The winners of the 40th sofi Awards for the outstanding specialty foods and beverages of the year were announced June 18 at the Summer Fancy Food Show at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
The awards, from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT), were presented at a red-carpet ceremony hosted by Chef Jose Andres, the noted chef and culinary innovator. A sofi Award is considered the top honor in the $75 billion specialty food industry. "sofi" stands for specialty outstanding food innovation.
The 2012 sofi Gold Winners are:
Appetizer, Antipasto, Salsa or Dip - Sullivan Harbor Farm Smokehouse - Dave's Bacon
Baked Good, Baking Ingredient or Cereal - Stonewall Kitchen - Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Mix
Cheese or Dairy Product - Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery - Bonne Bouche
Chocolate - Chocolat Moderne - Lime Moderne Bar
Classic - DeMedici Imports, Ltd. - Villa Manodori "Artigianale" Balsamic Vinegar
Cold Beverage - Brands of Britain - Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic
Condiment - Fruit of the Land Products - Tishbi Onion Cabernet
Confection - Big Picture Farm L3C - Farmstead Goat Milk Caramels
Cookie - Lark Fine Foods - Lady Birds - TIE
Cookie - Natural Nectar - Sea Salt Caramel Crispy Crepes - TIE
Cooking Sauce or Flavor Enhancer - Ashman Manufacturing Co. - KIMKIM Korean Hot Sauce
Cracker -Lark Fine Foods – Scourtins - TIE
Cracker -Polka Dot Bake Shop - Sweet Potato Crackers - Cracked Black Pepper - TIE
Dessert or Dessert Topping - Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams - Lemon Frozen Yogurt
Diet and Lifestyle Product - WOW Baking Company - Lemon Burst Cookies Wheat & Gluten Free
Food Gift - Back to the Roots - Grow-Your-Own Mushroom Garden
Frozen Savory - Sukhi's Gourmet Indian Foods - Chicken Samosas & Chutney
Hot Beverage – HERNÁN - HERNÁN Mexican Hot Chocolate
Innovation in Packaging Design or Function - Ajiri Tea Company - Kenyan Black Tea - Loose
Jam, Preserve, Honey or Nut Butter - Sabatino North America - Pistachio Cream
Meat, Pate or Seafood - Fermin USA - Fermin Iberico Smoked Panceta Slices
New Product - Cable Car Delights, Inc. - The Latest Scoop Ginger Pear Sorbet
Non-Food Specialty Item -PaperChef - Culinary Parchment Lotus Cups
Oil - The Sandy Butler Group - Fernado Pensato Olio di Oliva Extra Vergine Tartufo
Pasta Sauce -Ritrovo Italian Regional Foods - Ritrovo Selections - Casina Rossa Puttanesca Pasta Sauce
Pasta, Rice or Grain - The Rogers Collection - Les Moulins Mahjoub M'hamsa Whole Wheat Couscous
Perishable Foodservice Product - Nueske's Applewood Smoked Meats - Nueske's Applewood Smoked Boneless Chicken Breast - TIE
Perishable Foodservice Product - Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery - Cultured Butter with Sea Salt Crystals 1 oz. Minis -TIE
Product Line - Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery – Product Line
Salad Dressing - Lucini Italia - Delicate Cucumber & Shallot Artisan Vinaigrette
Shelf-Stable Foodservice Product - Chaparral Gardens - Champagne Mimosa
Snack Food – New England Herbal Foods - Danielle Roasted Coconut Chips
Soup, Stew, Bean or Chili – The Healthy Pantry - cooksimple Tamale Pie
USDA-Certified Organic Product - Rogue Creamery - Flora Nelle
Vinegar - O Olive Oil - O Fig Balsamic Vinegar
The sofi Awards are open to members of the NASFT, a not-for-profit trade association for food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs. This year's contest was the most competitive yet, with a record 2,520 entries across all 32 awards, including 374 for Outstanding New Product.
"This year's winners are a true example of the creativity and innovation that is driving the specialty food industry today," says NASFT President Ann Daw. "With such strong competition, the people behind these wonderful products should be especially proud."
This spring, a national panel of specialty food professionals narrowed the field to 125 Silver Finalists in eight days of judging at NASFT offices in New York City. The winners were selected by more than 200 buyers at the Summer Fancy Food Show, who evaluated the products and their votes in the past two days. The results were tabulated by an outside accounting firm this afternoon. The Summer Fancy Food Show ends June 19, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.