Curious about Curios?

Wild Berry: Weet-Bix [wholegrain wheat (22%), raw sugar, salt, barley malt extract, minerals (zinc gluconate, iron), vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, folate)], raw sugar, brown rice flour, wheat gluten, wheat bran, lupin flour, vegetable oil, flavours, minerals (calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate), corn maltodextrin, salt, emulsifiers, milk protein, modified corn starch, vitamin E

(from soy)

Shelf life: Nine months

Brand manager: Steven Read

Packaging supplier: Aperio Group

Graphics package supplier: Morton Branding

Moveable mixer for fluids

Mixquip, a division of Teralba Industries, offers the Mixquip PT Rummager, light-weight, moveable mixer with a variable mixing intensity function, suited to the beverage and food industries.

The apparatus can vigorously mix fluids of up to 3000cPs using a high efficiency Superflo fold-out propeller.

According to the company, the air driven agitators have been proved to increase mixing effectiveness and overall productivity in the manufacturing cycle, and the apparatus can be set up in five minutes.

Mixquip

New low-fat dressed salads

Asian Noodle Salad: Hokkien noodles (wheat flour, water, salt, canola oil, natural colour, mineral salt, preservative), dressing (sweet chilli sauce), lemon juice concentrate, soy sauce (water, soybeans, wheat, salt), canola oil (antioxidant), roasted garlic, ginger, food acids, red capsicum, green capsicum, carrot, shallot

Shelf life: five days

Brand manager: Nicola Duhig

Packaging suppliers: Buckner — New Protein Leafies (labels), Alto — New Dressed Salads — Prepack format (tubs), Jet Technologies — New Dressed Salads — Prepack format (foil seals)

Graphics package designer: Tin Factory Creative

Airless air pallet dispenser

King Group Materials Handling has made available the next generation of its King Air Pallet Dispenser, for those with no air or who wish to use it for other purposes.

The dispenser plugs into a standard 240V outlet, which powers a compressor that in turn powers a dispenser action via a single lever, raising the pallet stack and allowing the bottom pallet to be removed by a hand pallet truck, powered pallet truck or forklift.

According to the company, the dispenser’s pick-up feet hidden away in the side walls make the forklift driver’s job easier and the system can be reset easily with a flick of the control lever.

King Materials Handling

Diageo enters Ketel One partnership

Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks business, and the Nolet family have agreed to form a new 50/50 company, which will own the perpetual exclusive global rights to sell, market and distribute the successful super-premium Ketel One vodka.

Diageo has agreed to pay US$900 million for its 50% equity interest in the newly formed company, which will be based in the Netherlands, with the Nolet family owning the other 50%.

Due to its rights under the agreements Diageo will fully consolidate the financial results of the new company accounting for the Nolet holding as a minority interest.

Profits from the sales, marketing and distribution operations will be shared broadly equally.

The Nolet family will continue to own the brand rights for Ketel One and Diageo will become the exclusive distributor of the brand globally.

Ownership of the Nolet distillery in Schiedam in Holland, where they have been distilling since 1691 and where Ketel One vodka is manufactured will remain with the Nolet family.

The distillery will supply Ketel One vodka exclusively and perpetually to the new company at an agreed rate of return.

Currently, Ketel One vodka has an annual volume of 1.9 million cases.

It is primarily a North American brand in the super-premium vodka segment and will complement Diageo’s premium Smirnoff and its ultra-premium Cîroc brands.

Similarly outside the US Ketel One will expand Diageo’s brand range of vodka.

The Nolet family and Diageo believe that this new relationship will accelerate the growth of the brand in the USA and elsewhere in the world.

The transaction is expected to close by 31 March 2008, subject to the required regulatory approvals and other conditions.

Diageo expects that the transaction will be EPS neutral in the first full financial year after closing and will be economic profit positive in year five using a weighted average cost of capital of 9%.

