Deer milk, vegan butter and giant salmon among NZ Food Awards finalists

Thursday 6 September 2018
Finalists for the New Zealand Food Awards include a range of products new to grocery shelves, including deer milk powder, Ōra King TYEE salmon and cultured vegan butter.
Deer milk, vegan butter and giant salmon among NZ Food Awards finalists - image1

Finalists for the 2018 New Zealand Food Awards include a range of products new to grocery shelves, including Pāmu deer milk powder, Ōra King TYEE salmon from New Zealand King Salmon and cultured vegan butter from Savour Ltd.

The awards showcase the best New Zealand has to offer in the food and beverage industry and celebrate the creative innovations from Kiwi food and beverage manufacturers, from artisanal products through to large-scale companies.

The finalist lineup, announced today, includes several winners from previous years, including Barker’s of Geraldine, the Pure Food Co, Epic Brewing Company and Proper Crisps.

Sixty-seven products from 54 companies are finalists this year, across 11 categories including Artisan, Novel Food or Beverage and Business Innovation. One of the category winners will be announced as the Massey University Supreme Award winner, at the Gala Dinner in Auckland in October.

Innovation, creativity and quality

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas says the University is extremely proud of the role the awards have had in showcasing excellence and innovation in food and beverage production for the past three decades.

“We know New Zealanders are regarded as world leaders in this sphere and it is right that we remind ourselves each year just how extraordinarily talented and creative the people in our food sector are – and celebrate their achievements,” Professor Thomas says.

“Every year we are impressed by the calibre of the finalists and 2018 is no exception. The awards provide local producers with the opportunity to elevate their business on a global scale.”

The New Zealand Food Awards expert judging panel includes celebrity judges Bite magazine’s Ray McVinnie, chef Geoff Scott, World Kitchen television host and chef Nici Wickes, and New Zealand’s only certified cicerone (beer expert), Josh Scott.

Innovation was also a key theme again this year, Ms Wickes says. “Our finalists this year have just blown our socks off with the amount of innovation, and I'm not talking about crazy inventions with food – it's about taking a quality New Zealand product and then adding some value to it, to make it even more fantastic.”

Geoff Scott says among the hundreds of entries, there was one stand-out moment for him during judging. “We had a rather creative piece entered, which was an amazing frozen confectionary item. It definitely drew a lot of comments from the judges and actually, apart from being a real stand-out beautiful piece, it also tasted amazing.”

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.

The awards winners will be announced at a Gala Dinner at the SkyCity Convention Centre on October 17. For more information, please visit

And the 2018 New Zealand Food Awards Finalists are ...

Cuisine Artisan Award (20)

Avatar Honey Ltd

Carello del Gelato

Clevedon Buffalo Company

Fix & Fogg

Grey Lynn Butchers

Happy Belly Ferments

Honest Chocolat

Lot Eight Ltd

Midlands Nutritional Oils

Kitchen Six Ltd

Poaka NZ Ltd

Pastrami & Rye

Proper Crisps

Relish The Thought

Savour Ltd

The Clareville Bakery

Waiheke Aquifers

Wild Game Salamis

Wildness Ltd

Wooden Spoon Boutique Freezery


Countdown Grocery Foods Award (8)

Barker’s of Geraldine (Two products in this category)

Five Percent Ltd

Greytown Honey Ltd


NoShortcuts Ltd

Penati Nut and Seed Crackers

Something to Crow About


Chilled/Short Shelf Life Award, in association with Eagle Protect (6)

A Lady Butcher

Preston Corp Ltd

Ready to Eat

Savour Ltd (Two products in this category)

The Crafted and Co


Frozen Award, in association with Palmerston North City Council (5)

Alliance Group Ltd

Appleby Farms (Two products in this category)

Dad’s Pies

Gourmet Baby Ltd


Non-alcoholic Beverages Award, in association with FoodHQ (3)

Aunt Jean’s Dairy

The Apple Press

WNS Group


The Shout Alcoholic Beverages Award (4)

Epic Brewing Company

8 Wired Brewing Co Ltd

Puhoi Organic Distillery

Sawmill Brewery


Massey University Health and Wellbeing Award (10)

Fonterra Brands (NZ) Ltd

Forage and Ferment (Two products in this category)

Penati Nut and Seed Crackers

Raw Glory

The Pure Food Co

The Whole Mix Co (Four products in this category)


New Zealand Food Safety, Food Safety Culture Award (2)

Dad’s Pies

Picot Productions Ltd


New Zealand Food Safety Primary Sector Products Award (4)

Alliance Group Ltd

New Zealand King Salmon

Pāmu, Landcorp Farming Ltd

The Apple Press


Novel Food or Beverage Award, in association with ATEED and The FoodBowl (7)

Avatar Honey Ltd

Fix & Fogg

Hansells Food Group

Pāmu, Landcorp Farming Ltd

Picot Productions Ltd

Preston Corp Ltd

Savour Ltd


James & Wells Business Innovation (12)

Dad’s Pies

Pure Delish

Ready to Eat

The Whole Mix Co (Four products in this category)

Turk’s Poultry Farm (Five products in this category)