FoodStarter finalists take innovation to a new level 

FoodStarter finalists take innovation to a new level 

Ever been making a curry and found yourself a few bites short of beef? With no time to defrost more or pop out to the shops, you need a quick solution. Enter a new freeze-dried beef product that can be stored in your pantry till you need it – saving freezer space and last-minute stresses.

These ingenious freeze-dried beef cubes are just one of the 10 finalists in this year’s FoodStarter competition, a nationwide search supported by New World and Ministry of Awesome for New Zealand’s most innovative grocery start-ups and small suppliers. The national competition offers a once in a lifetime chance for food and beverage creators to gain access to industry leaders and mentors focused on taking innovative new products on a fast-tracked journey from small beginnings to New World shelves across Aotearoa.

Whether it’s spicy honey to liven up cheeseboards, or delicious, flavoured oat milks, this year’s Top 10 finalists feature a variety of, innovative products set to shake up the supermarket aisles and excite the tastebuds of all New Zealanders

Head of New World for Foodstuffs North Island Pippa Prain says “the calibre of this year’s entrants was at an extremely high level taking in everything from Keto, Vegan and allergen friend products, and narrowing the 20 semi-finalists down to just 10 finalists was a challenge for the judges. “

“This year’s finalists are so strong because the products have been designed to address key issues that exist in the current market. Whether it’s being pushed for time, getting more value at the checkout, or trying to eat less of certain products or more of another, these products all look at what is happening in the market and have developed a great forward-thinking solution. For us, that’s the key to FoodStarter, working with entrepreneurial suppliers to use innovation to help meet our customer demands.

“Our passion for this competition keeps growing, year on year. It’s so exciting to see something and think wow I can really see a home for this across our supermarkets- why has no one done this before?”

Open to both companies who are already small suppliers of New World with an innovative new product, or new start-ups with a burgeoning idea, winners of the FoodStarter competition will have their products fast-tracked, with the support of industry experts, and into every New World across the country.

Now in its second year as a nation-wide competition, FoodStarter is part of New World’s commitment to supporting the supplier community and in turn, helping its local communities to thrive.

“FoodStarter has evolved to become an amazing platform for New Zealand’s creative and passionate food and beverage creators, and we’re delighted to be able to work alongside Foodstuffs to support early stage startups  to get their foot on the ladder and thrive.” Says Marian Johnson, Ministry of Awesome Chief Executive. 

Ministry of Awesome Chief Executive Marian Johnson says it’s always an exciting time when the Top 10 is announced.

“The next phase is where the rubber hits the road and we get to see the companies and products up close and get insight into the passion and drive that has brought them here. All finalists will pitch in front of an esteemed panel of industry judges where the once in a lifetime prize will be decided.”

Winners of both categories receive the epic prize, and includes expert guidance and support, access to a start-up incubation programme, a fully paid for HQ for up to four team members, specialist food & beverage sector R&D support, branding and marketing expertise, and strategy support as well as ranging opportunity in New Worlds across New Zealand.

The Top 10 finalists are:


• Black Doris Ltd

• No Rush

• Oliver’s

• PARKERS Beverage Company

• QB’s Snacks

Small Suppliers:

• Feliz Wholefoods Limited

• Kavita’s Kitchen NZ Ltd

• Olive and Ash Ltd

• The Damn Good Food Company

• The Excellent Side Project


Start-up category, for entrepreneurs who have product, are at early stage of trading, but are not yet selling to the New World network.

Small suppliers category, for entrepreneurs who have registered as a vendor with New World and might be selling to a limited number of stores.

What’s the prize?

The winner of each category will receive a package of prizes including:

• The opportunity for National ranging in the New World supermarket network across New Zealand

• Go to market, sell-in, and sell-through strategy support provided by Foodstuffs North Island and Foodstuffs South Island Merchandising

• Go to market brand support, development and PR for launch activities

• A fully paid for HQ for up to 4 team members for 12 months at Christchurch’s Te Ohaka – Centre for Growth and Innovation (South Island) or GridAKL (North Island)

• Expert start-up incubation programme provided by the start-up activation team at Ministry of Awesome

• Specialist Food & beverage sector R&D, development, and support with Food Innovation Network

• Design and marketing support from Strategy Creative

• 2 hour social media workshop with Socialites

• 2 Hour Media Consulting Sessions with PHD Media *

• Return flights and accommodation to attend Foodstuffs 2022 Partnership Awards for 2 to Christchurch on 27th May 2022**

• Complimentary exhibitor site and on the ground support at Foodstuffs Expo 2023 ***

*(Subject to the winners product not conflicting with current PHD client’s products).

**(If residing outside of Christchurch) applies to Small Supplier Category only.

***(Subject to product readiness & availability).

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