The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Finalists for 2018 New Zealand Food Awards announced

Finalists for the 2018 New Zealand Food Awards include a range of products new to grocery shelves, including Pāmu deer milk powder, Ōra King TYEE salmon from New Zealand King Salmon and cultured vegan butter from Savour Ltd.

The awards, now in their 32nd year, showcase the best New Zealand has to offer in the food and beverage industry and celebrate the creative innovations from Kiwi food and beverage manufacturers, from artisanal products through to large-scale companies.

The finalist lineup, announced today, includes several winners from previous years, including Barker’s of Geraldine, the Pure Food Co, Epic Brewing Company and Proper Crisps.

Sixty-seven products from 54 companies are finalists this year, across 11 categories including Artisan, Novel Food or Beverage and Business Innovation. One of the category winners will be announced as the Massey University Supreme Award winner, at the Gala Dinner in Auckland in October.

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas says the University is extremely proud of the role the awards have had in showcasing excellence and innovation in food and beverage production for the past three decades.

“We know New Zealanders are regarded as world leaders in this sphere and it is right that we remind ourselves each year just how extraordinarily talented and creative the people in our food sector are – and celebrate their achievements,” Professor Thomas says.

“Every year we are impressed by the calibre of the finalists and 2018 is no exception. The awards provide local producers with the opportunity to elevate their business on a global scale.”

The New Zealand Food Awards expert judging panel includes celebrity judges Bite magazine’s Ray McVinnie, chef Geoff Scott, World Kitchen television host and chef Nici Wickes, and New Zealand’s only certified cicerone (beer expert), Josh Scott.

Innovation was also a key theme again this year, Ms Wickes says. “Our finalists this year have just blown our socks off with the amount of innovation, and I’m not talking about crazy inventions with food – it’s about taking a quality New Zealand product and then adding some value to it, to make it even more fantastic.”

Geoff Scott says among the hundreds of entries, there was one stand-out moment for him during judging. “We had a rather creative piece entered, which was an amazing frozen confectionary item. It definitely drew a lot of comments from the judges and actually, apart from being a real stand-out beautiful piece, it also tasted amazing.”
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 domestically and internationally.

About the New Zealand Food Awards
Established in 1987 by Massey University, the awards are made possible each year by the family of strategic partners, Countdown, Cuisine Magazine, James & Wells, Massey University and MPI’s New Zealand Food Safety, as well as the supporting partners, ATEED, Bite, Eagle Protect, The FoodBowl, FoodHQ, The FoodPilot, FMCG Business, FoodTech PackTech, New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the Palmerston North City Council, Retail World, The Shout and Villa Maria.

They are open to food, beverage and ingredient producers of all sizes. Special award categories are open for primary food producers, food service providers and ingredient supply companies. Products entered must be made in New Zealand. Previous winners of note include Otago Locusts, Villa Maria, Fonterra, Magills Butchery and Sealord Group.

The awards winners will be announced at a Gala Dinner at the Sky City Convention Centre on October 17. For more information, please visit

2018 New Zealand Food Awards Finalists

Cuisine Artisan Award (20)
Avatar Honey Ltd
Carello del Gelato
Clevedon Buffalo Company
Fix & Fogg
Grey Lynn Butchers
Happy Belly Ferments
Honest Chocolat
Lot Eight Ltd
Midlands Nutritional Oils
Kitchen Six Ltd
Poaka NZ Ltd
Pastrami & Rye
Proper Crisps
Relish The Thought
Savour Ltd
The Clareville Bakery
Waiheke Aquifers
Wild Game Salamis
Wildness Ltd
Wooden Spoon Boutique Freezery

Countdown Grocery Foods Award 
Barker’s of Geraldine (Two products in this category)
Five Percent Ltd
Greytown Honey Ltd
NoShortcuts Ltd
Penati Nut and Seed Crackers
Something to Crow About

Chilled/Short Shelf Life Award, in association with Eagle Protect 
A Lady Butcher
Preston Corp Ltd
Ready to Eat
Savour Ltd (Two products in this category)
The Crafted and Co

Frozen Award, in association with Palmerston North City Council 
Alliance Group Ltd
Appleby Farms (Two products in this category)
Dad’s Pies
Gourmet Baby Ltd

Non-alcoholic Beverages Award, in association with FoodHQ 
Aunt Jean’s Dairy
The Apple Press
WNS Group

The Shout Alcoholic Beverages Award 
Epic Brewing Company
8 Wired Brewing Co Ltd
Puhoi Organic Distillery
Sawmill Brewery

Massey University Health and Wellbeing Award 
Fonterra Brands (NZ) Ltd
Forage and Ferment (Two products in this category)
Penati Nut and Seed Crackers
Raw Glory
The Pure Food Co
The Whole Mix Co (Four products in this category)

New Zealand Food Safety, Food Safety Culture Award 
Dad’s Pies
Picot Productions Ltd

New Zealand Food Safety Primary Sector Products Award 
Alliance Group Ltd
New Zealand King Salmon
Pāmu, Landcorp Farming Ltd
The Apple Press

Novel Food or Beverage Award, in association with ATEED and The FoodBowl 
Avatar Honey Ltd
Fix & Fogg
Hansells Food Group
Pāmu, Landcorp Farming Ltd
Picot Productions Ltd
Preston Corp Ltd
Savour Ltd

James & Wells Business Innovation 
Dad’s Pies
Pure Delish
Ready to Eat
The Whole Mix Co (Four products in this category)
Turk’s Poultry Farm (Five products in this category)