Zealand Food Awards finalists revealed

New Zealand Food Awards finalists revealed

The finalists have been announced for the 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 FoodHQ Partner, 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 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 has 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.”

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Jan Thomas announces the finalists in the Massey University Health and Wellness category.

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 only 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 categories, 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 domestically and internationally.

There were 120 guests at the New Zealand Food Awards finalists announcement at Villa Maria Winery.


About the New Zealand Food Awards

The New Zealand Food Awards winners will be announced at a Gala Dinner at Sky City Convention Centre, emceed by broadcaster Kerry McIvor on October 12. For more information, please visit

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 Industries, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, NZME, Review Publishing, XPO Exhibitions, RangeMe, Brother Design, Palmerston North City Council and Villa Maria.

The annual programme, which has been running since 1987, celebrates new initiatives in New Zealand food and beverage production, showcasing the best of New Zealand’s food industry. The awards are open to food, beverage and ingredient products, with specific categories for small manufacturers and large manufacturers. 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 Coastal Spring Lamb, Magills Butchery Ltd, Sealord Group, J. Friend & Co., Pure Delish and the Tasman Bay Food Group.

The 2017 finalists are…

Artisan Food Producers Award in association with Supermarket News and Restaurant & Café Magazine

  • Abel New Zealand Ltd
  • Bakeworks Ltd
  • Bootleggers
  • Dr Feelgood Ltd
  • Durello – Traditional Brazillian Foods
  • Food to Market Ltd
  • Fresh West Ltd
  • Gathered Game
  • Green Meadows Beef Ltd
  • Hawke’s Bay Brewing Company
  • Kiwi Kai
  • Maungatapere Berries Limited
  • No Shortcuts Ltd
  • Carello del Gelato
  • Nutting Better Ltd
  • Otago Locusts
  • Queen Anne Indulgence Ltd
  • The Caker Ltd
  • The Lucky Taco
  • Wooden Spoon Boutique Freezery
  • Woodshed Enterprises

Artisan Craft Beer Award in association with Supermarket News and Countdown

  • Behemoth Brewing Company
  • Quench Collective
  • The Croucher Brewing Company
  • BITE Gourmet Award
  • Hakanoa Handmade Drinks Ltd
  • No Shortcuts Ltd
  • Over the Moon Dairy Company
  • Poppy & Olive Ltd
  • Six Barrel Soda Co.
  • Viavio
  • ViBERi NZ Limited
  • Wild Fennel Co.

Countdown Alcoholic Beverages Award

  • 8 Wired Brewing (Quench Collective)
  • DB Breweries
  • Emerson’s Brewing Company
  • Epic Brewing Company
  • Independent Liquor NZ Ltd
  • Moa Brewing Company

Non-Alcoholic Beverages Award in association with Villa Maria

  • Barker’s of Geraldine
  • Fresco Nutrition Ltd
  • Spring Sheep Milk Co

Dry Award in association with Palmerston North City Council

  • Barker’s of Geraldine
  • Proper Crisps
  • Pure Delish Ltd
  • The Lovely Little Food Co


Chilled/Short Shelf Life Award in association with Eagle Consumables

  • Cabernet Foods Ltd
  • Fresh to Go Ltd
  • The Collective

Frozen Award in association with FoodHQ

  • Leader Products
  • The Lovely Little Food Co

James & Wells Business Innovation Award

  • Cabernet Foods Ltd
  • Clareville Bakery Ltd
  • Frenz The Free Range Egg & Poultry Co. Ltd
  • Fresco Nutrition Ltd
  • Original Foods Baking Co.
  • The Caker Ltd

The FoodBowl Novel Food or Beverage Award

  • Barker’s of Geraldine
  • Blue Frog Breakfast
  • Cocavo Limited
  • Otago Locusts
  • Spring Sheep Milk Co
  • The Caker Ltd
  • ViBERi NZ Limited

Massey University Health and Wellness Award

  • Springbrook Foods
  • Zamati Technology Ltd

MPI Food Safety Culture Award

  • Cocavo Limited
  • Maungatapere Berries Limited
  • The Pure Food Co

MPI Primary Sector Products Award

  • Fresh West Ltd
  • Maungatapere Berries Limited
  • Otago Locusts
  • T&G Global Limited

NZTE Export Innovation Award

  • Constellation Brands New Zealand
  • Spring Sheep Milk Co


Article first appeared here.