Paul Walsh, Chief Executive, Diageo, said “This transaction is strategically important for Diageo, giving us an interest in an outstanding high quality brand and fantastic potential for global growth in the super-premium vodka segment”.

Diageo

High-speed doors for cool rooms

DMF International will promote, sell and service the Efaflex range of high speed doors in Australia.

Efaflex have already been active in the Australian market with high speed doors, and are well known for a highly engineered product.

DMF International have been manufacturing their own design of high speed roll door for over 15 years and will continue to do so.

By aligning with Efaflex, DMF can now offer a more extensive range of high speed doors to accommodate applications requiring high security, greater levels of insulation for freezers and cool rooms, food processing areas and very high wind applications.

DMF International also offer Visiflex strip doors, Swingflex , Auto Biflex doors, or high speed roll doors.

DMF International

Efaflex

Buffalo chicken wings

Ingredients: chicken, flour, starch, gluten, salt, vegetable oil, sugar, water, egg, flavour (milk), ground and extracted spices, acidity regulators, yeast, mineral salts, milk solids, dehydrated vegetable, thickeners, colour, vitamin (thiamine)

Shelf life: two years

Brand/product manager: Kayvin Li

Packaging supplier: Carter Holt Harvey

Graphics package designer: Morton Branding

Proof is in the pudding

One year after acquiring the UK pudding producer Peak Puddings, specialist food company Taste of the Moorlands is beginning to realise its growth potential with the help of tray sealing equipment from Packaging Automation, distributed in Australia by MPI.

Its PA217 manual tray sealer from Packaging Automation has given the company important production capacity as volumes build since securing a contract to supply a major UK retailer.

Taste of The Moorlands has just completed a pack re-design with a new, stylish card sleeve to encase the plain film, heat sealed, two-portion thermoformed trays.

Products will be sold under the Peak Puddings brand name, which is in the process of being changed.

Taste of The Moorlands founder Sarah Gayton sees great potential for the business.

“When we bought Peak Puddings we already knew it had a super range of high quality products.

“It was well established supplying the local retail market and speciality outlets, including a stately home,” she said.

“Peak Puddings had already seen the benefits of heat sealing in terms of pack quality, product presentation and image with its investment in the PA217, so we had a great foundation and were already equipped to take the company onto the next stage in its development.”

The PA217 machine is just one machine from an extensive range of equipment on offer from Packaging Automation — from manual and semiautomatic machines, right through to high speed, fully automatic lines.

The tray sealer is hand fed trays with a capacity of 300g, the film is applied and sealed before card sleeves are hand applied.

The quality and consistency of finish and high hygiene standards achieved are also a significant benefit.

The hand operated, low-cost PA217 is ideal for smaller companies or those just starting out in tray sealing.

It can be used to seal film or board lids to preformed containers with a high force for a particularly consistent seal.

The operator places the film over the container, the top tool is lowered to form the seal and excess film is trimmed.

Peak Puddings’ award-winning range, which includes locally-sourced and organic ingredients, currently includes the delicious and extravagant sticky toffee, banoffee, ginger and apple and rich Belgian chocolate and orange puddings, as well as black cherry and almond sponge.

MPI Australia

Packaging Automation

Cranberries fight food poisoning

Researchers led by Dr Vivian Chi Hua at the University of Maine in the US have found that adding natural cranberry concentrate to raw minced beef can significantly reduce the growth of common foodborne pathogens, including Salmonella, Listeria and Escherichia coli.

The findings may help the meat industry to lengthen the shelf life of products without chemicals additives and preservatives.

Meat manufacturers may be able to add natural cranberry concentrate to raw meat to reduce the risk of it harbouring harmful bacteria, thus lengthening shelf-life, avoiding waste and removing E-numbers from product labels.

In the trials, ground beef samples inoculated with four pathogens were treated with cranberry concentrate or sterile water as a control and kept at either 21ºC or 7ºC.

