Functional food company, Morlife, was the big winner at this year's Food magazine awards, taking out both the Confectionery and Snack Foods categories, as well as the overall Best of the Best award.
Based on the Gold Coast, Morlife's Snake lollies won the top spot in Confectionery.
Product development manager, Cheryl Stewart, said Morlife's Snakes are a healthier alternative to the jelly snakes most of us are familiar with.
"We won a Queensland government grant to produce this product. We said we'd do two things: we said we'd lower the sugar in the confectionery product, which we did by 20 percent – over and above other confectionery products – and we also said we'd add vegetables and fruit to the Snakes.
"So the Snakes come in four different colours: there's an orange snake which has carrot and orange in the freeze dried fruit powders; there's a green snake which has spinach, spirulina and apple in it; there's a yellow snake which has pumpkin and pineapple; and a red snake which has beetroot and raspberry in it."
Stewart said Morlife's freeze dried fruit powders are key to the company's ability to market itself as a healthier confectionery brand. The powders give the Snakes colours and taste but contain no preservatives, artificial colours and are gluten-free.
Morlife's second win at the Food magazine awards was for in the Snack Foods category, for its Choc-Coated Golden Berries.
Golden Berries contain the compounds Vitamin C, A and bioflavonoids, and also have good levels of protein, Vitamin B, B2, B6, calcium, phosphorus, fibre and pectin and, to top it off, the highest magnesium content of any fruit.
To create this winning product, Morlife combined the tart yet slightly sweet Golden Berries with dark chocolate.
"Morlife Dark Chocolate Golden Berries are in themselves a unique and delightful tasting super-food," the company said in its award nomination form. "Golden Berries (aka gooseberries) are now gaining attention as an Amazonian superfruit, native to South America. The reason we incorporated these with dark chocolate is that dark chocolate contains high levels of cocoa solids, known to be a good source of polyphenols antioxidants.
"The contrast between the soft texture and tart taste of the berry with the premium dark chocolate is sure to appeal to any chocolate lover."
Stewart said Morlife imports the berries from Peru then coats them in chocolate at their Gold Coast facility.
"It's a naughty but nice snack. It's really high in antioxidants so it's a really good treat if you're going to have a snack," she said.
Just when Stewart thought she could get comfortable in her seat and enjoy the rest of the awards night, Morlife was back up on stage, claiming the night's most prestigious award – t he 2013 Best of the Best award.
The company is a worthy recipient of the Best of the Best crown. As a functional food company with a focus on developing complete nutritional food solutions, Morlife prides itself on empowering society to get 'More out of life'. The judging panel for this year's awards was impressed with the Morlife's ability to innovate not only through the development of new products including snacks, cereals, herbal teas and beverages, but also through effective packaging and a marketing campaign emphasising its point of difference.
Morlife has not only experienced impressive growth here in Australia, forming an impressive partnership with key retailers including Woolworths, but it's also established invaluable relationships with overseas markets in countries including NZ, Singapore, Thailand, the UAE and Malaysia.
Stewart credits the company's success to the passion and commitment of its team members.
"To win the Best of the Best is an honour. We must be doing something right," she told Food magazine. "I truly, honestly, believe in our mission and our vision. We're very passionate about what we do and it's all about bringing wellness to people through adding nutrient-dense ingredients to every day foods. And we're going to continue along that path."