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New Zealand Food Awards finalists revealed

Celebrating 30 years of food innovation

The finalists have been announced for the prestigious New Zealand Food Awards 2017, recognising Kiwi companies for their outstanding innovations in New Zealand’s food and beverage industry.

Now in its 30th year, the awards, powered by Massey University, celebrate the creative innovations from New Zealand’s artisanal and large-scale food and beverage manufacturers.

Finalists have submitted their finest products in the hopes of taking out one of the top awards, including the Artisan Food Producer Award, BITE Gourmet Award, Export Innovation Awards and the coveted Massey University Supreme Award.

The high-calibre finalist line-up includes a diverse range of food and beverage producers from across New Zealand.

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas says she is proud of the role that the New Zealand Food Awards have played in recognising and promoting innovation and excellence in food and beverage production and manufacturing over the past 30 years.

“The New Zealand Food Awards take great pride in celebrating New Zealand’s progressive food and beverage industry and every year we are impressed by the calibre of the finalists,” Professor Thomas says. “The awards provide local producers with the opportunity to elevate their business on a global scale.”

The New Zealand Food Awards is excited to welcome back their expert judging panel, including Bite magazine’s Ray McVinnie, chef Geoff Scott, as well as World Kitchen television host and chef Nici Wickes. For the first time, New Zealand’s first certified cicerone (beer expert), Josh Scott, joined the judging panel.

Mr McVinnie says he is “absolutely blown-away” at the calibre of this year’s finalists. “I have had some major ‘wow’ moments throughout the judging process and it was fantastic to see modern technology used to produce food that is completely natural and fresh.”

Mr Scott shared the same sentiment, saying, “The finalists are inventive, original, resourceful and clear food and beverage industry leaders in New Zealand. There is an immense variety across all the catego-ries and it is really fascinating because you get to see innovative ideas and fantastic produce from all parts of New Zealand.”

Ms Wickes says, “We have such a vast array of fantastic ingredients and products available to us now and the NZ Food Awards do an exceptional job of highlighting those. Every year I get a steer on what is going to become more fashionable, what is popular, and what is next on the horizon!”

Winning products are eligible to use the New Zealand Food Awards “Quality Mark”, which highlights the superiority of products to both consumers and industry, and can help boost sales and distribution do-mestically and internationally.

The New Zealand Food Awards winners will be announced at a Gala Dinner at Sky City Convention Cen-tre, emceed by broadcaster Kerry McIvor on October 12. For more information, please visit www.foodawards.co.nz.

The New Zealand Food Awards is made possible thanks to Massey University and the family of strategic and supporting partners – Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development, Countdown, FoodHQ, The FoodBowl, The New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology, Ministry for Primary Indus-tries, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, NZME, Review Publishing, XPO Exhibitions, RangeMe, Brother Design, Palmerston North City Council and Villa Maria.

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