2018 SOFI Awards Revealed
From 2,650 entries sampled in blind tastings by a national panel of culinary experts, 156 products were chosen to receive the Specialty Food Association’s (SFA) SOFI awards this year. Honoring culinary excellence and creativity worldwide, the program recognizes Gold, Silver, Bronze and Best New Product winners in 39 categories.
“For 46 years, the SFA has offered SOFI Awards to showcase the best of the best within the specialty food industry,” said Phil Kafarakis, the organization’s president, who was joined by SOFI award judges to help announce this year’s winners in a video. “Our 2018 winners possess the passion for innovation and great-tasting food that fuels our industry. Today’s consumers are clamoring for new and exciting foods across every channel, from retail to foodservice. The SOFI winners are at the forefront of that growth and rising excitement for specialty food products.”
Among the Gold winners are Vermont Creamery’s Cremont (Cheese-Non-Cow Milk, Mixed Milk); Milkboy Swiss Chocolates’ Swiss Alpine Milk Chocolate with Crunchy Caramel and Sea Salt (Chocolate-Milk and White); That’s How We Roll LLC’s Kitchen Table Bakers Parm Crisp Original (Cracker); Manna Organics LLC’s Butter Coconut Cashew (Nut Butter, Seed Butter); Halen Brands’ From the Ground Up Cauliflower Pretzels with Sea Salt (Savory Snack); and Acme Smoked Fish Corp.’s Blue Hill Bay BBQ Smoked Salmon (Seafood). A list of award recipients is available online.
Over 12 days last month, the 58-member judging panel, which included chefs, culinary instructors, recipe developers, food journalists and specialty food buyers, took part in a series of blind tastings to select the winners.
The Product of the Year designation, bestowed on the item that received the highest cumulative score, will be revealed during the Specialty Food Association’s Summer Fancy Food Show, slated to take place June 30-July 2 at the Javits Center, in New York. The show is the largest marketplace for specialty food and beverages in North America, featuring 200,000 products from around the world.