Specialty Food Association

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The Specialty Food Association, Inc. (SFA) is membership-based trade association in the United States representing approximately 3,400 businesses. The SFA was established in 1952 to foster trade, commerce and interest in the specialty food industry in the U.S.

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. Overall specialty food sales in the U.S. totaled over $120 billion in 2015.[1]

Phil Kafarakis was named President of SFA in July 2016.[2] The current Association chair is Becky Renfro Borbolla, Vice President of Renfro Foods, Inc. Her term runs through mid-2018. Past board chairs are listed on the SFA website.[3]


The Specialty Food Association is a source of industry information, educational events and in-person and online networking opportunities, including a Specialty Food Business Summit and online Product Marketplace. SFA produces yearly research reports that include the State of the Specialty Food Industry and Today’s Specialty Food Consumer.[4]

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.[5][6]

The Summer Fancy Food Show 2016 was one of the largest since the Show’s 1954 inception. More than 40,000 specialty food professionals and 2,600+ exhibitors from over 55 countries attended. The 2016 Winter Fancy Food Show in California drew about 30,000 industry professionals and 1,400 exhibitors from over 30 countries.

The Association's quarterly publication, Specialty Food Magazine, has a circulation of more than 30,000 trade professionals.[7] Its daily email newsletter, Specialty Food News, reaches more than 47,000 individuals every business day.[8]

Award programs[edit]

The Specialty Food Association produces the annual sofi Awards[9][10] which recognize excellence in specialty food products. The 2016 award winners[11] were selected from 3,200 entries across 28 product categories, including best chocolate, cheese and savory snack.[12]

Annual Leadership Awards honor influential and innovative entrepreneurs who are transforming the way the specialty food industry does business. These awards honor SFA members who have advanced food standards in society by creating positive social, economic and environmental impact through their innovations and vision.[13]

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. Multiple individuals are inducted into the Hall of Fame each year.[14] The Association’s Lifetime Achievement Awards recognize and celebrate extraordinary industry pioneers.[15]


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


  1. ^ "US specialty food sales topped $120bn in 2015, now account for 14.1% of total food sales".
  2. ^ :http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/specialty-food-association-names-new-president-300302185.html
  3. ^ "Association Representatives". www.specialtyfood.com.
  4. ^ "Specialty food industry continues surge upward".
  5. ^ "Our Fancy Foods, Ourselves".
  6. ^ "The 2015 Fancy Food Show In New York, One Smorgasbord You Won't Want to Miss". 26 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Specialty Food Magazine - WINTER 2016". specialtyfoodmagazine.epubxp.com.
  8. ^ "preview". emailactivity1.ecn5.com.
  9. ^ "Specialty Food Association". specialtyfood.com. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  10. ^ "These awards are like Oscars, but for artisan food - The Boston Globe".
  11. ^ "Gallery: Sofi winners reflect latest specialty trends". 6 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Slideshow: Top innovations at Summer Fancy Food 2016".
  13. ^ "Leadership Awards - Specialty Food Association". www.specialtyfood.com.
  14. ^ "Hall of Fame - 2016 Hall of Fame Recipients Summer". www.specialtyfood.com.
  15. ^ "Specialty Food Association Names Lifetime Achievement Award Winners". 27 June 2016.

External links[edit]