Pathogens and total viable bacteria were counted on days 1, 3, 5 and 7.

Results showed that compared to the control, cranberry concentrate significantly inhibited foodborne pathogens in ground beef at both 7ºC and 21ºC.

Other health benefits

Cranberries are well known for their unique anti-adhesion capabilities, which are responsible for protecting the urinary tract, stomach and mouth from harmful bacteria.

The anti-adhesion effect is primarily due to the unique structure of the proanthocyanidins (PACs) present in cranberries.

These compounds also deliver intense anti-oxidant activity, which helps to promote good heart health and flushes out harmful free-radicals.

The evidence to support the benefit of cranberries in reducing the risk of food poisoning strenghtens the fruit’s extensive range of nutraceutical effects.

For further information, click here.

Ocean Spray Ingredients

Imaje sponsors awards again

Imaje has a global focus on innovation and excellence and Imaje Australia is, once again, delighted to be supporting the Food Challenge Awards.

“The Food Challenge Awards have previously been a huge success and we didn’t think twice about continuing our support,” said national sales and marketing manager for Imaje Coding Technology Greig Francis.

“Imaje works with businesses from all manufacturing sectors, however, we often see the most innovative and exciting advances within the food and beverage industry.

“The Food Challenge Awards are a unique platform for these businesses, who are designing and implementing cutting edge processes and best practice, to be recognised —and innovation is something Imaje are very proud to support.”

www.imaje.com

Organic snack food goes mainstream

Since winning the Snack Foods Award for their Whole Kids brand of Organic Sea Salt Popcorn, Nourish Foods has continued to innovate and lead the market for healthy organic snack foods for children.

Nourish Foods co-founder Monica Waters, was delighted to have won a FOOD Challenge Awards.

“It’s fantastic to be recognised by our peers and to be part of a highly commended group of Food Challenge Award winners,” she said.

Whole Kids was officially launched in July 2005 as Australia’s first range of certified organic snacks for kids.

While working in the health industry giving advice on nutrition and exercise to new mothers and parents, Monica noticed clients commenting on their growing concern for the health of their children, and the lack of nutritious snack alternatives.

Together with husband James Meldrum, the couple established Nourish Foods and the brand Whole Kids, with the commitment to provide the highest-quality organic and natural foods for children.

In her acceptance speech at the Awards night, Monica reflected on how far the business has come in such a short time.

“Everyone at Whole Kids has worked extremely hard to make the business a success in a competitive and fast-growing market.

“To receive such an award on our second year anniversary is confirmation we’re on the right track.”

The company now exhibits at many trade shows throughout the country.

“Organic consumers are quite excited to see that organic products are finally getting mainstream recognition,” noted Meldrum.

Whole Kids products are all certified organic and include no preservatives, embodying the message that parents want healthier snacking options for their children.

Since winning the FOOD Challenge Award, Nourish Foods has launched a new organic corn chip variety and has established itself as an industry innovator.

Nourish Foods

Italian treats

Shelf life: nine weeks

Brand owner: General Mills

Brand manager: Kathy Sandiford

Packaging suppliers: Aperio Finewrap (top web), Labelmakers (label), Landor Associates

New face at Mrs Crockets

Mrs Crockets Fast and Fresh has appointed a new business development and innovation manager Ms Shelley Davidson.

With over 13 years experience working with major FMCG companies Ms Davidson said she had her sights set on establishing the business as a leader in the marketplace with a focus on product innovation, entering new market segments and consolidating processing techniques.

“My role at Mrs Crockets is very encompassing covering marketing, product innovation, commercial development and strategy,” Ms Davidson said.

“The business is focused on expansion and I will be working with the highly skilled and experienced management team to establish Mrs Crockets as a leader in the market.

“I am committed to driving Mrs Crockets as a gourmet ready to eat salad innovator; firm its position as a leading Fresh Soup manufacturer; and tackle the Foodservice Industry head on transforming the business into an established and trusted supplier.

