Specialty Food Magazine

Summer 2018

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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C auliflower Pretzels with Sea Salt, Cardamom Bitters, and Roasted Pistachio Oil are among the 2018 sofi Award winners. A national panel of culinary experts chose these and dozens of other sofi Award honorees from more than 2,650 entries in a blind tasting without packaging, pricing, or any brand identification. The panel selected Gold, Silver, Bronze, and New Product Award winners in 39 food categories. "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." —Phil Kafarakis, president, Specialty Food Association "For 46 years, the Specialty Food Association has offered sofi Awards to showcase the best of the best within the specialty food industry," says Phil Kafarakis, president of SFA. "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." As part of the judging process, which took place over 12 days in the professional chef kitchen at the SFA's offices in New York City, a team of chefs prepared the products according to each producer's instructions. Marinade sauces and spice rubs were used on proteins, for instance, and hot beverages were served hot. Judges then worked independently to evaluate each product, and assigned scores for different criteria on a scale of one to five. One of the judges, food writer Charles Passy of the Wall Street Journal, chronicled his day-long experience alongside 11 other judges in an article titled, "Please Don't Make Me Eat Another Bite of This Delicious Chocolate." "Over the course of eight hours, we were tasked with working our way through about 200 products, submitted for consideration by Association members, that represented a handful of the program's 39 categories," he wrote. 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). The product with the single highest score will be named the sofi Product of the Year at the Summer Fancy Food Show. A complete gallery of winners can be found on the following pages. STANDOUTS Specialty S2 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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