The 2021 search for New Zealand’s most innovative food and beverage products culminated with ten finalists pitching their exciting products to a judging panel of industry experts.
The judges got the chance to taste, hear and ask questions of each of the finalists about why their products should be chosen for the once in a lifetime opportunity.
Small suppliers with New World category winner
Kaitahi As One - Frozen Superfood Smoothy Drops
Whanganui-based Kaitahi As One (Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi Iwi) is based on a social-ecological entrepreneurship model, which recognises and captures value through enterprises where people and nature matter. The enterprise works collaboratively to grow and source native plant foods and transform them into healthy food and beverage products, with the financial returns invested into the community. Their Frozen Superfood Smoothy Drops combine nutritious fruit and vegetables with traditional Maori ingredients such as puha and kawakawa. Designed to make healthy living easier, you just combine the frozen drops with liquid and shake – no blender required! In an exciting development, Kaitahi As One has recently launched their winning Smoothy Drops across New World stores nationwide.
Start-up category winner
Lilo Desserts - Lilo Plant Based Cheesecakes
Lilo Desserts are creating the future of feel-good snacking with their plant-based cheesecakes using rescued fruit from New Zealand orchards. Following a stint living and working overseas, the team behind Lilo – Cleo Gilmour, Russell Haines, Alex Worker and Hayden Kennedy - returned to New Zealand with a new appreciation for the value of New Zealand orchardists. This sparked a great idea and the team set out to invent an innovative product that celebrates our food growers using fruit that might otherwise go to waste.
2020 FoodStarter winner
Ananda Vegan Goodness
Ananda’s flagship product Italian Style Vegan Sausage is now selling at New World in South Island, made possible with the support of Foodstuffs South Island’s category management team, who provided expertise in the areas of product development, distribution and commercialisation.
For Ananda, support with the sourcing of appropriate manufacturers, branding, packaging and many, many hours working with FoodStarter partner, FoodSouth, to perfect the product for larger volumes of production proved invaluable.