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The Idealog guide to food innovation

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If you’re thinking about exporting to China, there’s no room for guesswork. New Zealand Trade and
Enterprise can give you ...

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The figures indicate that New Zealand has
the ingredients to be a worthy contender
on the global food export market. So
wh...

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Contents
TheIdealogguideto
Food innovation
Chapterone
Basic
ingredients
82
Chaptertwo
The
challenge
Chapterthree
The utens...

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The Idealog guide to food innovation

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The figures indicate that New Zealand has the ingredients to be a worthy contender on the global food export market. So what, exactly, constitutes the winning recipe, and what are the challenges we face as a minority?

The figures indicate that New Zealand has the ingredients to be a worthy contender on the global food export market. So what, exactly, constitutes the winning recipe, and what are the challenges we face as a minority?

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The Idealog guide to food innovation

  1. 1. If you’re thinking about exporting to China, there’s no room for guesswork. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise can give you the tips and tools you need to move your business into this market; from country overviews and language and culture, to sales and marketing suggestions. That way, you’ll know that the executive you’re dealing with hasn’t left for an impromptu holiday, he’s just waiting for the right time to make his decision. Visit www.nzte.govt.nz/answershere or call us on 0800 555 888. Get the answers here. Succeed over there. IN CHINA, A BUSINESS EXECUTIVE MAY CONSULT THE STARS, OR WAIT FOR A ‘LUCKY’ DAY BEFORE MAKING A DECISION. TRUE FALSE T&E0028/B
  2. 2. The figures indicate that New Zealand has the ingredients to be a worthy contender on the global food export market. So what, exactly, constitutes the winning recipe, and what are the challenges we face as a minority? TEXT ANDY KENWORTHY IN ASSOCIATION WITH The Idealog guide to INNOVATION Food PHOTOGRAPHROBINHODGKINSON,COURTESYOFTHEFOODBOWL
  3. 3. Contents TheIdealogguideto Food innovation Chapterone Basic ingredients 82 Chaptertwo The challenge Chapterthree The utensils 94 111Chapter fiveThe special sauce 98 Chapterfour Experimenting withtherecipe Digestif Final thoughts 104 88 80/IDEALOG.CO.NZ
  4. 4. AJParkisaboutiP•intellectualproperty•ignitingpassion•ideaspervading•innovationprotected•integratedprocesses•intelligentpeople•increasingpotential iP is about ideas prospering Kiwis are innovators, bringing fresh ideas to each day. Since Rutherford discovered the proton, our scientists have been at the forefront of world-class innovations. Whether it’s the disposable syringe, The Hamilton Jet, or the Bungy, we Kiwis have continued to use our ideas and technologies to change the way we live. At AJ Park we work with you to find the right IP solutions, giving you the confidence that your innovation is protected. We delve into your inventions’ DNA, right down to the last atom, to understand the best IP strategy for you. With a team that includes scientists, engineers, IT experts, patent attorneys and lawyers, you get the best advice that spans over 120 years. For clear concise and jargon-free IP advice, talk to our team. 0800 257 275 I www.ajpark.com New Zealand + Australia AJP10315_IM
  5. 5. New Zealand does good food. We all know that. But can we sell enough of it to claw our way up the OECD affluence tables and get ahead of a rapidly accelerating pack of competitors? CHAPTER ONE Basic ingredients 82/IDEALOG.CO.NZ IDEALOG GUIDE TO FOOD INNOVATION PHOTOGRAPHYROBINHODGKINSON,COURTESYOFTHEFOODBOWL
  6. 6. MAY-JUNE 2013/IDEALOG /83 T o know where New Zealand’s food and beverage sector might be headed, and what opportunities there might be for you, it’s important to know where we are at right now. New Zealand has a worldwide reputation for having the right blend of climate, technological sophistication and laws to give it the potential to be a world player in the food and beverage markets. And offshore we have the world’s fifth largest exclusive economic zone (EEZ), covering roughly 430 million hectares of ocean full of seafood (that’s about 15 times the size of our land mass). Lisa Barrett, General Manager of Tourism, Sectors, Cities and Regions at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), says: “Food has been New Zealand’s major export for 120 years. Contrary to what many might think, the nature of the products we export has changed significantly in that time. “Before the freezer ship we exported grains and pulses. By the 1940s it was butter, lamb and cheese. Today it’s milk powder, butter, lamb, beef, cheese, apples, kiwifruit, seafood, wine, and beef – with grains and pulses making a bit of a comeback and processed foods growing fast.” Anton Gibson is a partner at intellectual property company AJ Park and heads up its Auckland office’s life sciences patent practice. “What I think is exciting in the food space is that New Zealand still has such a competitive advantage in being able to produce more than it eats in a way where you can trust the quality, and we are skilled at wrapping that up in appealing ways and getting it out of the country,” he says. Meanwhile, big players such as Asahi and Kirin from Asia, Coca-Cola from Australia, Unilever, Cadbury, Nestlé, Heineken and Danone from Europe as well as US giants such as Heinz, McCain, Mars and Bacardi, have all come to invest in the New Zealand food and beverage sector. This, along with rapidly accelerating local food and beverage production in New Zealand’s key target markets is creating an atmosphere of almost feverish competition. Clearly, nobody sane now believes it is okay to just stick to farming and hope nobody else works out how to cultivate cows and sheep. We have to continue to innovate in the way we produce, distribute and sell the New Zealand goodness both at home and abroad. Michael Crampin, group head of creative strategy at strategic design practice Designworks, believes we are living through a food revolution where this sector is more front-of-mind than ever before. “It has become the cult of food and beverage,” he says. “Whether it is Jamie Oliver, Masterchef or the general trend of consumers really needing to know who is behind the brands, where the product comes from and why they should love it.” Read on to find out how we get the right answers to that question. Infant formula Confectionery Frozen meals and sides Pet food Wine ‘The nature of the products we export has changed significantly. Before the freezer ship we exported grains and pulses. Today it’s milk powder, butter, lamb, beef, cheese, apples, kiwifruit, seafood, wine and beef – with grains and pulses making a comeback and processed foods growing fast’ LISA BARRETT According to research firm Coriolis the following sub-sectors of the New Zealand food and beverage market could hit the US$1 billion mark by 2025: Billion-dollar expansion bids
  7. 7. 84/IDEALOG.CO.NZ IDEALOG GUIDE TO FOOD INNOVATION BIGGER HELPINGS FOR THE NZ FOOD AND BEVERAGE MARKET Research firm Coriolis reckons New Zealand’s blend of temperate climate, stable democracy and economic freedom mean the country is well-positioned to triple its food and beverage exports over the next 15 years. In 2010, food and beverage made up just over half of New Zealand’s total exports, with a value of US$17 billion. MBIE now estimates that processed foods make up about $2.2 billion of those exports each year. According to the Ministry, infant formula sales have increased from around $20 million in 2003 to close to $750 million today. Food and beverage exports have trebled in the past 17 years and now make up more than 10 percent of our GDP. The food and beverage sector grew by seven percent between 1995 and 2010, vastly outstripping our European competitors. -$5.0 $- $5.0 $10.0 $15.0 -$5.0 $- $5.0 $10.0 $15.0 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Exports Imports Net trade balance New Zealand has a strong and growing trade surplus in food and beverage US$b New Zealand F&B trade value: exports versus imports SOURCEUNCOMTRADEDATABASE(CUSTOMJOB);CORIOLISANALYSIS, COURTESYOFTHEMINISTRYOFBUSINESS,INNOVATIONANDEMPLOYMENT PHOTOGRAPHPHOTONEWZEALAND/TERRYHANN
