The Good Food Awards are proud to announce the 263 Finalists of 2016, representing the best from America’s growing movement of talented and socially responsible food crafters. This year’s 1,937 entries—33% more than ever before—made for a day of tough choices at the annual blind tastings. Representing 13 categories, from cider to confections to pantry, finalists such as Tennessee Reserve Pecan Sorghum Butter and Georgia Green Peanut Oil exemplify the country’s diverse and deep-rooted food traditions. Beyond distinguishing themselves by receiving top scores from the 215 judges, all finalists passed a rigorous vetting to confirm they met specific Good Food Awards standards around environmentally sound agriculture practices, good animal husbandry, transparency, and responsible relationships throughout the supply chain.
The winners will be announced Friday, January 15, 2016, at a gala Awards Ceremony at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, followed by two more days of celebration. Medals will be bestowed by renowned chef and activist Alice Waters and organics pioneer Nell Newman, tipping their hats to these exceptional food producers. A reception with the winning food and drink will follow the ceremony, offering both regional tasting plates and small bites created by local chefs. A limited number of tickets are available for the ceremony and reception ($120 here). The father of the food movement, Slow Food Founder Carlo Petrini, will travel from Italy to deliver the opening remarks. On playing this special role he notes:
“I am thrilled to be invited to set the tone for this extraordinary evening, which gathers together the best of America’s agricultural bounty. In every corner of the world, Slow Food is fighting to defend small scale, quality food production, and initiatives like this deeply reinforce the movement in the United States. Agriculture that is good, fair and in harmony with our environment is the only hope we have for the future of our food, and by extension, for ourselves. I am overjoyed to return to San Francisco, a city I love which has played a vital role in shaping the Slow Food movement in the USA. The opportunity to see how far America has come in producing food in harmony with this amazing land makes me all the more excited.”
Finalists in the Confections category are:


American Spoon, Chocolate Fudge Sauce, Michigan
Amy E’s Bakery, Peanut Brittle, Oregon
Ashby Confections, Fresh Orange Sour Strips & Salty Desert Heat, California
Askinosie Chocolate, Hey, Hey Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, Missouri
Batch PDX, Batch Bar & Twicks Bar, Oregon
Bees & Beans, Honey Bar Reserve, Oregon
Bixby & Co., Nutty For You, Maine
Black Dinah Chocolatiers, Maine Mint Truffle, Maine
Ethereal Confections, Blood Orange and Vanilla Bean Meltaway, Illinois
Farm Chocolate, Panforte in Dark, California
Fat Toad Farm, Fat Toad Farm Original Goat’s Milk Caramel Sauce, Vermont
French Broad Chocolates, Hazelnut & Almond Dragee, North Carolina
JJ’s Sweets Cocomels, Palm Sugar Cocomel, Colorado
Katherine Anne Confections, Cucumber Cooler Caramel, Illinois
Lake Champlain Chocolates, Apple Cider Caramels, Vermont
Little Apple Treats, Rose and Cocoa nib Caramels, California
McCrea’s Candies, Black Lava Sea Salt Caramels, Massachusetts
Neo Cocoa, Toffee Nib Brittle, California
Nosh This, Lavender Crack, California
Sapore della Vita, Caramel Sauce & Torrone & Totally Fudged-Chocolate Fudge Sauce, Florida
Serendipity Confections, Chocolate Covered Butter Caramels with Fleur de Sel, Wyoming
St. Croix Chocolate Co., Wild Grape and Peanut Butter Bar, Minnesota
Videri Chocolate Factory, Sugarplum Ganache Bonbon, North Carolina

On Saturday, January 16, the 30,000 square foot Herbst Pavilion at Fort Mason Center will transform into the Good Food Mercantile, a one-of-a-kind show where both winners and members of the Good Food Merchants Guild exhibit their full line of wares to 400 industry buyers and media. The Good Food Awards Marketplace rounds out the weekend on Sunday, January 17.

The Good Food Awards are proudly supported by the Good Food Retailers Collaborative, the Presenting Sponsor for two years running. Composed of 13 of the country’s top independently owned retailers from Chicago to Oakland to Ann Arbor, they are committed to supporting America’s great food producers in their own communities and across the country.