2018 OUTSTANDING NZ FOOD PRODUCER AWARD FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
Tuesday 10 April 2018
After judging more than 180 of the country’s finest food products, 25 New Zealand food producers have been named as Gold Medal winners in the 2018 Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards.
One Supreme Champion, four category Champions and five special award winners will be named from the Gold Medal winners at the Awards on Thursday 26 April 2018 at Auckland’s Fresh Factory.
Twenty-five Gold Medals were awarded – with two producers, Clevedon Buffalo Company and The Drunken Nanny each receiving two Gold Medals. Fifty-eight Silver Medals were awarded and a further 42 products were highly commended, meaning judges recognised the work and quality of the products that just missed out on receiving a medal.
The 2018 Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards received 186 products to judge from 100 New Zealand producers. They were judged for aroma, taste, quality, innovation, pack design, sustainability and brand story by a panel of specialty food retailers, chefs and food and drink experts last month. Products are judged across four categories; Earth, Paddock, Water and Dairy.
Head Judge Lauraine Jacobs said “Judging is not easy given the talent of food producers and the quantity of fine fare. Meat entries were of an even higher standard than 2017 with the growing paddock-to-plate trend evident in the number of thoughtfully created brands. Baking is still a big part of our national food psyche with some delightful entries, many catering to folk with allergies and intolerances.”
Co-organiser Kathie Bartley said it’s a privilege to share the love of New Zealand food with producers and food lovers. She said they were thrilled by the 23 per cent increase in entries from last year and delighted 44 per cent of entries were awarded gold or silver medals. “This is proof of the dedication of the Kiwis who harvest, grow and make our food. The energy and enthusiasm they put into creating great produce is reflected in the strong number of awards.”
She says consumers can look out for Outstanding NZ Food Producer Gold and Silver Medals on award-winning products at Specialty retailers, food stores, producer websites and at Farmers’ Markets across the country. Foodies can still be involved in the Awards by voting for the Coast People’s Choice Outstanding Product or Coast People’s Choice Outstanding Producer or New Zealand’s Outstanding Farmers’ Market on the website https://outstandingfoodproducer.nz where the complete list of medal winners as well as the producers who were highly commended are listed.
The 2018 Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards Supreme Champion, Earth Champion, Paddock Champion, Water Champion and Dairy Champion, along with the New Zealand Life & Leisure Spirit of New Zealand Award, FMCG Business Outstanding New Producer, T&G Global Outstanding Sustainability, Label & Litho Outstanding Design and Marvellous Marketing Outstanding Drink will be announced on Thursday 26 April. The award winners will be featured in the NZ Life & Leisure May/June (#79) issue on sale 30 April.