The Whole Mix team celebrating their wins.

A vegetable noodle range produced by a company from the small Rangitikei town of Marton has taken out the Massey University Supreme Award at this year’s New Zealand Food Awards.

The Whole Mix Co. Limited also won the Massey University Health and Wellbeing Award and the James & Wells Business Innovation Award for its noodle range that includes Zucchini, Butternut, Medley (Beetroot, Carrot, Zucchini) and Kumara. Judges said the products are a tasty and nutritious alternative to pasta, can be used in stir-frys and salads, or eaten straight from the package and their growing popularity reflects some of the changing tastes of New Zealand consumers.

The collective team of judges say the vegetable noodle range rides the wave of market demand for easy to serve fresh vegetables, with a twist. “These prepacked, spiralised, microwaveable vegetable noodles, prepared from locally-grown vegetables, are delicious, nutritious and fill a much needed gap in the fresh vegetable market. Consumers are crying out for fresh products they can cook or prepare quickly and easily.”

The judges especially loved that the vege noodles were so versatile, and could be served up raw to spice up a salad, or microwaved to offer additional nutritional vegetable options for busy Kiwis. “This product demonstrates innovation, creativity and tasty NZ grown produce. Well done to the team at The Whole Mix Co. Limited,” they said.

Head of James & Wells’ Food & Beverage Innovation team Carrick Robinson says, “The Whole Mix Co. Limited have listened to their consumers and have followed healthy eating and convenience trends to considerably grow the category. They have innovatively adapted the way every department operates following the launch of the new consumer brand and also understand the value of protecting it.”

The 11 category winners and Supreme Award winner were unveiled at a gala dinner event at Auckland’s SkyCity Convention Centre on 17th October.

Celebrating innovation

The awards, which have been running since 1987, celebrate creative innovation from New Zealand’s food and beverage manufacturers. More than 220 products were entered this year, with 67 products from 54 companies being named finalists.

Alliance Group Ltd also took out two award categories for its Te Mana Lamb – the Frozen Award, in association with Palmerston North City Council and the New Zealand Food Safety Primary Sector Products Award.

Other companies recognised for their outstanding and innovative products include the Clevedon Buffalo Company who won the Cuisine Artisan Award for its Garlic and Thyme Marinated Buffalo Cheese, 8 Wired Brewing Company who won The Shout Alcoholic Beverage Award for its Cucumber Hippy, and NoShortcuts Ltd who won the Countdown Grocery Foods Award, for its Feijoa Kasundi.

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas thanked all the entrants and congratulated the finalists and winners. “The quality of entries and increased interest in the awards reflects a remarkable growth in the sector’s innovation and also the confidence of New Zealand companies to compete in global and domestic markets,” Professor Thomas says. “The demand for food with proven health and nutritional benefits – and, of course, great flavours – will continue to provide economic benefit to Aotearoa New Zealand.

“Massey University is very proud to be associated with the New Zealand Food Awards for 31 years now. We are committed to encouraging local businesses to continue to grow, experiment and create fantastic products by recognising them for their efforts.”

The judging panel included food writer and cookbook author Nici Wickes, award-winning chef Geoff Scott, renowned chef and food writer Ray McVinnie, and New Zealand’s first certified beer cicerone (beer expert) and founder of Moa Brewing Company Josh Scott.

The group, as well as several technical judges and three consumer judges, sampled some of New Zealand’s finest food and beverages, to come up with the category winners, and the overall Massey University Supreme Award winner.

Winning products are eligible to use the New Zealand Food Awards Quality Mark, domestically and internationally.

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2018 New Zealand Food Awards winners

Award Category Company Product Location
Cuisine Artisan Award – winner Clevedon Buffalo Company Marinated Buffalo Cheese: Garlic and Thyme Auckland
Cuisine Artisan Award – highly commended Poaka NZ Ltd Poaka Finocchiona Fermented and Air Matured Salami Christchurch
Cuisine Artisan Award – highly commended Lot Eight Ltd Cold Pressed Yuzu Olive Oil Martinborough
Countdown Grocery Foods Award NoShortcuts Ltd Feijoa Kasundi Auckland
Chilled/Short Shelf Life Award, in association with Eagle Protect Savour Ltd Casheta Vegan Cheese Auckland
Frozen Award, in association with Palmerston North City Council Alliance Group Ltd Te Mana Lamb Invercargill
Non-Alcoholic Beverages Award, in association with Food HQ The Apple Press The Apple Press – Jazz Hastings
The Shout Alcoholic Beverages Award 8 Wired Brewing Company Cucumber Hippy Warkworth
Massey University Health and Wellbeing Award The Whole Mix Co. Limited Vegetable Noodle Range Marton
New Zealand Food Safety, Food Safety Culture Award Picot Productions Ltd Nelson
New Zealand Food Safety Primary Sector Products Award Alliance Group Ltd Te Mana Lamb Invercargill
Novel Food or Beverage Award, in association with ATEED and The FoodBowl PĀMU Landcorp Group Ltd PĀMU Deer Milk Wellington
James & Wells Business Innovation Award The Whole Mix Co. Limited Marton
Massey University Supreme Award The Whole Mix Co. Limited Vegetable Noodle Range Marton


The New Zealand Food Awards is made possible by Massey University and strategic partners Countdown, Cuisine Magazine, James & Wells and Ministry for Primary Industries’ New Zealand Food Safety, as well as the supporting partners, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Bite, Eagle Protect, The FoodBowl, FoodHQ, The FoodPilot, FMCG Business, FoodTech PackTech, New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the Palmerston North City Council, Retail World, The Shout NZ and Villa Maria.

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