New Zealand's dynamic specialty food and beverage sector has an international reputation for its bold taste, quality, innovation and focus on well-being and goodness. The country also has a sophisticated traceability system that discloses a product's provenance.
Through inventiveness, cutting-edge technology, research, branding and marketing, more than 2,000 specialty food and beverage manufacturers add value to a broad base of natural products. The result is niche products that stand out in a competitive international marketplace.
Products range from traditional pastries, honey and confectionery to new taste sensations (eg specialty sauces and marinades), oils, luxury ice creams and cheeses, organic soups, and beverages such as energy drinks, organic juices and boutique beers. Avocado oil has its roots here, with its raft of amazing health benefits. And there's our honey! Not only the famous manuka honey, with its healing properties, but also rewa, kamahi and pohutukawa too. In the year to December 2014, New Zealand honey exports were valued at NZ$202 million.
Massey University has one of the top food technology courses in the world. With smart creative branding, top research and development, and leading edge technology, this category is only going to expand over the coming years.
New Zealand continues to be first to market with innovative speciality products such as the world's first carbon-neutral ready meals; gourmet ice creams, and condiments featuring native herbs that have a heritage dating back hundreds of years, but with a taste that is original and contemporary. Specialty food and beverage products from New Zealand are frequently showcased at international food shows and New Zealand companies regularly win awards at the biennial SIAL d'Or food awards in Paris.
- Avocado Oil New Zealand commissioned the world's first plant that coldpresses the highest quality, unrefined, extra virgin avocado oil. The oil has health benefits, containing a compound that lowers human blood cholesterol. It also has a higher smoke-point than olive oil, making it a favourite with chefs.
- Alfa One Rice Bran Oil Spread is the only spread using 100 percent rice bran oil. The spread is made in New Zealand and has less than half the saturated fat of butter, no hydrogenated or trans-fats and no artificial colours or flavours.
- The Waikato Innovation Park's NZ$11 million product development spray dryer facility will help move the dairy industry from a focus on commodities to value-added production.
- Native herbs and edible New Zealand bush foods are in demand from the country's top chefs and companies, who in turn are transforming these natural ingredients into sophisticated specialty food exports.