With the industry under attack, particularly from the public health sector, the New Zealand Beverage Council remained positive at its annual conference at Wairakei last month, a successful event with most of the leading suppliers in attendance.

The two-day event incorporated a wide range of interesting speakers and concluded with the organisation’s annual awards designed to promote innovation and manufacturing excellence. The two Supreme Awards for the current year sponsored by Sensient Technologies were taken out by Coca-Cola Oceania (large producer) for its Schweppes Ginger Beer Classic, and Simply Squeezed (small producer) for its Smoothie Feijoa Feenzy.

Other awards were:
• Short shelf life chilled fruit juice: Simply Squeezed (Arano 100 percent orange juice).
• Long life fruit juice: Simply Squeezed (Allganics orange mango).
• Milk-based beverage: Frucor (Wave iced coffee).
• Lifestyle beverage: Simply Squeezed (Feijoa Frenzy smoothie).
• Tea-based beverage: Simply Squeezed (Allganics peach).
• Low calorie beverage: Coca-Cola Amatil (Baker Halls lemon and barley).
• Carbonated beverage: Coca-Cola Oceania (Schweppes ginger beer classic).
• Flavoured water: Frucor (Mizone lime).
• Consumer choice: Frucor (Wave chocolate milk).
• Best new to market: Coca-Cola Oceania (Schweppes ginger beer classic).
• Export innovation: Frucor (Maximus).
• Social responsibility: Coca-Cola Oceania (Obesity campaign).