The Cranberry Marketing Committee, USA Announces Winner of its First-Ever Cranberry Friendsgiving Photo Contest

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Laura Podlich of Madison, WI, is Awarded $2,000 Grand Prize for her Winning Entry

Laura Podlich of Madison, WI, was declared the $2,000 grand prize winner for her unique cranberry apple galette submission.

Move over turkey and make room for some innovative, new cranberry creations! Hundreds of creative cranberry recipe and décor entries were received in the first-ever Cranberry Friendsgiving Photo Contest, but only one social media maven brought home the prize. Laura Podlich 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 mom’s Thanksgiving table, but as America’s Original Superfruit®, U.S.-grown cranberries are also a star at any Friendsgiving feast – a new 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 holiday, the Cranberry Marketing Committee, USA (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, 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 Laura 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. 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 our state,” says Podlich. “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,” says Michelle Hogan, Executive Director of the Cranberry Marketing Committee, USA. “The response was overwhelming and we look forward to making this an annual tradition!”

For more information on the Cranberry Friendsgiving Photo Contest, visit

About the Cranberry Marketing Committee, USA (CMC)
The CMC was established as a Federal Marketing Order in 1962 to ensure a stable, orderly supply of good quality product. Authority for its actions are provided under Chapter IX, Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, referred to as the Federal Cranberry Marketing Order, which is part of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended. This Act specifies cranberries as a commodity that may be covered, regulations that may be issued, and guidelines for administering the programs, and privileges and limitations granted by Congress. For more information about the CMC, visit Follow at and

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Alisha Zaveri
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Cranberry Cravers
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