Specialty Food Association

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Specialty Food Association
2019 Specialty Food Association Logo.jpg
Formation1952; 70 years ago (1952)
Founded atNew York City
Bill Lynch
Formerly called
National Association for the Specialty Food Trade

The Specialty Food Association, Inc. (SFA) is membership-based trade association in the United States representing 3,000+ member companies.[1] The SFA was established in 1952 to foster trade, commerce and interest in the specialty food industry in the U.S., worth $148 billion as of May 2020.[1]

The Association is a not-for-profit organization whose members are specialty food artisans, purveyors, importers and entrepreneurs, as well as distributors, retailers, and others involved in the specialty food trade.

Bill Lynch was named Interim President of SFA in May 2020 and appointed President of SFA in November 2020.[2]


The Specialty Food Association is a source of industry information, educational events and in-person and online networking opportunities, including workshops, certification and training programs and events.[3]

Among the Association's programs are the annual Winter Fancy Food Show, traditionally held in January in San Francisco, CA, at the Moscone Center and the annual Summer Fancy Food Show, traditionally held at the end of June in New York, NY at the Jacob Javits Center.[4][5]

The Summer Fancy Food Show is the largest show for specialty food in North America, with 34,000 attendees and 2400 exhibitors annually.[6][7] More than 50 countries will be participating in the show, with Italy as partner country for 2020.[8][9]

The Association's quarterly digital publication, Specialty Food magazine, has a circulation of more than 30,000 trade professionals. [5] Its daily email newsletter, SFA News Daily, reaches more than 49,000 individuals every business day.[10] Its daily email newsletter, Specialty Food News Daily, reaches more than 52,000 individuals every business day, as of June 2018.[10]

Award programs[edit]

SFA produces the annual sofi awards, which recognize creativity and taste across multiple food categories in the specialty food products industry.[11] Gold, Silver, Bronze and New Product winners are announced in the spring and highlighted at both Fancy Food Shows.[12] At each Summer show, a Product of the Year is announced.[13] The annual Leadership Awards honor industry leaders who are active members of the SFA and who are spearheading positive environmental, community, and business practices.[14][15]

The SFA's Hall of Fame for the specialty food industry's mission is to honor individuals whose accomplishments, impact, contributions, innovations, and successes within the specialty food industry deserve praise and recognition.[16] Multiple individuals are inducted into the Hall of Fame each year.[17] The Association’s Lifetime Achievement Awards recognize and celebrate extraordinary industry pioneers.[18][19]


Specialty Food Association (formerly NASFT) is currently located at 136 Madison Ave in New York City.


  1. ^ a b "Specialty Food Association Lobbies Against Tariffs". Progressive Grocer. Retrieved 2020-06-26.
  2. ^ Watrous, Monica. "Specialty Food Association names interim president". www.foodbusinessnews.net. Retrieved 2020-07-05.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ Watrous, Monica (2020-05-18). "Specialty food industry continues surge upward". Food Business News.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Harris, Malcolm (2016-07-13). "Our Fancy Foods, Ourselves". Eater. Retrieved 2020-07-05.
  5. ^ Scott, Barbie (26 June 2015). "The 2015 Fancy Food Show In New York, One Smorgasbord You Won't Want to Miss". Inc.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Webb, Kayla (2019-06-25). "2019 Summer Fancy Food Show Highlights: Inside New York". Deli Market News. Retrieved 2020-06-28.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Watrous, Monica. "Trends at the 2019 Summer Fancy Food Show". www.foodbusinessnews.net. Retrieved 2020-06-28.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Paltrowitz, Darren (2019-07-01). "18 Fun, Healthy and/or Kosher Brands From The 2019 Summer Fancy Food Show". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 2020-06-28.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ "SFA cancels Summer Fancy Food Show 2020". Italianfood.net. 2020-04-14. Retrieved 2020-06-28.
  10. ^ a b "Brand Report - Specialty Food Association" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ Trieger Kurland, Ann. "These awards are like Oscars, but for artisan food". The Boston Globe.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ Boss, Donna (6 June 2016). "Gallery: Sofi winners reflect latest specialty trends". Supermarket News.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ Watrous, Monica. "Slideshow: Top innovations at Summer Fancy Food 2016". Food Business News.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ Doerfler, Sue. "Gilbert businessman capitalizes on sweet opportunity". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2020-07-05.
  15. ^ Allen, Anne (2019-12-11). "Volpi Foods' CEO Named Top Business Leader". Deli Market News. Retrieved 2020-07-14.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "Whole Foods' Walter Robb to Keynote SFA 2018 Leadership Awards". Progressive Grocer. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  17. ^ Pritchard, Edd. "Food HOF honors Canton businessman". The Repository. Retrieved 2020-07-05.
  18. ^ Berger, Mike (27 June 2016). "Specialty Food Association Names Lifetime Achievement Award Winners". The Shelby Report.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. ^ "Former Byrd Cookie Co. owner honored". Savannah Morning News. Retrieved 2020-07-05.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links[edit]