The winners of the 2014 sofi™ Awards for the outstanding specialty foods and beverages of the year were announced this evening at a red-carpet ceremony at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York.
The awards, considered the top honor in the $88.3 billion specialty food industry, were presented by acclaimed pastry chef Dominique Ansel, creator of the Cronut®, a croissant-doughnut hybrid. The Awards are open to members of the Specialty Food Association, a not-for-profit trade association for food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs. “sofi” stands for specialty outstanding food innovation.
This year’s contest was the largest in its 42-year history, with specialty food makers submitting 2,737 products across all 32 awards categories. The sofi Award for Outstanding New Product went to East Hampton Gourmet Food’s Lentil Rice Crispbread with Sesame and Pink Salt.
“The creativity and passion our members bring to their foods and beverages was evident in the variety and quality of the contest entries this year,” says Specialty Food Association President Ann Daw. “The winners clearly reflect our brand for the industry, “Specialty Food. Craft. Care. Joy.”
This spring, a national panel of specialty food professionals convened over eight days to taste and evaluate all entries and select 125 finalists. To determine the winners, 275 buyers at the Summer Fancy Food Show sampled the finalist products and cast votes for their favorite in each category. The results were tabulated by an outside accounting firm this afternoon.
The Summer Fancy Food show is the largest marketplace devoted exclusively to specialty food in North America. The show ends tomorrow, July 1, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. Learn more at fancyfoodshows.com.