NEW YORK — Cucumber mojito, pumpkin gnocchi and black sesame ice cream are among dozens of food and beverage products recognized as the year's top innovations in the $140.3 billion specialty food industry.
Highlighted at the Summer Fancy Food Show, held June 30-July 2 in New York, the 2018 Specialty Food Association’s sofi (Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation) Award winners were selected from 2,650 entries across 39 product categories, including best chocolate, cheese and savory snack. Finalists were chosen by a national panel of chefs, culinary instructors, recipe developers, food journalists (including this editor) and specialty food buyers in a blind tasting.
"For 46 years, the S.F.A. has offered sofi Awards to showcase the best of the best within the specialty food industry," said Phil Kafarakis, president of the Specialty Food Association. "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 food service. The sofi winners are at the forefront of that growth and rising excitement for specialty food products."