The Specialty Food Association announced the 2017 winners of the company’s prestigious sofi™ (specialty outstanding food innovation) Awards—celebrating culinary excellence and creativity and recognizing the outstanding work of the association’s members worldwide.
President Phil Kafarakis and food industry icon Sara Moulton presented the award winners at the One World Observatory atop One World Trade Center.
"The 2017 sofi Award winners are the perfect representation of everything that the specialty food industry stands for," said Kafarakis, according to a company press release. "They represent the devotion to excellence, great tastes, and innovation that fuels our industry. Today's consumers are driving our growth across every channel: retail, e-commerce, foodservice. Wherever you find great food, chances are you're tasting a specialty food product."
The award has been presented by the association since 1972. Winners this year were chosen from 3,000 entries in a blind tasting by a panel of culinary experts. Over 12 days in March, 62 judges from across the industry participated in the process.
Winners include a range of foods, from sauces and savory snacks, to delectable desserts.
"It was amazing to judge so many great tasting and innovative products," said Moulton, Chef and Host of "Sara's Weeknight Meals." "As a Chef, I'm always looking for new ingredients and new inspiration. These products and the entrepreneurs behind them should be applauded for their creativity and vision. They are making mealtime more exciting for everyone.”
In all, the 2017 sofi Awards honor 154 winners with Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Best New Product recognition across 39 categories.
This year also marks an auspicious occasion; for the first time in the 45-year history of the awards, a sofi Product of the Year will be named and announced later this year at the 2017 Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City in June.
All the 2017 sofi Awards winners will be celebrated at the Specialty Food Association's Summer Fancy Food Show at the Javits Center in New York, June 25-27. The show is the largest marketplace for specialty food and beverages in North America and will feature displays of all 2017 sofi Award winners, including the Product of the Year.
Registration for the trade-only event can be found at fancyfoodshows.com. For more on this and other important events in the deli industry, stay tuned to Deli Market News.