A Jamaican jerk sauce, “Barbecue Madness”, was named “Best Sauce” at the 14th annual Americas Food and Beverage show, which ended Wednesday (October 27) at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Florida.
The sauce was among a number of entrants in the category, “Sauces and Condiments of the Americas”, at the two-day Expo.
Bertram and Rana Banton of BnRs Holdings, Kingston, smiled proudly as they displayed the award among the varieties of sauces exhibited in the Jamaica Pavilion at the Expo, which began on Tuesday (October 26).
“It’s our first time at the Americas show, and we are introducing a variation to the market” Mr. Banton explained.
For the first time, Jamaican manufactured food and beverages had their own prime location named the “Jamaica Pavilion”, among the 300 exhibits at the Expo. Jerk was among the manufactured products and labels on display in the Jamaican Pavilion which “created quite a buzz”, according to Berletta Forrester, Manager, Export Promotion, JAMPRO.
The response to the booth increased this year, improving Jamaica’s presence and creating a higher visibility of its products, according to Mrs. Forrester.
The event, billed as the largest food and beverage show in the Western Hemisphere, attracted some 6,000 participants, including local and international food professionals, as viewers tested a wide range of foods and beverages and industry related products from 27 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America.
In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Banton said that Jamaica Jerk, produced in the Pedro Plains of St. Elizabeth, tells the story of a family tradition in the ‘bread basket’ of Jamaica. The area has the ideal stable environment for growing Jamaica’s famous scotch bonnet peppers, and other basic ingredients for producing good jerk seasoning, he said.
The creativity and innovativeness put into the varieties of condiments and spices were testament to the authenticity and rich taste captured in the flavours, as large crowds converged on the booth for samplings of the gourmet products.
Under the Pedro Plains Jamaica Jerk label, BnRs Holdings produces a variety of flavoured jerk sauces, with suggestive names such as Chaos Jerk, Mild Jerk, Jerk Barbeque Madness, Malicious, Aunty Katie Marinade and Hurricane, all manufactured from indigenous products grown in St. Elizabeth.
Mr. Banton also explained that an additional six labels for new and enticing products by BnRs, are currently being developed by Jamaica’s Scientific Research Council (SRC).
Although they have participated in other food trade shows worldwide, the BnRs team was excited with the response from this event, as they seek to increase market awareness.
The range of products exhibited under the Jamaica Pavilion resulted in several inquiries and leads, and drew favorable comments from visitors. Mr. Banton commended the team effort of JAMPRO, and its objective to support local manufacturers and producers, as Jamaica continues to gain more visibility in foreign markets.
The Jamaican group of companies in the Pavilion also included LASCO, Worthy Park Estate Limited, Grace Foods International, Creation Foods, The Jerk Place and Restaurant Limited, Wisynco and Coffee Solutions, showcasing a variety of indigenous food products, including coffee, tea, coconut water, juices, packaged meals, snack items, sauces, condiments, alcoholic items and agro-processed foods.
Jamaica’s Consul General Sandra Grant Griffiths, who participated in the Expo, congratulated BnRs Holdings. She also commended JAMPRO for its efforts in showcasing the ‘Brand Jamaica’ label, through the very impressive booth at the Jamaica Pavilion.