Allergen-aware foods, vegan-friendly, hemp-based products, and gin and vodka handcrafted from sheep milk are among the finalists of this year’s New Zealand Food Awards.
The finalists include several winners from previous years – Barker’s of Geraldine, Blue Frog Breakfast and The Pure Food Co – as well as new products including goat sausages and freeze-dried manuka honey.
Sixty individual products from 48 companies are finalists in 10 categories and one category winner will be named the Massey University Supreme Award winner at the Gala Dinner in Auckland on October 23.
The awards have celebrated New Zealand manufactured products, focusing on innovation and excellence since 1987. Sponsored by the University, they are open to small and large food and beverage manufacturers, primary food producers, food service providers and ingredient supply companies.
Last year’s supreme award winner was The Whole Mix Co. Limited for its vegetable noodle range. The company, owned by Marton-based Spiers Foods, also won the Massey University Health and Wellbeing Award, and the James & Wells Business Innovation Award.
Massey Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas says the university’s connection to the New Zealand food industry dates back to its inception as an agricultural college, in 1927, and its patronage of the New Zealand Food Awards dates back to the awards’ inception 60 years later.
The New Zealand Food Awards expert judging panel includes celebrity judges Bite magazine’s Ray McVinnie, chef Geoff Scott and World Kitchen television host and chef Nici Wickes.