The Specialty Food Association has unveiled the winners of the 2016 sofi Awards, which honor the outstanding products of the year in the $120.5 billion specialty food industry.
The winners include flavors from North Africa, southern Italy and virtually every region of the U.S. Pumpkin seeds, honey and bacon make several appearances among the winners and finalists.
The 2016 winners and finalists were selected by a national panel of 46 culinary experts who tasted and evaluated a record-breaking 3,200 entries across 28 categories. This year the judging for the sofi Awards was changed so that all products were judged on a blind basis. Judges were not shown packaging, pricing or other identification, and were only told the product’s category and ingredient list.
Products are judged 70% on taste — which includes flavor, texture, appearance and aroma — and 30% on ingredient quality, which includes the creative use of ingredients and the absence of unnecessary additives or artificial ingredients.
“Sofi” stands for “specialty outstanding food innovation.”
“This year’s sofi Awards winners and finalists illustrate the vibrancy of the specialty food industry,” said Laura Santella-Saccone, chief marketing officer for the SFA. “Each one reflects the passion and creativity Association members bring to the food they present to American, and international, food lovers.”
The 2016 sofi Awards Honorees will be celebrated at the SFA’s Summer Fancy Food Show at the Javits Center in New York, June 26-28.
The winner in the Cooking, Dipping or Finishing Sauce category is Food Match's Barnier Pimento Sauce with Preserved Lemon, pictured here.