Specialty Food Magazine

FALL 2019

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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association news Mom's Magic Masala Named sofi Product of the Year A spice blend that draws on the rich culinary traditions of India captured top sofi Award honors at the Summer Fancy Food Show in June. Mom's Magic Masala All-Purpose Indian Fusion Spice Blend won the 2019 sofi Product of the Year award, chosen from a field of 39 top products in as many categories, as selected by a panel of food profes- sionals in blind tastings. The product had won the sofi Gold award in the Seasoning and Spice category and was one of a total of 154 sofi Award winners selected as the best specialty food items from a field of nearly 2,000 entries. The use of a large variety of spices in the blend has been one of the keys to the popularity of the product, said Sumeet Jhamb, founder of the Connecticut-based company. "Most spice blends have a couple of different spices, but this has 16 different spices," he said. "This is derived from Indian cuisine, so it borrows heavily from the wider palate of flavor, without being overly spicy." The company is expanding the line with a Gourmet Fish Rub, made with a blend of 12 seasonings, and has other spice blends in the works. It is also introducing seasoning packets, in addition to the shaker jars in which the products are currently offered. Jhamb previously held a position on Wall Street before he launched the product, which is based on a recipe created by his mother, Shashi Jhamb. She had created the spice blend at the request of Sumeet's wife, Neetu, who was seeking a pork chop recipe, and the couple ended up request- ing it several more times before deciding to try to commercialize it. "We never told any- one the recipe because we knew it was something spe- cial," said Sumeet. The all-natural product is offered through a hand- ful of local retail stores around the couple's home in Greenwich, Conn., and online through the com- pany's own website and through Amazon.com. Sumeet said he's also look- ing at foodservice as a potential avenue for growth. In presenting the award, Phil Kafarakis, president of the Specialty Food Association, highlighted the growth of the sofi Award program through its 47-year history and recognized all of the sofi Award winners. "Congratulations, you are the future of innovation as we measure it," he said. The sofi winners were selected by a national panel of 60 judges, including chefs, culinary instructors, reci- pe developers, food writers, and specialty food buyers. The Product of the Year received the highest score from all the product entries.—Mark Hamstra The Basics Comes to Philadelphia The Specialty Food Association is taking its one-day intensive The Basics workshop on the road to St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia on Sept. 24. The workshop will present the fun- damentals of specialty food and is ideal for those who are new to the industry or looking to take their product to the next level, but need help get- ting started. Attendees will learn from industry experts about selling to supermarkets and special- ty retailers, working with bro- kers and distributors, pricing product, extending credit, and marketing to the trade using promotions, shows, and other activities. The price for SFA members is $99 and $199 for non-members. Speakers include SFA President Phil Kafarakis, Ron Tanner, vice president of phi- lanthropy, government, and industry relations for the SFA, Victoria Ho of Pacific Pickle Works, Jonathan Milo Leal, founder of Milo's, Ian Kelleher, co-founder of Peeled Snacks, Sagar Shah, CEO of Nature's Guru, Bill Mignucci Jr., president of Di Bruno Bros., and George Latella, professor of food marketing at St. Joseph's University. 24 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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