Sustainability shines through in 2022 NZ Food Awards finalists

Wednesday 17 August 2022

All aspects of sustainability are on display in this year’s New Zealand Food Awards finalists, which include Wild Venison Terrine, Beef and Blue Cheese Sausages, and Native Bush Cultured Butter.

Kasey (left) and Kārena Bird have joined the New Zealand Food Awards juding panel this year.

Kasey (left) and Kārena Bird have joined the New Zealand Food Awards judging panel this year.

Last updated: Monday 29 August 2022

The 63 finalists include several winners from previous years, including last year’s Massey University Supreme Award winner The Wild Fermentary and Artisan Award winners Beard Brothers. There’s also an impressive line-up of new brands and products such as House of Dumpling’s ‘Marlborough King Salmon with Edamame & Sake’, Augustines of Central’s ‘Black Doris Plums in Pinot Noir’, and Aotea Organics’ ‘Kingfish Salami’.

Head Judge Kay McMath says it was pleasing to see an increased focus on sustainability this year. Along with innovation and excellence – both small and large manufacturers were able to demonstrate these themes in their entries, she adds.

“Perhaps reflecting a market need, we received a number of products suitable for vegan diets and many that included benefits such as probiotics. All entrants are to be congratulated on meeting the judging demands of these awards. It is exciting to note the creativity that exists in food technology in New Zealand.”

Sisters Kārena and Kasey Bird, winners of NZ Masterchef in 2014, have joined the New Zealand Food Awards whānau.

“This year we joined the New Zealand Food Awards as food critic judges, giving us access to Aotearoa's newest and most innovative food and beverage products. As first time judges, we were excited to bring a different lens to the products, as young mana Wāhine! We grew up loving all kinds of food and we are passionate about good food and good food stories. Having travelled the world experiencing many different cultures, authenticity, innovation and of course amazing taste and we are excited to showcase some amazing products being created right here in Aotearoa,” they say.

“We have no doubt, the products announced as finalists today will showcase the bounty we have in Aotearoa and also the amazing innovations we are seeing coming to the forefront in our foodscape. We can’t wait to see who takes out the top prize at the gala dinner in October.”

The New Zealand Food Awards have celebrated Aotearoa New Zealand’s food and beverage manufacturers, focusing on innovation, sustainability and excellence, since 1987. Powered by Massey University, the awards are open to small and large food and beverage manufacturers, primary food producers, food service providers, and ingredient supply companies.

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas says it’s fantastic to see sustainability continue to be a big focus in the finalists this year.

“From food manufacturing processes, packaging and food waste, the finalists have shown a real commitment to one of the pillars of the Food Awards, and an important part of Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University – sustainability. The entries continue to innovate, adapt, and mitigate the impacts on the environment, in ways we’ve not seen in previous years.”

Massey’s involvement with the awards stems from the leading role the university plays at the forefront of food-related education and research in Aotearoa New Zealand and globally, Professor Thomas adds.

“Massey has set the ambitious goal of being carbon neutral by 2030, as part of our Climate Action Plan. The research and engagement activities of our academics are contributing to the development of a low-carbon society, and this is much needed in food production around the world. We have agricultural research scientists working on Massey’s farms to explore how to best reduce methane production, and all of this has an impact on how we feed our people in the future.”

Check out some of the 2022 New Zealand Food Awards finalists

Winners will be announced at a gala dinner in Palmerston North in October. Mayor Grant Smith says it’s exciting to finally host the awards after COVID-19 prevented the physical event last year, which would have been a first for the city.

“Palmerston North is looking forward to hosting the 2022 New Zealand Food Awards, an event the city has partnered with for the last seven years. We’re Aotearoa’s food science and innovation hub, and we’ve secured our place on the national map as a creative and exciting city – one with a national role in the future of food innovation and sustainability. We have more than 3000 scientists, researchers and innovators, at Food HQ and Massey University, who are all concentrating on growing the value of New Zealand’s food chain. We can’t wait for the award attendees to explore Palmy for themselves!”

Kiwis are being asked to take part in the awards’ People’s Choice campaign. The Food Hero award, sponsored by Palmerston North City Council, is awarded to people or organisations who continue to support the New Zealand food and beverage supply chain. The judges have selected our 2022 finalists, but the winner will be determined by the public. New Zealanders can vote for the finalist they believe deserves to win from 18 – 31 August.

The 11 category winners and overall Massey University Supreme Award winner will be announced at a gala dinner on 13 October, with guests enjoying a three-course meal, drinks and entertainment. Tickets are on sale here now.

Today, the New Zealand Food Awards also announce the finalists for the Product Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by AsureQuality. The award, which was introduced in 2019, celebrates Kiwi products that have withstood the test of time. The 2022 finalists are: Foxton Fizz ‘Fizz Soda Drinks’, Goodman Fielder’s ‘Edmonds Baking Powder’ and Whittaker’s ‘Whittaker’s Peanut Slab Chocolate Bar’.