“My first priority will be to establish workable product development processes for Mrs Crockets and engage and align all functions against this process. All directives will aim to deliver significant revenue growth through new channels and categories.”

Mrs Crockets Fresh & Fast managing director Mr Rodney Molla said the position was created to focus the growth of the company.

Mrs Crocket’s Fast & Fresh, based in Brisbane, specialises in dressed and leafy salads, prepared risottos, mashes and soups, supplying products to the big retailers, independents, fast food and general food service.

Mrs Crockets Fast & Fresh

Accumulation conveyor

Heat and Control has launched the Switchback conveyor, a new patent-pending design that incorporates two independent FastBack conveyors, which provides in-line accumulation of product.

The Switchback conveyor automatically stores product in the lower unit while conveying product in the opposite direction in the upper feed conveyor, and requires less floor space than many accumulation conveyors.

According to the company, the Switchback conveyor is ideal for delicate snacks, baked products, frozen meats and other foodstuffs, and is suitable for use in wet wash-down environments.

For further information, click here.

Heat and Control

Awards springboard vodka to new heights

Entrepreneurs Alex Clarke and Arran Russell drew on mythology to produce and market Babicka Original Wormwood Vodka, which replicates a Czech witches’ recipe from 500 years ago.

‘Babicka’ is the Czech name for the sixteenth century peasant grandmothers who gathered wild wormwood and other herbs to create the charms and tonics that supplemented their meagre incomes, and whose recipes represent some of the earliest vodka formulas ever created.

Tales of the Babickas’ brews peaked the interest of Clarke and Russell while they were travelling in the Czech Republic.

They developed the concept of Babicka Original Wormwood Vodka after meeting an eccentric Moravian distiller who showed them an old recipe book he had discovered while renovating his distillery.

It included a recipe that resembled vodka and had wormwood as the key ingredient.

It took almost two years of production and experimentation to develop the final Babicka vodka to suit contemporary palates.

Taken by suprise

The vodka entered the FOOD Challenge Awards in early 2007 and Clarke and Russell accepted the winning award at a gala dinner in July last year.

This was very early on in the company’s life, explained Clarke. “We had only been going a year and it caught us off guard. We weren’t expecting to be recognised so quickly.

Russell said it has helped the product. “It was a great honour to win the Challenge award and it has opened a lot of doors for us,” he said.

“Our Australian sales have increased exponentially, and it’s really characterised Babicka as a serious player in the Australian spirit market.”

Clarke agreed.

“[The win’s] great for us to use as a sales pitch. It gave us confidence about the brand and certainly made me feel better about my investment.

“Because we launched here in Australia, getting this award has been a really good thing for us.”

“We are in about 400 stockists in Australia now; at that point we had one A4 page of stockists and now we are on five.“

Soon after winning the FOOD Challenge Award, Babicka went on to receive a Silver Medal at the UK International Wine and Spirit Competition.

“When I go round and see people I explain Babicka has won awards and people recognise that,” said Clarke.

“They give it a shot far more quickly than if I was to walk in without anything.”

Slowly and surely

In addition, the award resulted in increased international interest in the brand, from distributors and customers alike.

But, according to Russell, the pair is in no rush for global expansion, preferring to take their time building the brand.

“For us, finding the right distributor for Babicka is the most important thing, as a distributor can make or break a brand.

“And winning the FOOD Challenge Award has provided us with that all important first foot in the door,” Russell said.

The Australian spirits market is notoriously difficult to conquer but Babicka Original Wormwood Vodka was able to rely on its uniqueness to help it stand out from the crowd of newly launched vodkas.

Clarke felt that winning the Australian FOOD Challenge Award, judged by leading industry figures, also helped give the original vodka credibility as a new brand.

“Launching a new alcohol brand in Australia is one of the toughest markets to crack, due to the relatively small population and proportion of educated drinkers,” explained Clarke.