  8. 8. DESIGNWORKS www.designworks.co.nz DESIGNED FROM THE SOURCE AIR NEW ZEALAND DB BREWERIES FIRST LIGHT FONTERRA KIWIBANK MONTEITH’S NATURE BABY NEW ZEALAND DANCE COMPANY SILERE SILVER FERN FARMS Taking Our Stories To The World For Over 35 Years
  9. 9. IDEALOG IN ASS OCIATION WITH FONTERRA C heese and butter exports to the UK were the high value incarnations of milk in the first half of last century, but since then innovation at Fonterra has seen the white gold hit new markets by being spun into truly high value products – with names such as milk protein concentrates and whey protein isolates, hydrolysates, dairy complex lipids and probiotics. “Fonterra is well recognised as one of the leading innovators in the world, both in dairy ingredients and finished product,” says managing director of Fonterra Nutrition, Sarah Kennedy. One key to its success is that it works on an ‘open innovation platform’ over the areas of paediatrics, everyday nutrition, mobility, food service and its pre-factory gate research, working with a number of institutions in New Zealand and around the world. “New product development is directly linked to our business units, which feed in insights gathered from different regions around the world, to make sure products and ingredients are developed for local market requirements.” Research at Fonterra is a combination of blue sky science and product design. Down at the Fonterra Research & Development Centre (FRDC) in Palmerston North, they’re Refreshing milk Since 1945, per capita milk consumption has steadily fallen across the Western world, and is now well below pre-war levels. In response, diversifying milk and developing emerging markets for ‘the white stuff’ has become one of Fonterra’s main strategic objectives currently excited about ‘C21’, shorthand for ‘Cheese of the 21st Century’, an advanced technology that has so far created a mozzarella for use on pizza whose process takes only one day to transform fresh milk to a frozen, shredded, cheesy packaged product. That’s pretty speedy considering the traditional grated mozzarella-making process requires months of cheese maturation, freezing, thawing, shredding and packing. Another FRDC buzzword is hydrolysates. Handy in the food and beverage, medical nutrition, sports nutrition, and infant nutrition areas, hydrolysates help with faster digestion of protein – particularly important in sports recovery and for hospital patients – and help prevent dairy protein allergy issues in infants. Hydrolysing is really just snipping up proteins under specific conditions using special enzymes, so that they are effectively pre-digested, but it’s quite difficult to do it in a way that conserves both the flavour and the functionality. And Fonterra’s scientists are rather good at it. But some of the company’s innovations have been to take an existing product and improve it beyond recognition. Scientists in Europe originally came up with Milk Protein Concentrates (MPCs) in the 1970s. MPCs are mostly whey and casein, the elements left over after the moisture, fat and most of the lactose and minerals have been extracted from milk. MPCs were originally added to cheese to bulk it up, but sometimes they didn’t dissolve and resulted in hard nuggets. But Fonterra had dairy protein magician Vijay Ganugapati, who was instrumental in transforming the structure and functionality of MPCs. The IP he developed involves transforming the mineral environment of the MPC, while maintaining the nutritional value. This enables the MPCs to be dissolved (a feat previously not possible) and even survive the UHT process. Now Fonterra’s functional MPCs are exported to the globe, added to a myriad of products in many markets and are responsible for an array of benefits including improving flavour and texture in dairy products and creating high- protein beverages. More recently, Fonterra’s scientists have reworked whey protein (which is packed with branched chain amino acids, beneficial in building muscle) so it can be added to acidic sports drinks without destablising TEXTSKYEWISHART
  10. 10. IDEALOG.CO.NZ/BUSINESSPLAN ADV2013 structure design, human nutrition, advanced processing and control, analytical measurement technology, animal nutrition and health and other farming technology) and with these cohorts, along with a host of commercialisation directors and business partners, it’s hoped that Fonterra’s innovations will Fonterra Nutrition managing director Sarah Kennedy.and turning the drink cloudy. They can also pack more concentrated whey protein into UHT beverages than has ever been pulled off before. “Protein is one of the absolute emerging trends,” says Sarah Kennedy. “There’s a need for higher-quality protein across all age groups with differing requirements, whether it’s in ageing, general growth and development, muscle maintenance, satiation and so on. It certainly is an elixir with untapped potential.” To make sure it’s not innovating up the wrong tree, Fonterra makes sure it’s actively engaged in consumer surveys to gain insights about product development and its subsequent marketing. Surveys have covered topics such as the US sports nutrition market (a leader in a global market that has been increasing 8-9 per cent every year for the past 15 years), discovering most mass-market consumers – the root of the growth – need education on the exact role of protein to get them buying the good quality stuff. They’ve also covered ‘Healthy Agers’ in seven markets around the world, who love the benefits of dairy protein, but are fussy about the format it’s delivered in, pointing to the sort of products Fonterra scientists should be looking to design. Infant formula, particularly for the Asian markets, is a huge area of research at Fonterra, in the quest to deliver nutritional benefits that are closer to those of mother’s milk and its wealth of complex nutrients. Probiotics, or bacteria that confer health benefits, is one such area of research forging ahead at Fonterra, both in product development and clinical trials. There are more than 300 scientists at the FRDC tackling research in its science and technology programmes (food continue to crack markets around the globe and push New Zealand milk as far as it can go. “Some of our researchers are leading in the world,” says Kennedy. “It really is extraordinary, some of the work that is going on – it’s cutting-edge, and is helping set our road map for the future.” IN BRIEF Fonterra is a co-operative owned, integrated dairy business with a diverse range of R&D, manufacturing, distribution and marketing activities. Of the billions of litres of New Zealand milk supplied by farmer shareholders every year, around 98 percent is processed and exported around the world as everyday dairy nutrition (typically whole milk powder or skim milk powder) or innovative advanced nutrition products. The Fonterra Research & Development Centre in Palmerston North is the world’s largest dairy research centre and boasts a long history of world firsts in dairy technology, research and product development. CONTACT To find out more, visit www.fonterra.com The Fonterra Research and Development Centre in Palmerston North is a hive of activity with more than 300 scientists working on blue skies research, new technology and product development.
