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Pictured from left to right are FoodSouth Business Development Manager Laura Nugent, Cawthron's Augusta van Wijk, Countdown Merchandise Manager, Nikhil Suwant and Pic Picot of Pic's Peanut Butter
12 June 2018

Cawthron Institute co-hosted an F&B Connect event with the NZ Food Awards and the Nelson Regional Development Agency (NRDA) at Cawthron on 17 May.

Cawthron Institute co-hosted an F&B Connect event with the NZ Food Awards and the Nelson Regional Development Agency (NRDA) at Cawthron on 17 May. The event featured keynote speaker Pic Picot, owner of Pic’s Peanut Butter and presentations from Mark  Maguire (NRDA), FoodSouth Business Development Manager Laura Nugent, Countdown Merchandise Manager, Nikhil Suwant and Cawthron’s Augusta van Wijk.

 

One of the main aims of the event was to encourage Nelson Tasman businesses to enter the NZ Food Awards and follow in the footsteps of regional businesses such as Proper Crisps and Tasman Bay Food Group that have enjoyed success in the past. More than that, however, the event was an opportunity to find out more about how to access networks, resources, and services to help food and beverage businesses to flourish, starting with some thoughts and inspiration from one of New Zealand food and beverage’s success stories.

 

“The market tells you what you need to be doing,” said Pic Picot. He urged businesses within New Zealand to set their sights further afield and to begin by doing and gathering consumer feedback. “We shouldn’t get too fussed about competition between ourselves. Our competition is the rest of the world.”

 

A common theme throughout the evening was the importance of a brand story that has integrity and provides consumers with a connection with the food that they are buying.

 

Nikhil Suwant from Countdown provided some particularly fascinating data identifying trends in the supermarket sector and highlighting changes in the way that people shop. He also emphasised consumers’ demand for brand transparency and integrity and the importance of a product telling a compelling story about itself on the front of its packaging.

 

Entries for the NZ Food Awards close on 30 June with the finalists announced on 6 September. For the first time this year a new Product Lifetime Achievement Award has been introduced. For more information about the awards go to http://foodawardsv.massey.ac.nz/ or email nzfoodawards@massey.ac.nz.