submitted along with your entry. A copy of your canning license or federal registration is required to be submitted upon entry of the contest. If your product is processed by another party you must submit a copy of your manufacturer’s license or registration. A process sheet is to be submitted along with your entry that includes the process date, batch# and lot#.


All electronic credit card and debit card payments will be conducted through our website and processed by a secured third party finance company, we will not be privy to any of your payment information and you will not be required to send us any of your credit card information in any form. We want to be sure that your information is and remains secure. We take your financial security and your privacy seriously, this is why have removed ourselves from at least one portion of the transaction process.


All product entries and accompanying documents should be sent/mailed/shipped to:

The Elegant Spice Awards

602 Hammett Drive

Decatur, Georgia 30032


4.     REFUNDS-Refunds will be issued only in the event of our negligence or proven careless package handling by a source other than you that results in damage or destruction to your entry package. There will be no refunds for any other occurrence. If there are any questions about these rules and regulations, please contact contest management/contest administrator ( before entering contest.


5.     PRIZES- The 2019 Elegant Spice Awards Grand prize is $3000.00, a 3-D holographic, laser etched, super sexy crystal award trophy and a full page advertisement in one (1) national culinary food publication (The Local Palate) and one (1) local (city or state) publication (print or digital) of your choice. The winning entrant will be notified by phone, electronic communique´, physical letter, telepathy, seanse´, and or carrier pigeon. Cash prize will be paid promptly after acknowledging winning entrant. These announcements will take place on October 10, 2019.


 The full-page ad will be in the December and January issue of (The Local Palate) just in time for the holidays. The crystal, 3-d, holographic, laser etched, super sexy award trophy will be delivered after the winner has been chosen and the agreed upon custom design work has been applied (about 1-4 weeks). The base trophy is provided by Crystal-D and the design work will be performed through Suburban Custom Awards located here in Decatur, Georgia. Winning entrant agrees to allow the contest manager to use their product name, company name, images and logos for all promotional purposes.

The winner of The 2019 Elegant Spice Awards is final and there will be no do overs or returned product if you did not win. Unless you really, really want half used bottles sent back to you. You do not have to be present to win. Cash prize will be delivered to the winning entrant however the winning entrant decides they wish to receive payment. This interaction will be between the contest manager and the winning entrant solely. The winning entrant is required to report all winnings over $600.00 to their State and Federal governing bodies. Winning entrant will be issued a 1099 form by the contest management in compliance of Georgia gaming laws. An affidavit of eligibility and a liability and publicity release will be issued for your signature. All tax and reporting of monetary winnings are the sole responsibility of the winning entrant. Ground-Up Flavor Company, LLC and The Elegant Spice Awards will take no responsibility for the winning entrants tax obligations.


6.     JUDGING CRITERIA-All product judging will be conducted under the strictest of standards using fair, impartial and blind judging methods. The judging panel will be made up of food industry professionals, culinary instructors, restaurant owners, food producers, house wives, wine enthusiast, fair weather travelers, spice lovers, bicyclist, unicyclist, lyrical gymnast, song writers, song singers, song listeners, old lady gardeners, sassy scientists, widowers, farmers, boomerang victims, choke artist, slam dunkers, famous people, people who want to be famous, people who wish they were not famous, burger lovers, sausage stuffers, lamb basters, goat cheese makers, really every walk of life…..  Any tasting card notes or judges score inquiries will gladly be addressed and copies will be issued on request at no cost to you. We think it is fair to see how your product that you worked so hard to produce faired against the competition. The judges will be quizzed and versed on the judging parameters and will be held to that high accountability standard. If they are not able, they will be excused.

