NEW YORK — Lobster mac & cheese, sesame chocolate tiles and blood orange sorbetto.
These were among the specialty products that received industry recognition this week at the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade’s annual Summer Fancy Food Show, which ran June 27-29. All three received a “sofi” (specialty outstanding food innovation) award.
More than 300 buyers at the Fancy Food Show cast ballots to select the gold winners.
“A sofi award means instant visibility and recognition by discerning buyers of specialty food and beverages across the U.S. and around the world,” said Ann Daw, president of the NASFT. “This year’s winners reflect the spirit of innovation and excellence that are the foundation of the specialty food industry.”
Products were honored in 33 categories. Among other winners: from Brands of Britain, Fever-Tree Ginger Beer; from Dulcet Cuisine, Mild Indian Curry Ketchup; from the South African Consulate General, Rosendale Hibiscus Vinegar; from Dave's Gourmet, Masala Marinara; from Nuovo Pasta Productions, Kidz Mac & Cheez Gol'Fish Ravioli; and from Lucini Italia Co., Delicate Cucumber and Shallot Artisan Vinaigrette.
This year’s competition drew record 2,257 entries, a 19% increase from 2009 and a 3% rise from the previous record of 2,191 in 2008.
The judges are top professionals within the specialty food industry and include specialty food retailers, supermarket buyers, natural food merchants, mass marketers, chefs, caterers, journalists and culinary educator. Faye Greenberg, neighborhood-marketing director at Winn-Dixie Stores, Jacksonville, Fla., was among them.