  11. 11. Every good food show needs a challenge and New Zealand is no exception. The old tyranny of distance issue we hear so much about is particularly relevant when you’re trying to get something to people a long way away that’s in a fit state to eat The challenge CHAPTER TWO 88/IDEALOG.CO.NZ IDEALOG GUIDE TO FOOD INNOVATION PHOTOGRAPHYROBINHODGKINSON,COURTESYOFTHEFOODBOWL
  12. 12. MAY-JUNE 2013/IDEALOG /89 T his has spurred some of our greatest food innovations – perfecting the art of freezing and packaging meat products and becoming a lead player in selling powdered milk to the world. As Anton Gibson explains: “Our biggest challenge has always been that we face having to ship lots of air and water a long way to get our products to market, so we have become very good at removing that air or that water. Examples are the way we process our milk, pack our products and adapt these for specific market requirements. Another issue for some products is maintaining freshness for a long way, and there too we have overcome challenges with technology – in both the fresh and frozen space, for a variety of products.” But there are still limits, especially the fact that we don’t have a handy few hundred million people on our doorstep to sell to, as many of our European competitors do. Even the Australian market is seen as a tricky customer with the stranglehold of two major supermarket chains calling the shots on price and quality of any food or drink that wants to sell in big numbers. The strength of the big retail chains is also a major barrier in many other markets, and not only because big buyers like Tesco wield such influence on the basic metrics – they can also effectively de-brand food heading into their system, reducing the differentiation so that we are all just competing on the basic metrics. “With some products, we have competed so long on price that even though we are delivering a very high-quality product, the value is being gained by the end seller, not the New Zealand producer,” Gibson explains. In this eco-conscious and climate-aware age the distance challenge has also taken on the new form of food miles, a concept that has been used to batter our primary industries since the middle of the past decade. Basically a measure of how far your lunch is from where it was originally frolicking or growing outdoors, it has been extrapolated out as a rough measure of how much environmental damage your meal has caused. New Zealand responded to the initial challenge with comprehensive Lincoln University research showing that the relatively eco-friendly way in which much New Zealand food is grown made the picture much more complex. But the challenge remains, since ordinary shoppers don’t read academic research – they look at labels, as we shall see. The perception of remoteness can be a factor of culture as much as geography. Consider for a moment the ludicrousness of sending more than 84 percent of our exports from 1910 all the way back to ‘The Motherland’ on the other side of the planet. Did we really imagine that nobody between those two points would be interested? Of course, that situation has radically changed. Today, the UK takes only four percent of our exports, with ever-increasing amounts going to China, Southeast Asia and India, while sub-Saharan Africa has also developed a growing appetite for our dairy products. But despite the dedicated work of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, along with large-scale pioneers like Fonterra, the average New Zealand food and beverage firm still struggles to have their produce distributed and sold in the major growth markets. As in all sectors, this can come down to a lack of understanding for the different business ‘With some products, we have competed so long on price that even though we are delivering a very high-quality product, the value is being gained by the end seller, not the New Zealand producer’ ANTON GIBSON PHOTOGRAPHPHOTONEWZEALAND/ALEXWALLACE
  13. 13. In order for products to be successful in major growth markets, they have to be adapted to suit local tastes. 90/IDEALOG.CO.NZ cultures at work. But in the food and beverage sector this can be compounded by the trials of navigating the various food regulation systems. Perhaps most importantly, it can also come down to the challenge of understanding what consumers in this market like to eat, and how they like to eat it. Richard Templer, acting general manager, science engineering and technology delivery at Callaghan Innovation, says: “People often underestimate the complexity of going into a market like China. I think the challenge for New Zealanders going there is that you are talking about a market that is far bigger than virtually any of the other markets you are involved with, and it is not homogenous. There are highly sophisticated urban areas and quite under-developed rural areas, for example. The fact that the infant formula market has proved challenging for an organisation with the scale and sophistication of Fonterra suggests it is not an area where you can just charge in.” Templer is also concerned that the money to enter such markets is still hard to come by. “One of the real challenges facing New Zealand is capital availability. This is affecting everybody from startups to large established companies. Finding people who are ready to invest in innovation and research rather than just bricks and mortar is a real challenge for New Zealand. I think it is starting to improve but in the midst of the global financial crisis it was very hard even for established companies to get any kind of funding.” Jef Wong, group head of design at strategic design practice Designworks, takes that point, but he believes the only real limitations are those we might place on ourselves. “I don’t think there is any barrier, in that the brands we create in New Zealand are world- class,” he says. “The barrier is simply finding people with the vision to do it.” ‘I don’t think there is any barrier, in that the brands we create in New Zealand are world-class. The barrier is simply finding people with the vision to do it’ JEF WONG PHOTOGRAPHOFJEFWONGKAANHIINI
  14. 14. Europe 11% United Kingdom 5% Russia 1% USA 10% Canada 2% Mexico 1% Australia 11% Pacific Islands 2% Japan 7% China 11% Hong Kong 2% South Korea 2% Taiwan 3% SE Asia 14% Saudi Arabia 2% UAE 1% Other NA/ME/CA 6% Venezuela 2% Other 7% Europe & Russia 17% North America 13% Asia 39% Total = US$16.7b Oceania 13% North Africa Middle East Central Asia 17% MAY-JUNE 2013/IDEALOG /91 Aggregate annual food & beverage export value by key markets New Zealand exports F&B to a wide range of destinations. Interestingly, Australia now takes twice as much as the United Kingdom and Asia is worth around 33 percent more than Europe, Russia and North America combined. SOURCEUNCOMTRADEDATABASE(CUSTOMJOB);CORIOLISANALYSIS, COURTESYOFTHEMINISTRYOFBUSINESS,INNOVATIONANDEMPLOYMENT