Finalist and winning products earn the New Zealand Food Award’s quality mark to highlight their technical capability, consumer acceptability, regulatory compliance, and food quality and safety to shoppers and industry.

The awards’ programme is made possible with the support of Palmerston North City Council, New Zealand Food Safety, Countdown, Cuisine, BNZ, New Zealand Food Innovation Network, AsureQuality, Kiwiso, FoodHQ, Americold, FMCG Business, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, The New Zealand Institute of Food Science & Technology Inc., XPO Exhibitions and Villa Maria.

And the finalists are ...

Product Awards

Artisan Award – Sponsored by Cuisine

Aoraki – Pōhutakawa Hot Smoked Salmon

Augustines of Central – Black Doris Plums in Pinot Noir

Beard Brothers – Beef and Blue Cheese Sausage

Bellefield Butter Co – Native Bush Cultured Butter

Feliz Wholefoods – Vutter

Honey by the Sea – Cold Mānuka Smoked Honeycomb

Little Bird Organics – Good Cookie - Double Chocolate

Mixed Roots – Spice Blend - Nice Spice

Poaka Artisan Cured Meats – Salmi Whole - Chorizo

The Taipa Salt Pig – Natural Sea Salt

The Wild Fermentary – Kefir Soda - Beet & Berry

Wild Delicious Matakana – Kimchi Original

Below Zero Award – Sponsored by FoodHQ

Black Doris – Dessert Bar - Chocolate Truffle

House of Dumplings – Marlborough King Salmon with Edamame & Sake

Little Island – Tropical Nice Blocks

Tegel Take Outs – Louisiana Style Chicken Portions

Beverage Award – Sponsored by New Zealand Food Innovation Network

Boring® – Barista Grade Oat Milk

Doe Nutrition – Beauty

Finery Cocktails – 0% Grapefruit, Cucumber & Mint

Good Sh*t Soda – Ginger

The Wild Fermentary – Kefir Soda - Beet & Berry

Chilled Award – Sponsored by Americold

Aoraki – Pōtukawa Hot Smoked Salmon

Aotea Organics – Kingfish Salami

Beard Brothers – Beef and Blue Cheese Sausage

Black Origin – Wagyu Ribeye Steak BMS 6-7

Dona Lou’s – Goan Chouriço

Feliz Wholefoods – Vutter

Kavita’s Kitchen – Thai Zing Curry Paste

Timos – Vegetarian Filo Parcel - Italian Risotto

Traiteur European Butchery – Wild Venison Terrine

Health and Wellbeing Award – Sponsored by Countdown

Rebel Bakehouse – Gluten Free Sourdough & Super Seeds Wraps

Rebel Bakehouse – Low Carb Max Bagels

Wild Delicious Matakana – Kimchi Original

Novel Award – Sponsored by Kiwiso

Good Sh*t Soda – Ginger

Kiwigarden – Vanilla Coconut Yoghurt Drops

Little Island – Tropical Nice Blocks

Onetai – Milk and Mānuka Honey - Original Spread

Rescued – Lemon & Gin Cupcakes

Upcycled Grain Project – Grain Crisps - Cranberry & Coconut

Pantry Award – Sponsored by Countdown

allmite gold® – Yeast Spread

Blue Frog Breakfast – Macadamia, Almond and Manuka Honey

Kai Ora Honey – Manuka Balsamic Glaze

Kiwigarden – Vanilla Coconut Yoghurt Drops

Mixed Roots – Spice Blend - Nice Spice

Mons Flavors – Dish Delicious

No Rush – Freeze-Dried Raw Beef Cubes

Rebel Bakehouse – Gluten Free Sourdough & Super Seeds Wraps

Wise Boys – Smoky Chipotle Aioli

Primary Sector Award – Sponsored by New Zealand Food Safety

Beard Brothers – Beef and Blue Cheese Sausage

Bellefield Butter Co – Honey and Lemon Cultured Butter

Bostock Brothers – Organic Free Range Chicken

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon – First of Season - Malossol Caviar

Poaka Artisan Cured Meats – Salami Whole – Chorizo

Product Lifetime Achievement Award – Sponsored by AsureQuality

Foxton Fizz – Fizz Soda Drinks

Goodman Fielder – Edmonds Baking Powder

Whittaker’s – Whittaker’s Peanut Slab Chocolate Bar

Business Award

Business Innovation Award – Sponsored by BNZ

Bostock Brothers

Epic Coffee



Community Award

Food Hero Award – Sponsored by Palmerston North City Council


New Zealand Food Network

The Sustainable Food Co

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