Frequently Asked Questions
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ENTER?
Each entry costs $105. Fees are NON-REFUNDABLE.
WHEN CAN I ENTER THE SOFI AWARDS?
The entry period is March 1, 2023 – March 31, 2023.
WHEN DO I SEND THE PRODUCT SAMPLES?
Ship samples to arrive between March 1, 2022 – April 6, 2023. If your product is perishable: Clearly mark the exterior of the box: "PERISHABLE.". We recommend you send your products so they arrive between Tuesday-Thursday. The Rutgers Food Innovation Center is closed on weekends and will not be open to receive shipments or drop-offs on Saturdays or Sundays. Please send products with an expiration date no earlier than May 24, 2023.
DO I HAVE TO EXHIBIT AT THE FANCY FOOD SHOW TO ENTER?
No. The sofi Awards are open to all Specialty Food Association members in good standing. If you are interested in becoming a member please click here
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE NEW PRODUCT CATEGORY?
Entries in the New Product category must have been introduced to the U.S. market after February 28, 2022 and before February 28, 2023.
HOW WILL THE NEW PRODUCT AND PRODUCT OF THE YEAR CATEGORIES BE SELECTED?
The New Product of the Year Award winner and Product of the Year Award winner will be selected and announced at the Summer Fancy Food Show, taking place June 25-27 in New York City. At the Show on Sunday, June 25, and Monday, June 26, registered buyers will taste the 5 highest-scoring New Product entries and the 5 highest-scoring General Category entries as determined during the blind sofi judging process at the Rutgers Food Innovation Center. If you are one of the 10 finalists, you will be notified by May 8, 2023. Each registered buyer judge will select their top choice from the 5 New Product finalists and their top choice from the 5 General Category Finalists. The products with the most votes in each category will be named The New Product of the Year Award and the Product of the Year Award winner on Tuesday, June 27 at the Show.
HOW MANY ENTRIES MAY I SUBMIT?
Products must be selling in the U.S. market no later than February 28, 2023. There is no limit to the number of products/SKUs you can submit; each can only compete in one category. You may enter multiple products/SKUs in the same category. The one exception to this is that the same product can compete in the New Product category plus one other category. Please note that a product that is entered in different packaging sizes or forms does not qualify the product as ‘NEW’ nor allows the product to be entered in multiple categories.
MY PRODUCT IS NOT QUITE READY FOR SALE. MAY I SUBMIT IT?
No. All entries must be ready for sale. Mock-ups are not accepted.
MAY I ENTER MULTIPLE PRODUCTS FOR THE SAME CATEGORY?
Yes, as long as they are different products/flavors.
IF I HAVE A FOODSERVICE PRODUCT, WHICH CATEGORY SHOULD I ENTER IT IN?
Enter your product in the category it fits best. Due to of blind judging, packaging and pricing will not be taken into consideration. Foodservice entries should NOT be sent without their original packaging and all nutritional information must be included.
DO I NEED TO SEND PRODUCT SAMPLES?
Yes, enough for 15 small tasting samples. Two packages/jars/boxes are usually enough. A new set of samples must be sent for each category in which the product is entered. Please do not send excess product. Due to safety concerns, shipping box MUST be labeled as PERISHABLE, keep FROZEN or keep REFRIGERATED on the package. Products must have an expiration date of no earlier than May 24, 2023.
WHERE ARE THE ENTRY FORMS?
Enter online at sofiawards.com.
IF MY PRODUCT NEEDS TO BE PREPARED OR COOKED (E.G. CAKE MIX), SHOULD I SEND PREPARED PRODUCT?
No. The Specialty Food Association hires professional chefs to prepare products according to package instructions.
MAY I SEND FROZEN OR REFRIGERATED PRODUCTS?
Yes. Make sure to clearly mark the exterior of the box “PERISHABLE. Keep FROZEN or REFRIGERATED.”
MAY I SEND PAYMENT SEPARATELY?
No, you must pay online, by credit card, when you submit your entry.
DO JUDGES TASTE THE PRODUCTS?
Yes, judges taste all the products. PLEASE NOTE PRODUCT FEEDBACK IS NOT PROVIDED AT THE END OF THE AWARDS.
IF I HAVE QUESTIONS WHO CAN I CONTACT?
Contact the sofi Awards at email@example.com