If you incorrectly selected the wrong application
type at the beginning of the application,
please contact the Admissions Department at:
The Specialty Food Association’s By-Laws defines specialty food as: foods and beverages that exemplify high levels and a core focus on quality, innovation and style in their category. Their specialty nature derives from some or all of the following characteristics: their originality, authenticity, ethnic or cultural origin, specific processing, ingredients, limited supply, distinctive use, extraordinary packaging or specific channel of distribution or sale. By virtue of their differentiation in their categories, such products maintain a high perceived value and often command a premium price.
If company does not meet requirement, and owners of the applying entity have already been actively engaged in the specialty food business for a substantial period of time, they may submit a waiver letter as a request from exemption.
Only gum, hard candy and chocolate is considered confectionery
Uploaded files should be in one of the following formats:
Microsoft Word, PDF, JPEG, PNG, GIF, or BMP
The maximum size allowed is 10 megabytes.
Application Process and Requirements
The Admission Process
- Submit the online application
- Mail us your product(s)
- Products will be evaluated by the tasting panel
- The Admissions Committee will review your application
- Results will be emailed to you.
The timeline for a decision regarding your application will be approximately 10 days from the receipt of your product(s).
- Products or services you manufacture or represent must meet our definition of specialty.
Must have been selling your products or services for one year
prior to date of application.
- Companies in business for less than one year may apply as candidates.
- Must provide five customer references, three of which must be from the United States.
- Don't meet the requirements? Click here.
- Product label must have (in English):
- Name of the food
- Net weight in both US customary system and metric
- Nutrition facts panel (unless product qualifies for small business exemption)
- Statement of ingredients
- Name and address of the manufacturer, packer or distributor
- Any required allergen statement
- For imported food products, country of origin statement
- We must receive your product and all relevant information within 15 days of submitting your application.
How to Apply
Submit a completed application along with the following material:
- Application fee ($100) in addition to Membership dues (Varies by membership type. See below).
- Product sample from saleable stock (applicable to Producer/Supplier, Member Candidate and Representative memberships only)
- Specification sell sheet
Create username and password, by clicking here prior to applying, if you have not already.
If your membership has lapsed within the last 2 years, you may be eligible to reinstate your membership and might not need to re-apply using this form. Please contact the Admissions Department for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or (646) 878-0303.
Please select the application that best describes your organization
Apply as a Producer/Supplier member if you take ownership of products and are a supplier to retail, institutional, or foodservice segments of the industry. This includes manufacturers, importers and distributors of specialty foods and accessory supplies (such as cooking, gift wrapping, labels, containers, and display fixtures suppliers). Membership dues are $300 per year.Apply for Membership
Apply as a Buyer/Retailer member if you buy products from producers or suppliers and you sell them directly to consumers via retail stores, foodservice operations, restaurants, web-based retail, and catalogs. Membership dues are $300 per year.Apply for Membership
Apply as a Representative member if you act on behalf of producers and suppliers to sell their products. Examples include: Food and beverage agents, food and beverage brokers, incubator kitchens, trade pavilion organizers, government trade agencies, and trade associations. Membership dues are $200 per year.Apply for Membership
Apply as an Affiliate member if you provide products or services to producers and suppliers. Examples include: consultants, custom brokers, freight forwarders and other transportation companies, government agencies (i.e. USDA, FDA), package and graphic designers, publications, raw material suppliers, research companies, and universities. Membership dues are $500 per year.Apply for Membership
Candidate — Limited Benefits
Apply as a Candidate if your company does not meet the criteria to be a full member, is based in the U.S., has been in business for less than 1 year, and has between 1-4 retail outlets currently selling your product. Membership dues are $0 per year.Apply for Candidacy