  15. 15. IDEALOG IN ASS OCIATION WITH CALLAGHAN INNOVATION Meating the needRefrigeration revolutionised our meat and dairy industries a century ago. Now, new Kiwi technology is set to shake things up again manager Vaughan Whyte says the system provides a process for delivering chilled beef, lamb, pork and chicken from the producer to the supermarket shelf with reduced packaging, handling and transport costs and improved safety and food quality, as well as assured traceability. The Auckland processing facilities, set up to service Progressive Enterprises’ North (L-R) Julian Beavis, CEO, FoodCap; Erin Wansborough, regional manager, Callaghan Innovation; Vaughan Whyte, sales and marketing manager, FoodCap. F oodcap International’s work has been called unique, exciting and revolutionary. The company designs and develops capsulated food supply chain systems and technologies that dramatically change the dynamics of storing and transporting temperature- sensitive, short shelf-life products such as meat. Foodcap sales and marketing
  16. 16. IDEALOG.CO.NZ/BUSINESSPLAN Island supermarkets, contain the type of automation you’d find in a car assembly plant. Robots, conveyor belts and cranes help reduce human contact with the meat and improve consistency and safety. “There’s really no other meat processing facility in the world like it in terms of the level of automation and the way it’s designed,” says Whyte. “The footprint is half that of equivalent meat processing plants and the labour requirement is 40-50 percent less. We’ve eliminated all the packaging that’s typically used.” To help continue its R&D programme, Foodcap applied for funding through the former Ministry of Science and Innovation – a project now administered by Callaghan Innovation – and received an initial grant of $248,000. Callaghan Innovation investment manager Simon Smart says Foodcap has a technology that could revolutionise the entire fresh chilled primal meat handling steps in both the domestic and export supply chains. “This investment ticks all the boxes for us – the potential for the company itself to grow significantly, a huge spill-over for the meat industry, and also even the dairy industry. It’s a really novel New Zealand technology and there are huge opportunities. The first step is to develop the technology further, and we’re helping fund it to the next stage.” With input from Callaghan Innovation, Foodcap has defined a four-year R&D programme. The first step means making significant changes and improvements to its existing technology in order to develop a new capsule prototype for the export market. “This project is to redevelop the technology so it’s more robust and can be easily and cost-effectively integrated into an existing meat plant without redesigning the entire plant,” explains Whyte. “It’ll be a very modular system that can be plugged into an existing system and be used to either transport meat from a slaughter plant to a secondary processing plant, within a meat plant to reduce the single-use packaging, or to export fresh chilled meat internationally.” While it hopes to obtain more R&D funding in the future, Whyte says it’s not just the financial assistance that’s been valuable. ADV2013 “Working with Simon and Callaghan Innovation has brought many benefits,” Whyte says. “They’ve introduced us to a network of new companies with specialised or unique technologies, skills and science. “We have a large R&D team that includes many external parties, but we’d reached a place where none of them had the specific knowledge or technologies we needed. Simon put us in touch with a group that can help us, which is really valuable.” Smart says that’s typical of the work Callaghan Innovation does with companies. “It’s not just about giving them money, but also connecting them with consultants, R&D providers, IN BRIEF Formed in February 2013, Callaghan Innovation is a stand-alone Crown Entity that works to drive innovation and commercialisation of New Zealand products and services by providing both funding and advice for research and development. Callaghan Innovation’s advice and funding is helping Foodcap International develop and refine its unique meat processing and packing technology that could revolutionise our meat and dairy export industries. CONTACT For more information, contact Callaghan Innovation, 0800 422 552, www.callaghaninnovation.govt.nz TEXTDEIRDRECOLEMANPHOTOGRAPHYROBINHODGKINSON CUTTING-EDGE COLLABORATION Robots are set to take over some of the more specialised and labour- intensive processing jobs, providing significant productivity gains for our all-important lamb export industry. Ovine Automation Ltd (OAL), a research consortium of meat industry companies and various technology providers, was formed in 2009. OAL brings together nine industry shareholders, with MIRINZ Inc (jointly owned by the MIA and Beef+Lamb) providing initial funding and co-funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. A further R&D grant has helped develop and commercialise technologies such as automated evisceration, brisket cutting, Y-cutting and gas de-pelting systems, to help streamline slaughter-board production. The science, engineering and technology-delivery group of Callaghan Innovation has been providing expertise and advice to push these developments along. Callaghan Innovation sector manager Geoff Bates says OAL is an excellent example of key players collaborating to achieve real gains for the industry as a whole. “This project works because there’s so much industry involvement and buy-in,” says Bates. “One of the challenges of bringing science into the real world is getting all parties to work together. It takes a lot of desire on everyone’s part to make it happen. Our role is to facilitate that process.” Richard McColl from OAL says the consortium has set a precedent and provided a step change for the industry. “Other countries have spent a lot of money on automation in the pork and poultry industries, but what we’re doing for the New Zealand ovine industry is unique in the world,” says McColl. “The work we’ve done with the science, engineering and technology-delivery group of Callaghan Innovation, Geoff Bates and the team has been excellent. They’ve advanced a lot of the ideas we’re now bringing into commercialisation, and in my view, providing the business case supports it, the industry will take up this technology.” and other investors or customers. We try to point them in the right direction if they have a need.” The grant application process was also useful for Foodcap in terms of its strategic planning. “Completing the application helped to clarify our thinking around prioritising our R&D programme. The monthly reporting process also makes us analyse what we’ve achieved, and what we’ll be working on next.” Those next steps could be meeting international demand. Foodcap has had significant interest from Walmart about transforming the multinational’s meat operations in several countries, and inquiries from the UK and Ireland.
