Soozie's Doozies, LLC of Union, Missouri, was named the grand prize winner of the 2016 Food Innovation Challenge last night at the Decatur Club in Decatur, Illinois. Owners Olivia Kelvin and Robert Stanton will receive $50,000 in seed funding from Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) and $50,000 in services from National Foodworks Services (NFS), along with other prizes, all designed to help advance their food innovation.

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Olivia Kelvin and Robert Stanton of Soozie's Doozies LLC (Union, Missouri) were named the grand priz ...

Olivia Kelvin and Robert Stanton of Soozie's Doozies LLC (Union, Missouri) were named the grand prize winner of the 2016 Food Innovation Challenge. (Photo: Business Wire)

"It's tough being an entrepreneur, and sometimes you just want to quit. But tonight makes it all worthwhile. We couldn't be more excited for the future of Soozie's Doozies," Stanton said.

Soozie's Doozies received support from mentors Jon Seighman, senior director food applications, ADM's WILD Flavors and Specialty Ingredients business unit; and John Wellehan, managing director, Good Food Business Accelerator to help refine their product business plan.

Kathy's Kitchen of Virginia, Illinois, and Sweet Freedom Gluten Free Bakery of New Hampton, Iowa, were named the second and third place winners, respectively.

"The caliber of contestants we saw in the first year of this contest was truly impressive, and it's a great reflection of the fantastic food innovation small entrepreneurs can bring to the table," said Vince Macciocchi, president of ADM's WILD Flavors and Specialty Ingredients business unit. "This challenge has been a great way to foster growth in new industry talent and build relationships with future food innovators. We congratulate all of the winners and look forward to seeing them prosper in the future."

"All of the ten semi-finalists were really winners here because throughout this process, they gained access to top talent in the food industry and a great deal of insight to help grow their businesses," said Tony Caccomo, managing partner, NFS. "And the City of Decatur is a winner here too because this contest allowed us to showcase the vast resources available to food entrepreneurs in this region as well as the potential for Decatur to be a national hub for food innovation."

Additional prizes and services were provided by other contest sponsors including Aripack, County Market, Dale's Southlake Pharmacy, Jones & Thomas, and Merieux NutriSciences. A full list of contest sponsors is available at www.foodinnovationchallenge.com in addition to more information about the finalists and their food innovations. The Food Innovation Challenge is also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest.

About The Food Innovation Challenge:

The Food Innovation Challenge is a start-up competition for aspiring Midwest cash entrepreneurs to showcase their new or early stage food business and product ideas. The Grand Prize Winner will receive $50,000 from Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) and $50,000 in services from National Foodworks Services (NFS) to help get their food idea off the ground. For more information and a full list of contest sponsors and partners, visit www.foodinnovationchallenge.com.

About ADM:

For more than a century, the people of Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) have transformed crops into products that serve the vital needs of a growing world. Today, we're one of the world's largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers, with more than 32,300 employees serving customers in more than 160 countries. With a global value chain that includes 428 crop procurement locations, 280 ingredient manufacturing facilities, 39 innovation centers and the world's premier crop transportation network, we connect the harvest to the home, making products for food, animal feed, industrial and energy uses. Learn more at www.adm.com.

About National Foodworks Services:

National Foodworks Services is a food innovation center and co-packing facility. Resting in Illinois' Billion Dollar Gateway ©, National Foodworks Services offers a full range of FDA approved commercial food processing including baking, bottling, freezing and packaging of consumer ready food products. National Foodworks Services will further expand opportunities for small or new food concepts looking to bring products to the consumer arena. For more, visit www.nationalfoodworks.com.

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