“We knew that if we could make Babicka work here, it could work anywhere in the world.”

The award is on display at Babicka’s PR company, surrounded by a selection of sample bottles of the vodka sent over from the Czech Republic at the time the company was started.

Babicka has expanded into the Hong Kong and New Zealand markets and will be launched in the Czech Republic, the US and the UK this year.

www.babickavodka.com

Baby food processors return to the simple life

There has been an evolution in the baby food segment in recent years.

Highly processed varieties are being replaced with healthier products, and smaller companies are emerging to tackle the growing organics sector.

The format of baby food is also changing, with newer companies moving away from conventional canning and developing chilled and frozen ranges that resemble home-cooked meals while still being a convenient alternative.

These processing methods claim to keep the product fresher and safer for the consumer.

Today’s baby food manufacturing is comprised of more simple, conventional cooking methods rather than complex, sophisticated processing systems.

“From a processing perspective, it seems like baby food manufacturers are going backwards instead of forwards in the sense that cooking is becoming less about high-tech equipment and processes,” Boost Foods director and chef Geoff McEwan said.

“I think the days of cans and bottles are gone and that the future is fresh, which means less processing.”

Gold Peg, a supplier of direct steam injection continuous cooking technology and systems, believes they are meeting the demands of baby food manufacturers that want to maintain the appearance and flavour of ingredients for appeal and taste, while guaranteeing safety.

“The RotaTherm cooker is energy efficient and decreases the impact on ingredients to facilitate an organic, home-cooked appearance, while still maintaining high bacteriological kill,” Gold Peg marketing manager Paula Bell said.

Processing

The simple, home-style approach to processing baby food is governed by two main considerations: nutritional value and food safety.

The taste and appearance of the food are important.

The focus on nutrition in baby food manufacturing is of particular importance, given that babies require higher levels of nutrients in their diets than adults to facilitate normal growth and development.

This and parents’ desire to maintain their babies optimum health has spurred an increase in the organics baby food sector, which Woolworths says now comprises 15% of the Australian baby grocery market, and has also impacted on the format and processing of baby food.

Cooking plays a major part in the retention of nutrient value in raw fruit and vegetables.

A book written by the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University, USA, (1999) reported that food processing contributed to the health, safety, taste and shelf stability of a product though could also be detrimental to the nutritional quality of the food.

The time and temperature of processing, product composition and storage are all factors that substantially impact on the vitamin status of food, the book stated.

For instance in certain foods blanching, milling and extrusion can result in the loss of vitamins and minerals.

Chilled ready-to-eat baby food

Boost Foods, an organic baby food company, employs a manual, home-style cooking method for its Baby Boost brand.

The company was started in order to provide consumers with a convenient alternative to home cooked food that met similar taste and nutritional standards.

“The initial challenge we faced was how to replicate what is done at home by retaining all the vitamins and nutrients babies needs, and produce it on a commercial scale,” explained Geoff McEwan.

The result was a range of chilled baby food made from fresh produce.

Boost Foods takes a manual approach to cooking, utilising a thermal processing method in a steam jacketed kettle.

This is beneficial as it is able to monitor the profile of the food during the entire process, controlling the temperature and overall quality of the end product.

“We have adopted the ‘less is more’ approach and cook the product as little as possible,” McEwan said.

Thermal processing heats the product from underneath and from the side walls, resulting in fast cooking times and the retention of colour and flavour.

Minimal water is used for cooking which means nutrients are not drained with the water at the end.

The food is packaged in a soft pouch that has a shelf life of 100 days.

The pouch can be heated and the food served directly from it.

Food safety is ensured by pasteurising the product, as opposed to adding artificial preservatives and stabilisers.

Boost Foods maintains its labour-intensive cooking procedure still allows it to produce high volumes of product, but says it involves working harder for longer.

