Shine On

Ontario woman Jessica Winacott wins competition to have her face on Swedish Berries

Jessica Winacott's face will be on soon-to-be available Swedish Berries. (CNW/Manyards)Just in time for Halloween, Jessica Winacott's more zombie-inclined friends will be able to eat her face with impunity.

The 25-year-old Pickering, Ont. woman was selected to be this year's Make Your Face a Maynards contest, an achievement that has resulted in her facial features being transposed onto the brand's Swedish Berries candies across the country. Contestant were told to submit a photo of their funniest face.

So is she a little creeped out by the knowledge that people will be gnawing on her mug?

"A little bit, yeah. But with Halloween around the corner I don't see why not," she says.

Also see: Swedish lunch lady told to make less tasty meals

Maynards, a sweet subsidiary owned by Kraft Canada, has done well with its irreverent, colourful social media marketing and decided to take fan involvement one step further.

"Make Your Face a Maynards was a chance to show our fans some love, and with Jessica's Swedish Berries ready for Canadians to enjoy, we were actually able to transform a fan's features into a real candy - that's never been done before!" says Maynards candy brand manager Kristen Knox in a press release.

Winacott entered the contest on a whim after her sister directed her to the candy company's Facebook page.

"I spent 45 minutes to an hour pulling faces in the webcam until I finally decided which one was going to fit," she reveals in a behind-the-scenes video.

Judges were looking for "unique expressions and fun photos," and had the laborious task of whittling 10 finalists down from 3000 entries. With her shock of red hair, big personality and elastic facial expressions, Winacott was a natural Top 10 finalist.

From there, a random draw secured her spot as this year's sweet-face.

"You obviously don't enter contests with the hopes of winning, so it was a nice surprise," she says.

Also see: Toddler intoxicated after accidentally being served whiskey at U.K. restaurant

Maynards brought the retail worker to Toronto where she spent a full day touring the candy factory and pulling funny faces — this time in front of a pro lensman.

"The photographer was fantastic," she enthuses. "We ended up yelling words at each other, like, 'Wow!' and 'Bam!' and 'Pow!' and I think the face that they actually chose for was me saying 'Pow!' to get the big eyes and the big open mouth."

Winacott gets a year's supply of her face in a bag, a $5000 cash prize, and the instant fame that comes with winning such a high-profile competition.

"My family and friends are really excited. My mom is on my case constantly to send updates on what I'm doing. She's very proud," she says.

Not that anyone is particularly surprised, however.

"I've always been notoriously a little bit of a goofball. Even friends I've lost contact with … my sister was telling one of my old friends about it and he was like, 'Wow, that really makes sense.'"

Watch the video below about a candy festival in California this fall. 

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