7.     SCORING-All product sampling will be conducted under the strictest of standards, using fair, impartial and blind judging tasting methods. There will be the same total amount of judges per 100 entries. As to not burn out the palates of our esteemed guest. The total number of judges is dependent on how many entries are registered successfully. Each sauce entry is judged in a blind tasting using a sealed nondescript, numbered cup. Judges are not allowed to see any indicator of brand, owner, manufacturer or co-packer of product. Each entry is scored on merits of taste (flavor), versatility (pairing), texture (mouth feel), appearance, balance (flavor to heat), aroma and overall impressions. Judges will use a numbered ranking system from 1-10 (decimals(.5) will be considered) to assess each sauce entry and the final score will be added together for the total impression by each judge. Tasting cards and notes will be required for all judges. All tasting and impression notes will be recorded and made available by the contest managers to all entrants upon request. Full transparency. All products will be tasted by the same number of judges. The final score is FINAL and cannot be disputed. All the judge’s decisions are the judge’s decisions and will not be amended and in no way reflect the opinions of Ground-Up Flavor Company LLC or The Elegant Spice Awards staff. These scores are a collective of the judges tallies, the judges combined scores are the final scores. There will be honorable mentions of the 2nd to 10th place score finishers.


8.     DISCLAIMER-All shipped products must be packed and wrapped with care and caution. We will not be responsible for any lost, stolen , broken, ill-fitted, destroyed, mangled, crushed, exploded, popped or sandwiched entrant products and no refunds will be issued for any of those claims. An inquiry will be launched on your (the aggrieved entrant’s) behalf. If fault is truly directed toward another party, a refund will be offered or a complimentary packing and shipping alternative if you choose to continue in the contest.


The judges scores are final and conclusive. The decision of the judges are final and will not be debated, amended or course corrected. These total scores are binding and we, the contest managers will respect these final decisions/scores. We expect all contestants to do the same. Hey, it is a winner take all contest; if your sauce is truly the best, it will win, if not, it won’t.

 Lovestuff Five Pepper Sauce® or any products produced by Ground-Up Flavor Company LLC, past or present are automatically unfit and ineligible to be included in this contest. Any affiliates, employees, associates, friends, loved ones, or collaborators of Ground-Up Flavor Company LLC are deemed wicked and are ineligible for entry in this contest/competition. This includes positions on the judging panels or any other influential position associated with The Elegant Spice Awards. Any purchase of products from Ground-Up Flavor Company LLC does not enhance your chance of winning. No endorsement of Ground-Up Flavor Company LLC or it’s products or services will enhance a chance of winning. No monetary offerings, no social media endorsement or unsolicited promotion of Ground-Up Flavor Company LLC, it’s products or services will enhance a chance of winning. In fact, any unwelcome or obvious attempts to influence this contest in any way will result in an immediate disqualification and you will be ousted to the other contestants/entrants and you will be shaved and sterilized.


These contest rules have been established to promote full transparency, to expedite the process, to stand by the final decisions and to keep this contest as fair and unbiased as possible. We reserve the right to alter or amend these rules as necessity dictates. In any event the judges have no say so what so ever how we, the contest managers curate the rules and we, the contest managers have absolutely no say so in how judges offer/render their scores

12.  OVERVIEW-The The Elegant Spice Awards is a winner take all competition where the prize money, advertisement, and the award trophy will be presented to one winner and one winner only. This is a determination of the best tasting, populous pleasing, most versatile sauce in our industry. The tasting panel will be made up of over 30 people (bios available) that cover the hot sauce industry, restaurant industry, everyday life, beverage brokers, event planners, beer tasters, spirit, wine and food production, fashion, hair styling, literary industries, food writers, chefs, hot sauce enthusiasts, bloggers, life style writers and experts, etc. As unbiased as we can get covering as many walks of life as possible to insure that we have an extremely diverse group of tasters to truly choose the best of the best. If your sauce doesn’t appease a person who is not a hot sauce lover, then you can’t possibly be the best. This is why our prize package is so big. We truly are looking for the best of the best and we want to award the winner appropriately. We also want to get the winner in front of as many none-industry people as possible so our industry can reach a broader audience. The only way to do that is to go to the masses, the ones that have no stake in the hot as lava part of our industry. We are talking about everyday consumers.

13.  Keep in mind that the $3000.00 prize is our base and the amount of the cash prize will continue to rise as we meet certain entry and sponsorship quotas.