THE WHOLE MIX vegetable noodle range produced by Speirs Foods from the Rangitikei town of Marton has taken out the Massey University Supreme Award winner at this year’s New Zealand Food Awards. The Whole Mix Co. Limited also won the Massey University Health and Wellbeing Award and the James & Wells Business Innovation Award for its noodle range that includes Zucchini, Butternut, Medley (Beetroot, Carrot, Zucchini) and
Kumara. Judges said the products are a tasty and nutritious alternative to pasta, can be used in stir-fries and salads, or eaten straight from the package and their growing popularity reflects some of the changing tastes of New Zealand consumers. Ross Kane, Managing Director of Speirs Foods, parent company of The Whole Mix Co. Limited, says winning the awards is recognition of the way the company has evolved and improved over the past 18 months. “We got the team reinvigorated, got the right culture within the business and set a goal of
being more innovative and producing what people really wanted in the market place, and I
think it’s just a celebration of that journey over the past 12 to 18 months. Our vision is to
create fresh food to make people’s lives healthier and easier and this is just the beginning of
our journey – watch this space for more innovation,” Mr Kane says.
The collective team of judges say the vegetable noodle range rides the wave of market demand for easy to serve fresh vegetables, with a twist. “These prepacked, spiralised, microwaveable vegetable noodles, prepared from locally-grown vegetables, are delicious, nutritious and fill a much-needed gap in the fresh vegetable market. Consumers are crying out for fresh products they can cook or prepare quickly and easily.
The judges especially loved that the vege noodles were so versatile, and could be served up raw to spice up a salad, or microwaved to offer additional nutritional vegetable options for busy Kiwis. “This product demonstrates innovation, creativity and tasty NZ grown produce. Well done to the team at The Whole Mix Co. Limited,” they said.
Head of James & Wells’ Food & Beverage Innovation team Carrick Robinson says, “The Whole Mix Co. Limited have listened to their consumers and have followed healthy eating and convenience trends to considerably grow the category. They have indicatively adapted the way every department operates following the launch of the new consumer brand and also understand the value of protecting it.” The 11 category winners and Supreme Award winner were unveiled at the gala dinner event at Auckland’s Sky City Convention Centre last night, in front of 400 guests. The awards, which have been running since 1987, celebrate creative innovation from New Zealand’s food and beverage manufacturers. More than 220 products were entered this year, with 67 products from 54 companies being named finalists.