“Taking a manual approach as opposed to a mechanical may be more labour intensive but it’s also essential in ensuring the end product satisfies high nutritional and taste standards,” McEwan said.

Snap-freezing

Organic baby food company, Organic Bubs, also utilises conventional, manual processing methods to ensure its products boast high nutritional and safety standards.

The manual handling of the product and use of smaller, less industrial equipment allows the company to exercise control over the cooking temperature, as well as the taste and appearance of the product.

“We know there is sophisticated, industrial equipment on the market but we have a philosophy that if the equipment interferes with our quality standards then we will continue to do it by hand, despite the labour involved,” Organics Bubs director Anthony Gauldi said.

The innovative format of the baby food, being snap frozen, is also central to the company’s focus on nutrition and safety.

Having started manufacturing in May this year, Organic Bubs is currently the only company in Australia offering snap-frozen meals.

Frozen ready meals in the adult food category have been around for years, though have been slow to be taken up by Australian manufacturers in the baby food market given the perception by consumers that frozen is not healthy because it is not fresh.

Organics Bubs, on the other hand, believe that frozen is better than most fresh processing.

“If you can get fresh produce, process it straight away and blast freeze it, you can preserve the colour of the product, its nutrient content and its shelf life,” Gualdi said.

Blast freezing involves bringing down the temperature of the cooked food rapidly, from approximately 80 degrees to -22 degrees.

After cooking the product in steam injected kettles, the mix is put through a mouli to ensure there are no lumps in the product that the baby will not be able to swallow, and it is then manually scooped into PP5-grade plastic tubs.

One of the main benefits of steam injection cooking is that the product can be cooked at lower temperatures as it is cooked evenly throughout the whole pot and agitates as it goes.

“Making sure the food is not heated to high levels is essential to ensure more nutrients are kept in,” Gualdi said.

This method differs to that used by parents at home, as cooking on a stove involves heating food from the bottom up, but the end result — in terms of the taste, appearance and nutritional quality of the food — is similar due to Organic Bub’s hands-on approach.

Shelf-stable baby food

Heinz Australia, Australia’s leading baby food manufacturer comprising 78.9% of the wet baby food market, says its food recipes and the way they are developed also resemble home-made methods.

The company develops its recipes in 2kg pots which are only moved to 2000kg kettles for production once they have met its taste and nutritional standards.

Heinz employs a batch cooking method using continuous steam injection, with a specific volume of the recipe being cooked before being filled into individual vacuum-sealed glass jars.

A retorting process is then employed to finish the cooking and seal in jars.

Unlike conventional retort cooking, which often involves high-pressure steam to cook the product inside a can or jar and can result in over-cooking, the fact that most of the cooking is done in a kettle before filling results in the retorting process being less severe and helps to retain nutrients.

“Batch cooking ensures a high level of accuracy and control through carefully monitoring recipe preparation as well as ingredients and packaging components,” a Heinz spokesperson said.

The product is sealed in air-tight jars which preserves the product without adding anything artificial and prevents microbial contamination.

If stored in a cool, dry cupboard or pantry, the jarred baby food is shelf stable for at least three years.

The health and wellness trend has lead to new product development at Heinz under its Pure Start program.

Products in this range contain fresh produce, meat and grains, no preservatives, salt, colours or artificial flavours and now include varieties such as organics and vegetarian.

Consumer and retailer demand for less processed, more natural, and yet convenient baby food has resulted in a trend towards simple, conventional processing methods to ensure products retain high levels of nutrition and safety.

The types of baby food on offer will continue to evolve in line with consumer perceptions and tastes, and food manufacturers will continue to search for the best methods of meeting these demands, even if that involves less and less processing.

Growth in organic baby food

In the adult food market, a trend towards healthier, more natural products is evident from the emergence of new product ranges on the shelf that boast “no preservatives”, “fat free” and “organic”.

The same is true of the baby food market.

The baby grocery market, excluding formula, is currently worth over $105,000 in Australia with organics comprising 15%, according to Woolworths.

