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2013 NZ Food Awards open for entries

2013 NZ Food Awards open for entries

The search for New Zealand’s most creative, innovative and tasty food products of 2013 is now on.

Entries are open for the 2013 NZ Food Awards, and the wide-ranging categories cater for companies big and small. Winners will be selected on the basis of excellence and innovation.

Products need to be manufactured in New Zealand and commercially available in the New Zealand marketplace at the time of judging. Previous winners include fruit leathers, microwaveable cereals and spreadable butter – items we now take for granted.

The NZ Food Awards, in association with Massey University, has been running since 1987, and chief judge, Masterchef New Zealand’s Ray McVinnie, says he’s anticipating a step up in the quality of products presented to the judging panel this year.

“Since the awards began, New Zealand food has come a long way in terms of quality and innovation. We have a lot of talent in the food industry, and the NZ Food Awards are an opportunity to recognise those businesses that foster excellence and innovation with food.”

Last year’s Supreme Award went to Paneton Bakery’s Ready to Use Puff Pastry, which also collected the Ministry for Primary Industries Bakery Award. Paneton’s Madeleine Colombie says their win in 2012 reinforced their belief in an artisanal approach to their pastry products. “In the last three years, our business has doubled, and winning these awards confirms we’re doing something right. Our ingredients are true and authentic, and so easy for people to use at home. When we won, we had lots of great responses – it shows that small companies can do well at the NZ Food Awards.”

This year a new category, the Outstanding Contribution Award, will recognise an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the New Zealand food industry. The winning recipient will be recognised for their innovation, leadership and determination and significant achievements within the New Zealand food industry.

Another new category, the Healthier Choice Award, recognises food designed to meet specific nutritional needs, including gluten free, low GI, and those with major reductions in fat, sodium, or carbohydrates.

In addition to the varied categories on offer, entrants will gain access to industry focus groups and business capability workshops led by NZ Food Awards strategic partners, including AsureQuality, Countdown, KPMG, Rabobank, the New Zealand Herald, and the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Key Dates:
Entries open – now
Entries close – July 19
Judging period – August 7/8
Finalists announced – August 29
Gala Awards Dinner (Auckland) – September 19


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