  17. 17. The scale and competitiveness of the food and beverage market means that innovators and entrepreneurs with an idea to commercialise will almost certainly need some governmental and institutional help The utensils CHAPTER THREE 94/IDEALOG.CO.NZ IDEALOG GUIDE TO FOOD INNOVATION PHOTOGRAPHYROBINHODGKINSON,COURTESYOFTHEFOODBOWL
  18. 18. MAY-JUNE 2013/IDEALOG /95 and you have some very big players there.” Here are some examples of the handy tools you can use to get cooking in this sector. Institutes of innovation Callaghan Innovation For those of you who missed the latest reincarnation of one of the government’s flagship innovation organisations, the creation of Callaghan Innovation in February brought together the former Crown Research Institute Industrial Research Limited (IRL) and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s business investments team. From July 1, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s Lean Manufacturing programme will be part of Callaghan Innovation and Auckland’s Food Bowl will also be incorporated, subject to negotiations with its current owner, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development. With 400 staff and offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, the new organisation is on a mission to accelerate the commercialisation of innovation in New Zealand. It is named after distinguished scientist Sir Paul Callaghan, who passed away in 2012. One of the key areas of Callaghan’s research around the food and beverage sector is the search for value-added extracts from primary products like honey, shellfish and fish that might be applied to the burgeoning nutraceutical sector. The organisation is also working on improving automation processes, and recent successes include a mussel-shelling machine developed with Sanford by its KanDo Innovation offshoot and working with the meat industry’s Ovine Automation to develop machines for speeding up meat processing. Callaghan Innovation also invests $115 million each year into Kiwi businesses in the form of government grants. The organisation has specialist expertise that could help you identify and quantify natural extracts from a wide range of natural products, and to develop these extracts as potential ingredients for nutraceuticals and other functional foods. Callaghan Innovation also features one of only three laboratories worldwide that offers a full carbohydrate analysis facility and extensive fermentation and microbiology capabilities. kk www.callaghaninnovation.govt.nz AgResearch AgResearch is taking a close look at how we can continue to improve meat, fibre and dairy production. Recent successes include developments in non-chemical pesticides and the first cow bred to provide high-protein hypoallergenic milk. AgResearch is there to help if you have an opportunity to exploit or a problem to solve relating to the value, productivity and profitability of New Zealand’s pastoral, agri-food and agri-technology sector. kk agresearch.co.nz ‘The food industry is expanding, however I think it varies depending on the sector. In the kiwifruit, dairy and meat industries it’s probably stronger than ever, with government agencies stimulating a level of research and innovation that we haven’t seen for some time’ RICHARD TEMPLER A ccording to the MBIE’s Lisa Barrett, “Innovation in the food industry is much more about product development, packaging and branding than it is about basic science. The food industry all around the world has high rates of innovation, but firms are generally relatively small investors in basic science. “However, the food industry is a heavy user of innovation developed in other sectors. This might be in the machines used to process and package foods, new materials for packaging, chemicals or compounds that can enhance shelf life or processes that might reduce the need for high levels of sugars, fats or salt. In statistical terms food manufacturing is classified as low technology, but in terms of the machines and processes applied, it is highly knowledge-intensive and highly technical.” Callaghan Innovation’s Richard Templer says it’s also important to note that the level of innovation and research still varies from one product area to another. “The food industry is expanding and there’s more research and development. However, I think it varies depending on the sector. In the kiwifruit and dairy and meat industries it is probably as strong or stronger than it has ever been, with government agencies stimulating a level of research and innovation that we haven’t seen for some time. “In the smaller niche areas you see a lot of research into honey. It’s a bit more patchy in the consumer-facing foods because things are more competitive internationally in that space Bio-processing at Callaghan Innovation.
  19. 19. 96/IDEALOG.CO.NZ IDEALOG GUIDE TO FOOD INNOVATION Plant and Food Research Plant and Food Research is all about adding value to fruit, vegetable, crop and food products. It has more than 900 people based at sites across New Zealand, as well as in the USA and Australia. The organisation is perhaps best known for its research work on creating the hugely successful ZespriGOLD kiwifruit, but it has research projects across a wide range of crops and also works on seafood. Recent projects have included research into the benefits of eating apples to combat inflammatory diseases, and the controlled release of a wasp species from Kazakhstan to combat codling moth infestations in orchards. kk plantandfood.co.nz Government research The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Development’s Food and Beverage Information Project This five-year project began in 2011 and is producing a series of comprehensive reports on investment opportunities in major sections of the New Zealand food and beverage sector. It also provides a directory of more than 1,000 relevant New Zealand companies. kk med.govt.nz Government funding Primary Growth Partnership The Primary Growth Partnership joint funding scheme works in pastoral, arable, horticultural, seafood and forestry production as well as food processing. The basic idea is that as long as a qualifying industry can come up with at least half of the investment cash, with a minimum of $500,000 excluding GST, the government will chip in the rest, so far to the tune of $190 million since 2009. Recent beneficiaries have included the selective breeding of Greenshell mussels, ways of getting more value from a beef carcass and high-performance manuka plantations. kk mpi.govt.nz Academia Food research at AUT With food remaining such a major employer for research graduates it’s no surprise that New Zealand has an active academic sector geared up for its needs. The major players are AUT, Massey and Otago University, with many smaller related departments in other institutions. At AUT food science has a strong presence, incorporating research in food chemistry, food microbiology, food technology and specialist research into biofilms. (Find out more about AUT from the folks involved on page 100.) Massey University’s Food and Science Technology division undertakes research across a range of areas, including dairy, meat and ‘post-harvest’. Publications and staff expertise cover off everything from the underlying food science and chemistry to processing of the final products with the university’s own Food Laboratories and Food Pilot Plant. Meanwhile, the University of Otago’s Food Science Department offers commercially focused research and consultancy services at its Product Development Research Centre. And at its Sensory Science Research Centre there’s a specialist team that leads training and research in taste, smell and sensory irritation, which are fundamental to product choice and acceptability. kk aut.ac.nz The FoodBowl The $18.1 million FoodBowl food innovation facility gives established companies, startups, chefs and wannabe food entrepreneurs access to state-of-the-art food and beverage equipment. Here they can test ideas, refine procedures and hone existing production processes in a low-cost, low-risk and supportive environment that complies with the highest national and international quality and hygiene standards. kk foodinnovationnetwork.co.nz New Zealand Trade and Enterprise NZTE is there to help you get ready to export, develop knowledge and expertise, access international networks, explore export markets and find funding assistance. There is even a series of specific food and beverage research reports on a range of key markets, as well as reports covering specific areas of sustainability. kk nzte.govt.nz Foodbowl’s Auckland premises and (right) chairman Tony Nowell with Stuart Walker, who was acting CEO in the early stages.
