NEW YORK — Gluten-free pie crust mix, pumpkin seed vinaigrette and passion fruit guava sorbet were among dozens of new food and beverage products recognized as the year’s top innovations in the $127 billion specialty food industry.
Highlighted at the Summer Fancy Food Show, held June 25-27 in New York, the 2017 Specialty Food Association’s sofi (Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation) Award winners were selected from 3,000 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.
“The 2017 sofi Award winners are the perfect representation of everything that the specialty food industry stands for,” said Phil Kafarakis, president of the Specialty Food Association. “They represent the devotion to excellence, great tastes, and innovation that fuels our industry. Today’s consumers are driving our growth across every channel: retail, e-commerce, food service. Wherever you find great food, chances are you're tasting a specialty food product.”