International success for New Zealand and Australia

Tuesday, 02 November, 2004

Groundbreaking, innovative food and beverage products from New Zealand and Australia have won gold in four out of 12 categories in the prestigious 2004 SIAL d'Or food awards in Paris, with New Zealand winning three golds and Australia one.

New Zealand's winning trio of products were Tegel's Smoked Chicken Rashers in the meats in the poultry and delicatessen meats category; Sealord's Greenshell Mussels in White Wine and Garlic Sauce in the fish and seafood category; and 42 Below's Manuka Honey Vodka in the alcoholic beverages category.

Australia's success was in the Ready-to-eat sector with Simplot's Leggo's Pasta Meals.

New Zealand was the only country in the world to be honoured with so many category wins in the global competition, which assess the best new and innovative products around the world every two years. Heavyweights Spain and Japan were next, with two category wins each. The achievement mirrors New Zealand's result in 2002, when New Zealand companies also won three categories.

Tegel Foods' innovative chicken-based Smoked Chicken Rashers are a world first. Made from smoke chicken that smells and tastes like bacon when cooked, the product is 95% fat free, appealing to those looking for healthy options in their diet. The product is also designed to appeal to growing demand from the world's non-pork eating communities. Tegel's Smoked Chicken Rashers highlight the company's moves to develop new ranges of added-value products appealing to international as well as domestic consumers.

The uniqueness of New Zealand Manuka Honey cleverly mixed with premium vodka won 42 Below the beverage category. 42 Below Manuka Honey Vodka has been under development for the past year, and only recently came on sale in New Zealand and Australia. The Manuka tree produces honey darker than others and displays oak-like and caramel flavours.

Sealord's 'heat and eat' frozen Greenshell mussels in white wine and garlic were awarded for creating a complete premium New Zealand seafood 'meal solution'. The sophisticated packaging and snap freezing techniques of the product are able to capture the natural mussel juices prized by chefs and, once heated, the product becomes a rich seafood broth. The product appeals to consumers wanting high quality and easy to prepare meals, as well as to the food trade for its commercial applications. Its extended 18 month shelf life adds to its popularity.

Leggo's pasta meals are ready-cooked pasta meals pre-packed in a serving bowl.

The SIAL d'Or awards are selected bi-annually by an international panel of 27 food journalists and recognise the best innovative food products in the world over 12 categories. The awards will not only increase New Zealand and Australia's profiles as innovative food producers, but will help to increase exports.

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