  20. 20. MAY-JUNE 2013/IDEALOG /97 make sure you have the best market analysis at your fingertips. foodandbeverage.govt.nz Extensive and detailed business- focused information on New Zealand’s leading export industry→ If food & beverage is your bread & butter… The Food and Beverage Information Project
  21. 21. 98/IDEALOG.CO.NZ IDEALOG GUIDE TO FOOD INNOVATION Experimenting with the recipe CHAPTER FOUR To get a taste of the kind of work that our universities are doing, we disguised ourselves as students, got up in time for elevenses, stuffed an old rucksack full of electronic devices and books, and shambled around AUT’s Food Science department
  22. 22. MAY-JUNE 2013/IDEALOG /99 John Brooks, Professor of Food Microbiology at AUT University, explains the pitfalls of building a business around Mum’s secret recipe (via his blog foodsafetywithjaybee.blogspot.co.nz): “Mum has for years made a special dish or sauce and the whole family enjoys it. Perhaps it’s a traditional dish made back in ‘the old country’ and an enterprising emigrant wants to make it commercially in the adopted country. All that is necessary is to scale up production, right? “In some cases, this might be so. However, there may be hidden pitfalls. “Perhaps the most important difference between Mum’s cooking and a commercial operation is the timing – Mum cooked the dish or sauce and served it straight from the kitchen, whereas commercial manufacture involves packaging, storage, transport, retail display and purchase. The shelf life must also leave time for the consumer to store it at home before consumption. “How about putting the sauce into a glass jar or a plastic pouch? This introduces a new variable not present in the original. I want answers to some additional questions before I’ll agree that the product is safe. “For example, what is the pH of the product – acid or low acid? This is not just about flavour. If Mum poured a low-acid sauce over your food and you ate it straight away, there was no problem. But if we now wish to sell it in an hermetically sealed container, it may support the growth of clostridium botulinum. “Even if the raw materials are heated during preparation, spores will have survived and can germinate and grow, producing botulin toxin during storage. There may be no apparent change in the product, but it could be lethal. In the case of a low-acid product, a full ‘12D’ process must be applied. This process has to be filed with the regulatory authority, followed for every batch and be under the control of a registered person with full records kept. Special equipment, capable of heating the product to well over 100ºC, is needed, too. “What about stability? Will the sauce separate during storage and transport? A stabiliser may need to be added to prevent separation and thus ensure that it looks good to the consumer. It’s not a safety issue, but dissatisfied customers are unlikely to be repeat buyers. ‘We need to come up with something other than dried milk powder. On the meat side we basically still sell large bits of dead animals. Can’t we make something rather more spectacular out of them?’ JOHN BROOKS “What shelf life should we put on the label? Properly conducted storage trials are essential. For that matter, what are the labelling requirements? You can’t just put a picture of the product onto the label and call it ‘Mum’s Special Pasta Sauce’; in most jurisdictions, there are very specific requirements. The usually include the name and address of the manufacturer, as well as a list of ingredients – possibly with warnings about potential allergens. These requirements even extend to specifying the size of the type that’s required for the nutrition information label. “Not least is the requirement for the product to be manufactured on suitable premises. These premises must be inspected and it is unlikely that the home kitchen will be approved as suitable for even minor commercial production. PHOTOGRAPHPHOTONEWZEALAND/TERRYHANN
  23. 23. 100/IDEALOG.CO.NZ IDEALOG GUIDE TO FOOD INNOVATION “In New Zealand, food manufacturers must have a suitable food safety programme in place. New legislation will require this programme to be based on an assessment of risk posed by the product and process, and the programme must be documented and detailed records kept, so that the premises and process can be audited. “There are many wonderful products on the market today that had their origins in Mum’s kitchen in some part of the world. To avoid tears, the budding entrepreneur should seek the advice of a professional food technologist before putting the product on the market.” FOOD SAFETY FIRST Professor John Brooks has spent more than 30 years working to improve the understanding of food microbiology and help reduce the incidence of food-related illness. It’s a health and safety issue, but also a crucial commercial one for New Zealand’s food and beverage industry to compete overseas. As Professor of Food Microbiology at AUT, Brooks consults on microbiological problems for a range of companies and carries out research across New Zealand’s dairy, seafood and biomedical sectors. Often, his work involves dealing with one-off contamination risks that need to be identified and headed off. But he also works on longer-term issues such as biofilms in food, aquaculture and medicine. These bacterial films are found growing on surfaces in diverse environments including the human body, streams, medical apparatus and food processing equipment. Brooks’ research is helping to model the biofilms’ behaviour in industrial plants, such as milk evaporators.

