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Hunt for Best Chip Shop Returns

Press release

31 July 2006

Hunt for Best Chip Shop Returns

After a three year break, the search to find New Zealand’s top chippie is on again.

The Crisco Oils Best Chip Shop Competition 2006 which runs from 1 September to 23 October, will have a panel of judges scouring the country looking for six regional winners from which a grand national winner will be found.

Public text voting, mystery judging and chip fat analysis will determine 15 regional finalists selected from each of the six regions across New Zealand.

Goodman Fielder Commercial General Manager Sales and Marketing, Graeme Laurence, said the top shop will need to pass the scrutiny of the Chip Group - an industry collaboration that has been in place for almost a decade.

“The group which includes The National Heart Foundation of New Zealand, has been working together over that period of time to help lower the fat content of New Zealanders’ favourite takeaway meal,” Graeme said.

“In line with that approach, the Heart Foundation will be looking for chips that have been cooked using its recommended frying techniques which can significantly reduce the fat content of chips.”

Heart Foundation nutritionist, Judith Morley-John, said each year 110,000 tonnes of chips are consumed.

“This is equal to about seven million serves of chips eaten each week by New Zealanders,” she said.

“The Heart Foundations’ good frying techniques include: using thick, straight-cut chips, which absorb less fat than crinkle-cuts or shoestrings; cooking at 180°C and, draining the cooked chips correctly – commonly referred to as the ‘bang, shake and hang’ method.

“By using these techniques, shops can reduce the fat in chips by as much as 20 per cent. If all shops did this, we could potentially remove over 2,500 tonnes of fat from the national food supply annually.”

Judith said the average fat content of a chip is approximately 11.5 per cent. However, the winner and regional finalists in the 2002 Best Chip Shop Competition achieved, on average, less than 10 per cent.

As well as the chip fat analysis test, all 15 regional finalists in this year’s competition will be judged on a range of criteria including chip freshness and colour, shop cleanliness and customer service.

Graeme said the Competition has come of age and during the public voting phase organisers are doing away with the traditional paper voting system instead calling for votes via text messaging.

“Since the competition first launched in the 90s, we have seen it grow. We are anticipating even more entrants this year and, with voting as easy as texting a four digit code, we’re confident of record votes,” Graeme said.

“Ask almost any New Zealander if they have a favourite chippie, and they’ll respond passionately about who is their top shop. In November, we’ll be able to tell New Zealanders exactly where to go for the country’s perfect chip.”

The Crisco Best New Zealand Chip Shop Competition 2006 is the country’s only national chip shop competition and is this year supported by Goodman Fielder, Huhtamaki Bakels, McCain, Mr Chips, Potato Growers of New Zealand and The National Heart Foundation.

Graeme said as the main sponsor, Goodman Fielder would be supporting the event under the new Crisco Oils brand.

“Crisco Oils is essentially a rebranding of Sunola and Liquid Gold - Goodman Fielders existing healthy liquid oils. They are considered to be one of the leading healthy alternatives for deep frying in New Zealand making them a great partner for this year’s chip shop competition which is helping to drive awareness of healthier frying techniques."

Chip shops can register for free to take part in the Competition by calling 0900 76543 or visiting www.bestchipshop.co.nz.

Voting opens on 1 September 2006 and closes on 23 October. The grand national winner is expected to be announced in November.

ENDS

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