2012 sofi Awards Part 2: Trend Alert!
What's cropping up among the contenders.user rating
Evident in the Outstanding New Product category is the ultimate battle between tradition and innovation. Some goods are banking on tradition and refinement, while others are hoping to pioneer new flavor movements. But even within these broad themes, some interesting trends are shaping up.
Olive Oil for Kids.
The first of these youth-focused oils appeared a couple of years back, but the trend is looking to be gaining traction in this year’s sofi Awards. Two entries in the running for Outstanding New Product specifically target foodies-in-training, joining the existing varieties to give picky parents even more options. Organic? Check. Cold-pressed? You bet. Cute label and smaller packaging to appeal to the little ones? Of course. We’re curious to see if this trend will continue expanding to other specialty categories. Truffles for Tots, anyone?
Salted and Spiced Chocolates.
These flavor pairings are the kings of the chocolate and confection world right now, so it only makes sense that so many entries for Outstanding New Product would capitalize on the beloved infusions of salt or spice. From simple dark chocolate bars with sea salt or ancho chili to more decadent sea salt, caramel and rocky road chocolate or raspberry chipotle truffles, each of these products are hoping they’ve mastered the ingredient balance. Or maybe a new flavor will take over: Malt is making a comeback, appearing in a dark chocolate and malted milk bar and in malted cookie rounds dipped in dark chocolate with a touch of fleur de sel.
The search for the ultimate superfood continues—and it’s revealed an array of ancient grains that’ll surely snap you out of that rice rut. And it’s not just for entrees. Semolina is made into savory herb- and spice-infused crackers, flax offers a new nondairy milk alternative, amaranth and quinoa add healthful heartiness to chili, and spelt and chia transform into bold and flavorful—and certified organic—wraps.
Judging for Outstanding New Product has wrapped up, and one day remains for Outstanding Product Line. Check back in for more behind-the-scenes coverage of the judging process, and don’t miss our big reveal of the remaining 2012 sofi Silver Finalists.—Eva Meszaros