 “When dairy companies have a problem like this they probably don’t want to talk about it, but it is common across all of them,” he explains. “Our teams are investigating some new ideas, but it’s difficult to know whether New Zealand companies are that far ahead of our competitors.” Brooks says Fonterra has done a lot of good by breaking down milk into its molecular components and coming up with all sorts of new food ingredients, but what we really need, is genuinely new products across the board. “New Zealand needs to come up with something else other than dried milk powder,” he says. “And on the meat side we basically still sell large bits of dead animals – can’t we make something rather more spectacular out of them?” While doing his bit to move that conversation forward, Brooks is also nurturing the next generation of food scientists to help innovate for the sector. MEET A MEAT RESEARCHER Owen Young, Professor of Food Science at AUT’s School of Applied Sciences, has strong links to the meat industry. He has a track record of research in flavour chemistry, particularly of sheep meat, the development of innovative meat products, and the invention of a method for the rapid and early prediction of meat quality in slaughterhouses. This work has expanded at AUT into sheep meat and seafood products, with a particular emphasis on preserving molluscs. Another major area of research is the development of New Zealand-unique alcoholic drinks, with a focus on spirits. The group has also developed a novel method to make goat’s milk products taste much less goaty, and therefore more acceptable to a wider market. Other recent and current research topics include development of a gluten-free commercial bread, food allergen control in food processing, flavour problems in rolled oats, applications of kiwifruit enzymes in enteric health, eel aquaculture, defining commercial meat cooking protocols, evaluation of novel food extrusion and distillation equipment. ‘Academia is fundamentally useful in food and beverage research in two ways: Basic research with no obvious application, and applied research on industry problems and product development. Both should occur simultaneously within a university, and the practitioners should be continually in dialogue’ OWEN YOUNG
  24. 24. MAY-JUNE 2013/IDEALOG /101 NUTRACEUTICALS When Hippocates said, “Let food be your medicine and medicine your food”, it was unlikely that he had foreseen anything quite like modern nutraceuticals. These are defined as “a food or food product that reportedly provides health and medical benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease”. In practice, nutraceuticals can include anything from witches’ cauldron-type animal parts up to and including deer penis, oils and such squeezed out of fish, and a bewildering array of botanicals, bee products, fruits and cereals. Basically, you name a food and there’s somebody cutting it up or boiling it down to its active components, and reformulating these into more food or health products. “Health supplements, whether in a food or a tablet, are commercialised in a sometimes uncomfortable space between consumer protection legislation and pharmaceutical regulation,” says AJ Park’s Anton Gibson. “The nutraceutical market is challenging, because the business model may not justify the expense of doing clinical trials. This necessarily excludes operating in a pharmaceutical market in the space defined by the local regulatory regime about the types of health claims that you can make about ingredients in products.” Gibson points to the costs of development and the regulatory uncertainties as reasons why this remains a difficult market to work in. But it is nonetheless an expanding one, with the worldwide value estimated to be around the US$200 billion mark by 2016. Vitaco (vitaco.co.nz) is one Australasian company that has found success in this area. It now employs nearly 500 people and distributes to more than 30 countries in five continents. The company’s Nutra-Life range incorporates Biolane, an extract from New Zealand green-lipped mussels, which Vitaco claims supports joint and muscle tissue health. Auckland-based Good Health (goodhealth.co.nz) also produces a huge range of health products and supplements that are exported to more than 20 countries around the world. Food & Beverages 54% Other products 46% $59 $58 $56 $35 $34 $34 $24 $17 $17 $11 $11 $10 $9 $7 $7 $5 $4 $2 $2 $2 Germany France Netherlands Spain Italy Belgium United Kingdom New Zealand Denmark Chile Ireland Austria Norway Sweden Switzerland Portugal Japan Iceland Israel Finland Total food and beverages export value: New Zealand vs its peers Food and beverages as a percentage of New Zealand’s total export value In New Zealand, food and beverage exports have trebled over the past 17 years. US$b SOURCEUNCOMTRADEDATABASE(CUSTOMJOB);CORIOLISANALYSIS, COURTESYOFTHEMINISTRYOFBUSINESS,INNOVATIONANDEMPLOYMENT
  25. 25. IDEALOG IN ASS OCIATION WITH AJ PARK Weaving tradition with innovation Its Māori-based values are a unique selling point for one Kiwi food and wine exporter, so protecting its intellectual property is vital K ono NZ is a premium food and beverage company that’s taking its innovative products and techniques underpinned by traditional Ma- ori values to the global market. With three divisions producing wine, fruit and seafood, it has mussel and oyster farms, vineyards and orchards throughout the Nelson Marlborough region, from where it exports to more than 25 countries. With 300 staff and farming 530 hectares of land and sea, Kono came into being in 2011, when all the food and beverage businesses of Wakata- Incorporation were consolidated under one brand. “A kono is a traditional woven-flax basket used to serve food,” says Wakata- chairman Paul Morgan. “We’re a Ma- ori business so it’s essential we have a brand that reflects what’s important to us as an organisation and captures our core values.” Wakata- had previously been using the Kono brand for some of its wine and mussel products. The brand now covers Kono Horticulture, Kono Seafood and Kono Beverages, including the internationally awarded Tohu wine. “We needed a powerful master brand across our different divisions. Kono is currently the most widely exported Ma- ori brand and we want to grow it, introduce other products and work with other Ma- ori businesses with new Incorporation secretary Kerensa Johnston and AJ Park senior associate Lynell Tuffery Huria.
  26. 26. IDEALOG.CO.NZ/BUSINESSPLAN food products in the future.” Intellectual property experts AJ Park have been advising Wakata- for many years and assisted Kono after their restructure with IP protection. Senior associate Lynell Tuffery Huria advises the organisation on appropriate and cost-effective trade mark protection for Kono in its various markets. “My role involves identifying the markets they are entering and getting protection there, while reviewing current levels of protection and ensuring they’re adequate,” she says. “It’s a unique Ma- ori-values-based organisation so we need to consider this factor when advising.” Kono’s export strategy is to develop both existing and new customers, as well as introduce new products to those markets. It recently began farming flat oysters and wants to take these to its mussel buyers. Another emerging brand is Aronui wine. “It hasn’t been an easy road to get trade mark protection,” says Tuffery Huria. “That’s always a lesson for anyone entering new markets – just because you can use your brand in New Zealand, it doesn’t mean you can go ahead and use it overseas.” The US, Kono’s main market, buys Kono wine, mussels and fruit. Europe and Asia are also significant markets, with major customers in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea. “It’s vital that our IP is protected in all those countries according to our strategy to develop new customers,” says Morgan. “Doing this is expensive, but we target protection to areas where we have existing trading relationships and where we see potential for future products going forward. “Anyone dealing in the international marketplace needs to have good IP protection in place. AJ Park has given us great advice. They’re experts in their field and we rely on their knowledge.” Paradoxically, it’s been protecting Wakata- ’s brands in New Zealand that’s posed the biggest challenge. “Ma- ori words are more difficult to register here than overseas,” says Tuffery Huria. “The Intellectual Property Office has raised objections based on the ADV2013 literal meanings of certain Ma- ori words. We’ve had to argue that this isn’t relevant because the words have holistic or esoteric meanings that are more relevant. “These arguments have helped get the trademarks registered. It’s very novel for a Ma- ori-based organisation to use Ma- ori words, imagery and means as part of their branding message, and also to seek IP protection for those elements.” Kono is also moving into the innovation space, investing in new processes, machinery, environmentally sustainable practices, and products such as flat oysters and hops. The organisation is also doing some research work with Industrial Research Ltd. “The strategy moving forward is ensuring that Kono can capture all that IP as it creates new machinery or products, and looking for opportunities for patent, copyright, and other forms of IP protection so they can gain that competitive advantage through innovation,” she says. “I’ve worked with Kono for a long time and seen them grow into an organisation that’s unique in its size and its market position. Because Kono are different to our traditional clients, we’ve had to think laterally to come up with solutions for them, but it’s been really satisfying.” IN BRIEF Kono NZ is a Nelson-based Ma- ori organisation that exports its wine, seafood and fruit to 25 countries, including the US, Australia, Hong Kong and Korea. It is currently the most widely exported Ma- ori brand and is now moving into the innovation space, developing new technology, processes and environmentally sustainable practices around its products. Intellectual property experts AJ Park have been helping Kono protect is trademarks both locally and internationally and plan for future product and market expansion. CONTACT To find out more, contact: Lynell.TufferyHuria@ajpark.com www.ajpark.com TEXTDEIRDRECOLEMANPHOTOGRAPHYOLIVERWEBER Kono is moving into the innovation space, investing in new processes, machinery, and environmentally sustainable practices.
