With product entries being up 62 percent compared to 2015, this year’s NZ Food Awards are once again a formidable showcase of innovative ideas and trends. Celebrity judges were impressed by the variety and quality of products.
“I had some wow moments,” said chef and food writer Ray McVinnie. Among the strong points he mentioned were provenance, purity and food technology.

TV chef and cookbook author Nici Wickes was particularly delighted by tonics, syrups and condiments, as well as ice creams and health and wellness products. On the other hand, she advised food producers to use technology wisely.
“We need to be very careful around that, and just because it might be a trend happening overseas, just because technology is allowing us to do certain things, we shouldn’t feel like we need to be doing it because ultimately only real food will give us real health in the future.”

According to award-winning chef Geoff Scott, ‘provenance’ took centre stage this year, which is consonant with consumers’ growing interest in where food comes from and how it is produced. One product struck him more than anything else, the Awards’ very first live entry, freshwater crayfish.

Winners will be announced on October 13th at a gala dinner at the Auckland Museum.