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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G lobal takes on baked goods and condiments, alternative-dairy and plant-based chocolates and spreads, and flavor trends from botanicals to bourbon were just some of the innovations seen amongst the specialty food and beverages that vied for the 2019 sofi Awards, which recognized 148 specialty food products across 39 categories with Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Best New Product awards. Winners were selected from nearly 2,000 entries in a blind tasting done over 12 days by a national panel of industry experts. "Our 2019 winners are passionate industry leaders creating exceptional, innovative specialty foods. They're what's driving excitement among retailers, foodservice, and consumers, and fueling our industry's growth." —Phil Kafarakis, president, Specialty Food Association "For 47 years, the sofi Awards have identified the best of the best within the specialty food industry. This year, we're incredibly proud to recognize so many fantastic products across so much of our membership," said SFA President Phil Kafarakis. "Our 2019 winners are passionate industry leaders creating exceptional, innovative specialty foods. They're what's driving excitement among retailers, foodservice, and consumers, and fueling our industry's growth. It's a delicious time for us all!" Past winners have reported up to a 600 percent increase in sales and been featured in major media outlets like Good Morning America and USA Today, according to Kafarakis. Sixty food professionals from across the country served as judges for the 2019 entries. They range from trained chefs, culinary instructors, and recipe developers to food writers and specialty food buyers who are experts in particular categories such as cheeses, oils, or chocolates. Products that vied for the Gold, Silver, or Bronze sofi award in any given category were judged 70 percent on taste, including f lavor, appearance, texture, and aroma, and 30 percent on ingredient quality, with consideration given to the use of ingredients in creative ways. Products that competed for a New Product sofi Award were judged on taste (60 percent), ingredient quality (20 percent), and innovation (20 percent). New Product Award entries had to have been introduced to the market between March 1, 2018 and September 1, 2018. The product with the single highest score—Mom's Magic Masala All-Purpose Indian Fusion Spice Blend—was named the sofi Product of the Year award winner (see story, p. 24) at the Summer Fancy Food Show this past June. Following is the complete list of winners. SPECIALTIES Stupendous 58 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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