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    NASFT Unveils sofi™ Awards Finalists for Outstanding New Product, Outstanding Product Line

    What do apple ice wine vinegar, cherrywood smoked bacon and a salt-and-pepper chocolate bar have in common?

    What do apple ice wine vinegar, cherrywood smoked bacon and a salt-and-pepper chocolate bar have in common? They’re among the 10 finalists for the 38th annual sofi awards for Outstanding New Product of 2010.

    The sofi Awards, presented by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, recognize excellence in specialty foods and beverages in 33 categories. “sofi” stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation. The gold sofi awards will be presented June 28 at a red-carpet celebration during the New York Fancy Food Show.

    Finalists for Outstanding New Product 2010 are as follows:

    • Les Produits Fins Fabrice Lafon: Apple Ice Wine Vinegar
    • Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats: Nueske’s Wild Cherrywood Smoked Uncured Bacon
    • Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co.: Salt & Pepper Chocolate Bar
    • PreGel AMERICA: Salted Caramel Super Sprint
    • Rishi Tea: Masala Chai Concentrate
    • South African Consulate General: Rozendal Hibiscus Vinegar
    • Spread Health Food: NUTMERIC Ultra
    • Stonehouse 27: Cashews & Cream Indian Cooking Sauce
    • Sukhi’s Gourmet Indian Foods: Tandoori Chicken Naanwich
    • The Cheeseworks, Ltd.: Carboncino by Caseificio dell’Alta Langa

    This year’s sofi Awards competition was the most competitive yet, with 2,257 entries across all 33 categories, up 19 percent from 2009 and 3 percent above the former record of 2,191 in 2008. This year, NASFT members submitted 492 entries for Outstanding New Product and 195 for Outstanding Product Line. A national panel of specialty food experts spent five full days tasting and evaluating the 2,257 entries.

    Finalists for Outstanding Product Line 2010:

    • Bellwether Farms: Product Line
    • Food Should Taste Good: All Natural Chips
    • King Arthur Flour: Gluten - Free Baking Mixes
    • Royal Pacific Foods: The Ginger People: The Ginger People
    • The Rogers Collection: Les Moulins Mahjoub

    Sofi silver finalists in the 31 other categories were announced back in April. A complete list of sofi silver finalists is online at www.specialtyfood.com/sofi/2010-silver-finalists.

    The sofi Awards are considered the highest honor in the $63 billion U.S. specialty food industry. The competition is open to members of the NASFT, a not-for-profit trade association established in 1952.

    The judges evaluated the entries on numerous attributes, including quality, taste, innovation, packaging, ingredients and pricing. The judges were Sue Bicksler Taub, Holbrook Cottage, Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.; Gantt Bumstead and Suman Lawrence, United Texas, Lubbock, Texas; Mustafa Coskun and Robert Rosa, Garden of Eden Marketplace, New York; Patrick Crowl, Woodstock Farmers’ Market, Woodstock, Vt.; Franck Deletrain, John O’Neil and Lou Piuggi, Patina Group, New York; Faye Greenberg, Winn-Dixie, Jacksonville, Fla.; Madeline Romo, Savor the Flavor, Sierra Madre, Calif.; Mary Richter, Surdyk’s, Minneapolis; Lourdes Reynoso, Institute of Culinary Education, New York; Celia Barbour and Rachel Mount, O, The Oprah Magazine, New York.

    SOURCE: The Gourmet Retailer

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