The Michigan Apple Committee, Lansing, is set to sponsor the Michigan Apple Recipe Contest during Zehnder’s Snowfest.

This is the eighth year for the committee to sponsor the contest, which is Jan. 22.

New categories for this year include apple pies, apple breads and muffins, apple cobblers and crisps and miscellaneous apple items.

The grand prize will be a round-trip flight and entry into the World Food Championships in Las Vegas. First, second and third prizes will be given in each category, with the first- and second-prize winners able to advance to the grand prize competition.

In addition, the committee has a healthy living promotion planned from January through March.

It centers around the idea of not just losing weight, but making healthier choices.

“People just want to be healthier, and apples are the perfect snack or ingredient for any dish,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the apple committee.

The committee has high hopes for the campaign, based on past projects.

“We’ve had a similar program in the past, and this time of year lends itself really well to that type of promotion,” Smith said.

In fact, Smith said the program has a better response than any other the committee has sponsored.

“The local promotions also do really well, but that’s a much smaller (area) that we can reach out to,” she said.

The promotion includes a sweepstakes for consumers to win one of three treadmills.

The committee plans to conduct consumer research in early 2014 with taste tests, using apples from Michigan and other states.

“We do some blind taste testing and let consumers decide which they prefer. Michigan always comes out on top,” Smith said.