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FoodStarter frequently asked questions


1. Who can enter and what are the categories?

We are looking for innovation across the entire grocery category and have two categories for entry. The first category is startups in the food and beverage sector who have a product, are at early stages of trading, but are not yet selling to the New World network. The second category is small suppliers who have registered as a vendor with New World and might be selling to a limited number of stores. You can still enter FoodStarter if you have applied in previous years.

2. If I have different flavours within the same product do I have to submit an entry for each flavour?

No, if you have 1 product with multiple flavours you can mention this in your entry. If you have 2 different products, then you will need to submit separate entries.

3. Can I still enter if I’m based outside of Auckland or Canterbury? 

You can enter as long as your business is currently operating in New Zealand. However, much of the support provided in the prizes package is based in Auckland and Canterbury, so if you are not based in one of these cities you should have the means to travel there when required in order to take full advantage of the support available.

4. Can I still enter if my products are already in the New World supermarket network?

Only if you are supplying to a small number of stores. You might be selling your products in a few local New World supermarkets but if you win, you will receive national ranging in the New World supermarket network across New Zealand. 

Plus there are tonnes of other valuable prizes in the prize package including support in brand and marketing, business mentorship, product development & manufacturing, and more! These prizes will definitely be of benefit to your business. 

5. My product doesn’t look “pretty” right now, but my customers love it. How will you judge unwrapped/rustic looking products?    

We are looking for products with great potential to disrupt their category. Tell us why your customers love this product, and how you think it will fit into a supermarket shelf. The business incubation process will help you turn your ugly duckling into a swan.  

6. How does this competition work?

FoodStarter 2021/2 is divided into 4 main phases:

Phase 1: The call to action starts on 27th October 2021. During this phase, you can enter the competition following this link. Once you’ve entered your name and email address, we will send you an email with a link to the official application portal. Please note that we only accept entries submitted through the application portal that we send you, submissions through emails or any other means will not be accepted. All entries must be submitted before 11.59 PM on 20 February 2022.

Phase 2: Entries close, we will select the top 20 semi-finalists who will be announced by end March 2022. All semi-finalists will prepare a longer application which will be due early April 2022. 
Out of the top 20 semi-finalists, we will select the top 10 finalists who will be invited to pitch to a panel of judges at the final event. The top 10 finalists will be announced mid April 2022.

Phase 3: The winners will be selected, announced and celebrated at the Final event.*

Phase 4: After the prize-giving, winners begin their acceleration journey and will be surrounded by expert supports from New Zealand Food Innovation Network, Ministry of Awesome, New World and Strategy Creative. 

*Details of the final event will be advised when practicable and will be subject to change if required due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

7. What are the key dates* of this competition?

27th October 2021:  Entries open.
 20 February 2022:  Entries close.
End of March 2022:  Top 20 semi-finalists to be announced. All semi-finalists to prepare a longer application.
Early April 2022: Long applications close.
Mid April 2022:  Top 10 finalists announced.
Final Event late May 2022 : pitch night and winners announced.
Following the event:  Winner starts working with organising partners.

*These dates are subject to change if required due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

8. How many winners and what are the prizes?

Two winners will be selected nationally, one in the Small Supplier Category and one in the Startup Category. Each winning entry will receive a package of in-kind prizes worth up to $70,000 + for the winners:

• A fully paid for HQ for up to 4 team members for 12 months at Christchurch’s Te Ohaka - Centre for Growth and Innovation (South Island) or GridAKL (North Island)
• Expert startup incubation programme provided by the startup activation team at Ministry of Awesome
• Specialist Food & beverage sector R&D, development, and support with Food Innovation Network
• Design and marketing support from Strategy Creative
•  Go to market, sell-in, and sell-through strategy support provided by Foodstuffs Merchandising
• Go to market brand support & development & PR for launch activities
• 2 hour workshop with Socialites, 2019 Australasian Social Media Agency of the Year. 
• 2 Hour Media Consulting Sessions with PHD Media.  PHD NZ are communication specialists who will consult the winners on what strategies they can adopt to ensure they communicate with their potential customers in the most effective and efficient way. 
• National ranging in the New World supermarket network across New Zealand
• Return flights and accommodation to attend Foodstuffs 2022 Partnership Awards for 2 to Christchurch on 27th May 2022*
• Complimentary exhibitor site & on the ground support at Foodstuffs Expo 2023 **

*(If residing outside of Christchurch) applies to Small Supplier Category only
**(Subject to product readiness & availability)

9. How will the Final Event work? 

Ten finalists will be shortlisted and they will have the chance to pitch their product to the judging panel in a dragons den style event. If you are selected as one of the finalists, the judges will want to see, taste and touch your product, and hear why your business, and you, should be chosen for this amazing opportunity.

10. If I am selected to present at Final – do I need to cover my own travel and accommodation expenses. 

Yes – you need to make yourself available that evening at your own cost. The time and location of the final event to be announced.