News and Events

2021 AWARDS Finalists Announced!

August 24, 2021

Congratulations to our 2021 Finalists!

Plant-based mince, seaweed salt, and Sauvignon Blanc Gin are just some of the new Kiwi products announced today as finalists in the 2021 New Zealand Food Awards powered by Massey University.

There were more than 170 entries this year, and from those a team of judges whittled down the
best of the best, ending up with 66 finalists from 45 companies from across the length and breadth
of the country.

Head Judge Kay McMath says judges focused on finding innovative, high quality and sustainable

“The team of judges are happy to present an exciting array of finalists for this year’s New Zealand
Food Awards. All of these finalists had focused on meeting consumer demands, be that for nutrition,
convenience, variety or excellence using technology, creativity and sound processes. Congratulations
to all these finalists on a superb achievement.”

Finalists include several winners from previous years, including 2017 Massey University Supreme
Award winner Spring Sheep Milk Co. and 2018 Food Safety Culture award winner Pic’s Peanut
Butter. There’s also an impressive line-up of new brands and products such as Grater Good’s ‘Plant
Pastrami’, Zaroa NZ’s ‘Pohutukawa Smoked Venison Savernacchio’ and ‘Blackfoot Pāua Saucisson’
from NewFish.

FoodHQ CEO and New Zealand Food Awards Technical Judge Abby Thompson says she looks forward
to judging every year, “because it gives a snapshot of some of the New Zealand food sectors’ most
interesting and innovative products. It was no surprise there were significantly more plant-based
products this year, reflecting the increased focus on this trend both in New Zealand and around the

Food Critic Judge and renowned chef of Homeland NZ, Peter Gordon joined the judging panel this

“As a first time judge, I was excited to be a part of a broad panel of expertise. The judging is about
so much more than one person’s point of view and I learned a lot from the experience. I was really
encouraged to see so much innovation in the health and wellbeing space – products that cater for
different dietary requirements. Consumers can be excited to see a broad spectrum of finalists,
there’s some really exciting surprises in there.”

Kiwis are being asked to take part in the awards’ People’s Choice campaign. After the success of the
special Food Hero Awards last year, this year has seen the introduction of a new Food Hero award,
sponsored by Palmerston North City Council. This is awarded to people or organisations that
continuously support the New Zealand food and beverage supply chain in some way. The judges
have selected our 2021 finalists, but the winner will be determined by the public.

New Zealander’s can vote for the finalist they believe deserves to win here from 18 – 31 August.
The 12 category winners and overall Massey University Supreme Award winner will be announced,
at a gala dinner on 14 October with guests enjoying a three-course meal, drinks and entertainment.

The awards are being held in Palmerston North – a first for the event. 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 2021 finalists are: Wattie’s
‘Tomato Sauce’, Whittaker’s ‘Peanut Slab’ and Vogel’s ‘Original Mixed Grain Bread’.

The New Zealand Food Awards have celebrated 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.

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 Massey University, Palmerston North
City Council, New Zealand Food Safety, Countdown, AsureQuality, Cuisine Magazine, BNZ, KiwiSo,
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Villa Maria, FMCG Business, FoodHQ, The Food Innovation
Network, XPO and The New Zealand Institute of Food Science & Technology Ltd.