Ingredients may not have been flying, but the ideas of three local foodies may now have a greater chance of taking flight in a global market thanks to the Great Manitoba Food Fight.

Ten competitors faced off in the 10th annual competition between food-industry entrepreneurs, an initiative of the provincial government. The food fight gave Manitoba foodies interested in commercializing their products the opportunity to pitch their ideas for a chance to win development funds.

“Entrepreneurship is thriving in Manitoba’s food sector, and we continue to see new, innovative and delicious food products coming forward,” said Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler.

“The Great Manitoba Food Fight is an opportunity to learn more about Manitoba-made innovative food products that are often just on the verge of growth and broader commercial success. “

The finalists presented their food creations to a panel of judges at De Luca’s Specialty Foods Store Wednesday night. The judges sampled the products and heard the competitor’s business pitches.

Three winners were chosen. John Helm from the Torque Brewing Co. won the $10,000 gold package award for his Witty Belgian Wheat Beer. Katy Unruh from Brandon’s Katy’s Kookies won the silver package worth $7,000 for her Cherries Jubilee Natural Lean Bar. Kimberley Bialkoski from Flora and Farmer won the $3,500 bronze package for their Applekraut product.

All of the prize packages will be used to commercialize the winning products through a variety of approaches like recipe refinement, package design and marketing.