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A taste of New Zealand in Dubai, Taiwan and Singapore

Media release – 9 June 2014

A taste of New Zealand in Dubai, Taiwan and Singapore

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has been giving the world a taste of New Zealand.

In Dubai, New Zealand was centre stage for the 2014 Taste New Zealand chef competition. Targeted at professional chefs, the competition aims to raise awareness of the diversity and quality of New Zealand food and drink products available in the United Arab Emirates amongst chefs, buyers, and food service and retail industry leaders. Last year, the competition helped NZTE customers secure $4 million in new deals.

Ten chefs competed in a one-hour cook-off using mystery New Zealand ingredients including meat, seafood, dairy, wine and even Marmite. The winner, Prabakaran Manickam, is the Area Head Chef for Food Fund International which has nine outlets in Middle East. He received his award from Trade Minister Hon Tim Groser, who was in Dubai as part of a visit to build relations with region.

Chef Prabakaran’s winning dish was Firstlight Venison French Rack encrusted with pistachio. He won a two-week trip for two to New Zealand, courtesy of Emirates Airline, where he will visit a range of producers.

Trade Commissioner Steve Jones, who was a judge, said: “These events put New Zealand products in front of hotel and restaurant decision-makers and buyers and bring people together in a New Zealand setting to enjoy our fresh food and try our wines.”

In Taiwan, Kiwi pies were on the menu as New Zealand companies exhibited at the 2014 Taipei International Bakery Show (TIBS), the leading professional bakery fair in Asia. Taiwan has a growing bakery industry with an increasing number of chains and manufacturers expanding into Mainland China, so there is an opportunity for New Zealand companies to become strategic partners.

NZTE worked with a renowned Taiwanese pastry chef and his team to develop 50 new recipes using New Zealand ingredients to suit local palates eg butter, cream and mascarpone (New Zealand is Taiwan’s No.1 source of dairy products), as well as savoury fillings. The pies, in particular, went down a treat with the 5000 visitors to the New Zealand Pavilion despite pies being unfamiliar to many Taiwanese.

Dean Prebble, Director of New Zealand Trade Development Centre, said: “Taiwan is an affluent market of 23 million people and imports up to 70% of its food, with New Zealand one of its top six suppliers. New Zealand producers and exporters are seen as having a competitive edge over their rivals thanks to the preferential tariff treatment under the ANZTEC trade agreement.”

Singaporeans were introduced to over 40 New Zealand food and beverage products after NZTE organised a pop-up store in one of the country’s largest malls. The New Zealand Food Fair, held in partnership with Cold Storage supermarkets, will also see products highlighted in more than 55 supermarkets.

Tony Robinson, TC in Singapore, said: “Singapore is New Zealand’s seventh largest export destination, and the largest in South East Asia. Exports grew 22.6% in the year to March 2014, the largest growth in New Zealand’s top 10 export destinations after China. New Zealand products have found a niche with consumers looking for premium safe foods, and demand is booming. This event is a great way to introduce new brands, and within days of launching, most product lines had sold out and several rounds of restocking took place to meet high demand. Cold Storage has already placed repeat orders with companies that are almost six times greater than the original orders.”

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