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Food Awards announces refresh and entries opening for 2016

2 May 2016


New Zealand Food Awards announces refresh and entries opening for 2016

The search begins for the best of the best in New Zealand’s food and beverage industry

Entries open for the 2016 New Zealand Food Awards today, calling for all local food and beverage producers to showcase the success and innovation of their products and businesses.

The New Zealand Food Awards, in association with Massey University, provides the food and beverage industry with the opportunity to boost their profile and achieve recognition for their brands and businesses, and this year has seen some changes to the award categories to provide more opportunities for businesses to enter.

Entrants have the opportunity to put forward their products to an expert judging panel, receive feedback, and benchmark themselves against industry peers which provides valuable insights for future development and approaches.

Winning products are able to feature the New Zealand Food Awards “Quality Mark” to highlight the superiority of their products to both consumers and industry, and boost sales and distribution both here and abroad.

The awards are aimed at both small and large food and beverage manufacturers, primary food producers, food service providers and ingredient supply companies.

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey says the New Zealand Food Awards are an opportunity for passionate food and beverage producers to test their wares, come together and celebrate industry innovation and excellence.

“The awards celebrate the best in New Zealand for food and beverage production manufacturing, nutrition, enterprise and food safety. It is an opportunity for companies to generate recognition for their brands in an industry that makes up New Zealand’s largest export earner,” Mr Maharey says.

Last year, Waikato’s Magills Butchery Ltd proved the ultimate champion, taking out the 2015 New Zealand Food Awards Massey University Supreme Award with its Magills Slow-Cooked Pulled Hereford Beef. This was a great feat, as the competition was particularly tough last year with entries up 40 per cent compared to the previous year, with almost 150 products from 79 food and beverage producers vying for the top awards.

Magills Butchery Ltd owner, Mike van Der Hoeven, says winning the award was great recognition for their amazing team and the top quality of their product. Their Te Awamutu-based business has since reaped a number of benefits.

“After winning at the New Zealand Food Awards, retail sales of the product have grown, we have signed up with My Food Bag and we have been approached by a commercial partner for an innovative and exciting new venture. This has all been fantastic for our business,” Mr van Der Hoeven says.

“The New Zealand Food Awards is a great opportunity to gain feedback on your brand and learn more about how other businesses are being innovative. My advice to other food producers is to take advantage of this competition.”

The award categories for the competition have been refreshed this year providing lots of opportunities for both large and small manufacturers to enter.

Large manufacturers can enter products in Chilled (includes dairy), Dry Goods (sweet and savoury), Beverages, and Frozen (sweet and savoury) categories.

Small manufacturers can enter products in the Artisan and Gourmet categories, which are judged on product quality and consumer appeal.

Awards are also available for health and wellness, novel ingredients, primary sector products, food safety, business innovation, export innovation and the overall supreme winner.

The New Zealand Food Awards are made possible thanks to Massey University and the family of strategic and supporting partners: Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED), Countdown, FoodHQ, The Foodbowl, The New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology (NZIFST), Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE), NZME, Review Publishing, XPO Exhibitions and Villa Maria.

This year’s expert judging panel consists of Jo Elwin, Ray McVinnie, Jeff Scott and Nici Wickes.

Entries for the competition close on Friday 15 July. For more information, please visit www.foodawards.co.nz.

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