A Woolworths’ spokesperson commented that the trend away from over-processed foods has allowed for the introduction, and growth, of the organics sector.

“Other manufacturers have seen this trend and moved their mainstream products to a natural base, therefore adding the same nutritional content (no additives) as premium organic products but without the price tag,” commented the spokesperson.

The growth of organic baby food is unsurprising as there is a perception that produce grown in the presence of chemicals could be potentially harmful for a baby.

“The total wet organic baby food has experienced a growth of 37% for the quarter,” a Heinz spokesperson comment.

Horizontal motion conveyor

Heat and Control has released the FastBack 90E conveyor, a combination of a small drive unit and a variety of pan sizes, which can distribute a wide range of products via a slow forwards and fast backwards horizontal motion.

The slow forwards and fast backwards motion of the conveyor prevents product fractures and breakage, and by preventing loss of seasonings and coatings also reduces build-up in the conveyor pan and cleaning costs associated with this.

According to the company, speeds are fully programmable and automatically adjust to match the product demands of multihead weighers.

For further information, click here.

Heat and Control

Cheese rolls rock!

Ingredients: pasteurised milk, salt, mineral salt, enzyme (rennet), cultures

Shelf life: 45 days

Brand owner: National Foods

Brand manager: Amelia Michael

Packaging suppliers: Labelmakers (label),Laleau (wrap)

Packaging graphics designer: Point 3

Increased sales result from happy win

After winning the FOOD Challenge Awards’ Meat and Smallgoods category in 2006 with its Braised Lamb Shanks, Food Solutions was again excited to become a finalist in the Awards for a second year running.

The response received from the 2006 win was nothing short of phenomenal with orders coming in from all over the country and enquiries from overseas showing just how far the reach of the Awards extends.

Eighteen months down the track and the Lamb Shanks sales are still increasing, somewhat due to exposure received from the win.

Having had such a pleasurable experience from participating in the 2006 Awards, the company prepared for significant increases in production levels for the 2007 entry, Beef Ribs Slow Cooked in Smokey Barbeque Baste, when the product reached the finals.

We were not disappointed.

Sales on the product increased 40% after the finalists were announced.

This is a significant increase and one that can largely be attributed to the Awards coverage.

Heading into July 2007, and with the awards night rapidly approaching, those involved in the entry readied themselves for what was sure to be an exciting evening at Daltone House in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

The venue was spectacular and the behind the scenes work that had been put into the function was first class.

It was like the Logie’s for food!

The guest speakers shared inspiring stories of how ideas can become reality with just a little persistence, perseverance and a few sleepless nights.

The end results are that some extraordinary new products have come to life from the ideas of some very talented and dedicated people.

As Food Solutions predominantly manufactures for the food service industry, seeing other manufacturers and their focus on retail products is always stimulating.

The limitless amount of new products being created each and every year is a wonderful example of the Australian food manufacturing industry’s vibrance. Australia has some of the best produce in the world on its doorstep and it is thrilling to see the innovative products that becomes.

As the night unfolded awards were issued, speeches were delivered and thank yous given.

And then the category for Meat & Smallgoods was announced.

With the highly commended going to Hans for their Hans Bites it was down to three for the top prize.

Nails were bitten.

When the envelope was opened and Creative Food Solutions announced as the winner for its Beef Ribs, a smile like a split watermelon appeared on my face, and stayed there for many hours to follow.

The months between July and now have seen increases in sales of the Beef Ribs similar to the results seen for the Lamb Shanks.

The exposure from the win and the articles in Food Magazine are a definite contributor to this fact.

On behalf of Creative Food Solutions, I would like to thank Food Magazine for hosting the Food Challenge Awards and generating awareness and support for new products in food manufacturing.

As far as I can tell, the biggest winner to immerge from these awards is, afterall, the food industry.

Creative Food Solutions

FOOD Challenge Awards