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Stages Wins Gold at Paris Food Awards

June 8, 2006

Stages Wins Gold at Prestigious 2006 SIAL d’Or Food Awards in Paris

Stages frozen organic baby food has just won gold at the prestigious 2006 SIAL d’Or food awards in Paris, where it was judged the best new product from New Zealand.

The company won gold with their ‘Sweet Sensations’ 8 month old dessert product, which was also a finalist in the SIAL d’Or Frozen Dessert category.

The SIAL d’Or awards are selected bi-annually by an international panel of 25 food journalists and recognise the best innovative food products in the world across eight categories.

Stages frozen organic baby food is the first stage-appropriate organic frozen baby food product launched in the world. The Stages range of baby products are made from organic ingredients and distilled water, and contain no preservatives, sugar or salt.

The range of products - the brainchild of Dana Mitchell, a busy working professional and mother of two young children - has been designed to offer delicious, convenient and nutritious meals for babies who are starting to eat solid foods.

Says Dana Mitchell, Stages CEO, of the company’s recent win: “We created the range because we felt that all babies deserve the best start they can possibly get. To even be chosen for SIAL d’Or is high praise, so to be recognised with a gold medal is really special. This award puts us up with the world’s best new food products – we’re undoubtedly proud of the accomplishment and look forward to the local and international growth opportunities that SIAL winners experience.”

The award comes just a month before Stages celebrates its first birthday.

Says Dana: “The past year has been very successful for Stages. Sales have increased quarter on quarter, and our convenient home delivery service, which we began trialling in April, is also proving to be very popular with our customers. We anticipate strong growth for Stages, and have recently moved our production to a pharmaceutical grade facility in Waiuku which will accommodate the needs of our growing business.”

Despite a limited release of the product in Auckland supermarkets last June, and against competitors whose products are available nationwide, AC Nielsen recently listed Stages as the number one frozen infant food product in New Zealand.

On top of the SIAL d’Or win, Stages was also recently selected as a finalist for two 2006 Waitakere Business Awards, in the Best Emerging/Small Business and Product Design and Development categories.

The Stages range of frozen baby food products is currently available in ten stores throughout the Auckland region.

The company plans to expand the products reach by taking the range nationwide in the next few months. Plans are also underway to expand the product range with new and exciting seasonal product offerings.


Notes to Editors:

- Stages frozen baby food offers a complete range of high-quality baby food, carefully designed to provide babies with the right food for the right stage of their development. Stages baby products are frozen so that the meals remain fresh and retain vital nutrients.

- Dana Mitchell, Stages Director and CEO, came up with the idea for Stages when she was researching what solid foods she should be feeding her first child, Aiden, now two and a half years old. Preparing endless amounts of baby puree at home was time-consuming, so Dana began sampling different baby foods from supermarket shelves. Disappointed by the products on offer, Dana then decided to establish Stages.

- Commendably, Dana was able to get the frozen baby food products from concept to production in just nine months, whilst at the same time juggling the demands of being a mother (she gave birth to her second child last November), with running her other food business, Voodoo Tuesday, and working part time for a telecommunications company.

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