In response to the pandemic, the Specialty Food Association (SFA) has focused on creatively and consistently providing opportunities for its members. This includes the 49th Annual sofi Awards, a celebration of culinary excellence and creativity. 

Available only to product-qualified members of the SFA, the sofi Awards opened March 1 and resulted in nearly 1,500 products from around the world pouring into SFA’s partner for the awards, the Food Innovation Center at Rutgers University (FIC). Through anonymous tastings, FIC experts evaluated products in 49 categories that ranged from Cocktail Mixes & Mocktails to Yogurt & Kefir. A detailed process assessed entrants for their flavor, appearance, texture, aroma, ingredient quality, and innovation, then judges awarded 130 specialty food products with gold, silver, and new product trophies. Click here for a full list of winners.

Snack and bakery winners include:

  • Appetizers & Snacks: Chicken & Cheese Quesadilla Trumpets, The Fillo Factory;  Hors D’oeuvres Box - Everything Pigs in a Pie by  Mary Giuliani Catering & Events, Inc.;  Mini Lobster Grilled Cheeses by Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co.
  • Baked Goods - Bakery Desserts: Chocolate & Custard Croissants, and Crunchy Mocha Mousse Cake, by Brioche Pasquier US / Galaxy Desserts; Pomegranate Cheesecake, by Gem City Fine Foods, LLC
  • Baking Mixes/Pastry Doughs & Flours: Lavender White Chocolate Scone Mix, by Iveta Gourmet Inc.; Classic Puff Pastry, by Dufour Pastry Kitchens, Inc.; and Brownie Stuffed Cookie Dough, by High Road Craft Ice Cream, Inc.
  • Breads: FTO Mini Butter Croissants by Brioche Pasquier US / Galaxy Desserts; Iced Blueberry Biscuits, by Callie's Charleston Biscuits LLC
  • Breakfast Foods:  Sous-Vide Egg White Bites with Broccoli & Parmesan, by Les Trois Petits Cochons; Vital Farms Pasture-Raised Egg Bites Uncured Ham, Bell Peppers, Onion & Cheddar Cheese
  • Cereals & Granola:  Hudson Henry Granola - Pistachios, Almonds & Coconut, by Hudson Henry Baking Co.;  Keto Peanut Butter Crunch Granola, by Keto and Co.;  Rosemary Granola, by Jamie's Farm
  • Cookies & Snack Bars: Lemon Sablés with Herbes de Provence, by Real Treat; Goulibeur Large Shortbread with French Walnuts, by The French Farm; Enzo's Table Pistachio Cranberry Biscotti
  • Crackers & Crispbreads: Corn Biscuit, by Effie's Homemade; Gluten-Free Toast for Cheese - Cherries, Almonds & Linseeds, by The Fine Cheese Co.; Curry Cashew with Apricots Crisps, by Jan's Farmhouse
  • Frozen Desserts: Chocolate Mudslide Ice Cream Sandwiches, by Tillamook; Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwich, by Drops of Dough; Strawberry and Espelette Swirl Ice Cream, by High Road Craft Ice Cream, Inc.
  • Jerky & Meat Snacks:  Nueske's Jalapeno & Cheese Beef Sticks, by  Nueske's Applewood Smoked Meats

“The sofi Awards have been recognizing the best of the best in the specialty food industry since 1972,” said Laura Lozada, VP, membership for the Specialty Food Association. “We are so proud of our members and their perseverance during this difficult time. They continue to innovate and grow and are the foundation of our industry. The SFA is honored to recognize their creativity and the quality of their products.”

The sofi Product of the Year Award will be presented to two different winners, one for New Product of the Year, and one for Product of the Year. Both will be announced Tuesday, May 11th, at 10:45 am during Specialty Food LIVE!™ May, the third digital marketplace event held by the SFA.  

New for May, eligible exhibitors will feature a purchase link to the new SFA Infinite Aisle marketplace in their digital showrooms which allows buyers to purchase products from SFA members during and after the event. sofi Awards winners will be able to highlight this in their showrooms, as well. 

Registration for the Specialty Food LIVE! is at; the event is trade-only.