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SFA Admissions FAQs

Who can apply for membership with the Specialty Food Association?

To best represent the diversity and reach of the specialty food community we serve, the SFA Board of Directors have approved a new membership policy, and with that, a new simplified application process that will allow more businesses to take advantage of the SFA benefits and resources.

  • There are now two classes of membership, General and Alliance. (each described below)
  • Start-ups and businesses in early stage product development are welcome to join the SFA
  • Pet food, foods containing CBD or THC and nutritional/health supplements (a product taken orally that contains one or more ingredients, such as vitamins or amino acids that are intended to supplement one's diet and are not considered food) are not eligible for Specialty Food Association membership.


What are the costs for the Specialty Food Association Memberships?

There is a $100, non-refundable application fee. ?Annual membership dues are as follows.

General Members:
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  • Businesses that are engaged in or have an intent to engage in the selling or reselling of a Specialty Food Product. Examples include, but are not limited to: manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, e-commerce buyers, retailers, distributors, importers, accessory suppliers and brokers.
    Annual dues are $300 per calendar.

Alliance Members:
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  • Alliance Members are businesses that are engaged in the advancement and support of businesses in the Specialty Food Industry. Most often, such companies may represent or provide professional, sales or support services to General Members. Examples include, but are not limited to: legal, financial, marketing services; logistics, shipping, freight services; media, public relations, package/graphic designers, software/digital solutions; government organizations, pavilion organizers, universities, incubators and holding or investment entities.
    Annual dues are $500 per calendar year.


What are the different membership types within the Specialty Food Association?

All applicants for Specialty Food Association membership must first be approved as Tier 1 members.

SFA Tier 1 Member Benefits include:?

  • Receiving the Specialty Food Magazine
  • Our daily eNewsletter - Specialty Food News
  • Access to the SFA Member Solution Center
  • Our Trendspotter Trends information
  • Our online community forums
  • Member Discounts from SFA Partners on ERP, Logistics and?Legal services
  • A dedicated SFA Staff member to help you with questions and any needs. ? ??

If you are planning on becoming an SFA Tier 2 Member and participate in the Tier 2 Benefits related to our SFA Product Platforms including:

  • Exhibiting at The Fancy Food Shows
  • Taking part in the What’s New, What’s Hot program
  • Entering our sofi? Awards
  • Entering our FrontBurner Pitch Competition
  • Adding your products to the SFA Product Marketplace
  • Participating in the Biz-Builders Buyer Matching Making program

You will need to submit your product(s) for qualification and approval from our Product Qualifications Committee.


What is the Specialty Food Association’s definition of “specialty foods?”

Specialty Food Products as used herein shall mean: Foods and beverages that exemplify quality, innovation and style in their category. Their specialty nature derives from some or all 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 their differentiation in their categories, such products maintain a high perceived value and often command a premium price.
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What are the requirements when submitting an application for SFA Tier 1 membership?

During the application process, SFA applicants will need to provide the following information:

  1. Provide company details and contact information
  2. Provide company demographics
  3. Provide evidence of your connection to the specialty food industry
  4. Digitally acknowledge online terms/conditions and member agreement
  5. Select payment type and amount to submit application for SFA processing


How long does the process take to become a member of the Specialty Food Association?

Applicants for Tier 1 membership will receive an email confirmation within 48 hours once their application has been reviewed by the SFA and all requirements have been satisfied.
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How do I apply for membership to the Specialty Food Association?

You will need to create a login with username and password to access the online application for SFA Tier 1 Membership.

Please click here to begin.
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