  27. 27. Food innovation has less to do with inventing new edibles – it’s about presenting what we have in a way that’s authentic, credible and engaging. And it pays to call in the pros to help you create that vital point of difference The special sauce CHAPTER FIVE 104/IDEALOG.CO.NZ IDEALOG GUIDE TO FOOD INNOVATION
  28. 28. Strategic design practice Designworks incorporated the story of how, where and why Monteith’s ciders were created into the branding. This gives the a sense of purity, assuring the customer that what they’re getting comes ‘straight from the orchard’. New Zealand has a great reputation for its culture, scenery and environmental assets with Kono NZ, Regal Salmon and Silver Ferns Farms enjoying export success. MAY-JUNE 2013/IDEALOG /105 T he pace and extent of change in the basic nature of food is intimately linked to what our culture and our metabolisms will accept. This makes the development of entirely new food groups, meal pills or inhalable nutrition an extremely expensive and time-consuming business that rules out most ordinary firms. So in effect, a lot of what we are left with in terms of innovation is about how we present what we have. “Many of these stories are more about the creativity of the people, and the way they sell and formulate their product with a flavour and visual presence that is relatively familiar but sold in a slightly different way,” says Anton Gibson. “Many of the interesting aspects of the food business come down to the artistry with which it is sold.” This has gone through various stages of evolution. First it was mainly about making sure the food arrives in an edible condition. Then we got carried away with snazzy packaging. And now we are into the modern full-power realm of holistic brand design that is inhabited by the likes of the strategic design practice Designworks. The first thing to note is that if you only start talking to a team like theirs once you’ve already developed your product, you are probably leaving it a bit late. Michael Crampin, group head of creative strategy, explains: “We used to be at the end of the food chain, more or less just packaging it up, but we are now much more intrinsically involved. Traditionally, with companies and consultancies like ours, the client and consumer were separate from the work that was done. For most part there’s now less of a demarcation. The term is ‘co-creating’ and it is the most effective way to work. There has historically been a culture of brand management, which is essentially managing what you’ve got. Now it’s more thinking about what you could have, but you don’t know what that is yet.” The sooner you can start a branding exercise, the more coherent the result will be, and in Crampin’s view this applies particularly to food and beverage at the moment, because almost the whole world’s accelerating interest in food can be boiled down to one word: authenticity. “Authenticity is the Holy Grail of branding, in food and beverage even more so. The whole thing is based on proof points – authenticity of source, traceability and purity.” What might have begun as a need for quality assurance and safety now goes way beyond it, into creating an engaging story of people and ‘Authenticity is the Holy Grail of branding, in food and beverage even more so. The whole thing is based on proof points – authenticity of source, traceability and purity’ MICHAEL CRAMPIN
  29. 29. IDEALOG GUIDE TO FOOD INNOVATION places around a product that attracts consumers, much like wine vintages and regions have been doing for millennia. The designers’ job is to align the product with where the enthusiasm for food and beverage is heading. Designworks is looking to the rapid proliferation of farmers’ markets and ‘grow your own’ gardening culture, as well as the popularity of the likes of Jamie Oliver in demystifying and democratising what good food really means. Noel Blackwell, group head of strategy, says: “It has become the new interior design, where everybody has become an expert. People can have much more coherent conversations about what is going on with their food.” This translates into a drive for less ostentatious branding, which breaks down the barriers between the consumer and the companies and allows them to engage in more meaningful relationships. Crampin adds: “It’s about the back label becoming the front label. What was previously a little detail, like where it comes from, is now central to what it is about.” OLD MILK IN NEW BOTTLES? The latest ‘light-proof’ milk packaging innovation from Fonterra under its Anchor brand is a classic combination of scientific research and marketing. The scientists say that light exposure impacts the freshness of milk, while the marketing folks carve out a shelf niche and packaging look for the light-proof solution, and according to market research, people prefer the taste from the new bottles. It’s early days, so it will be interesting to see how much differentiation this new move provides. ‘Food innovation has become the new interior design, where everyone has become an expert. People can have much more coherent conversations about what is going on with their food’ NOEL BLACKWELL
  30. 30. AUTHENTICATION AND CERTIFICATION Going into the complex world of comparing the huge variety of independently audited eco labels available in the food and beverage sector would require another issue altogether, but it’s safe to say that consumers are increasingly looking out for them. According to industry estimates, sales of organic food and other organic products topped US$54.9 billion by 2009, and research by global market researchers Markets and Markets forecasts that the global organic market will be worth US$104.5 billion by 2015. Also in 2009, an estimated ¤3.4 billion (NZ$5.9 billion) was spent on Fairtrade products, and big international players like Cadbury are now on board. The use of these certifications, alongside sustainable packaging certified by organisations like the Forest Stewardship Council and the Rainforest Alliance, as well as statements on carbon emission like carboNZero, can provide access to these rapidly expanding niche-conscious consumer markets. They are also helping with access to major distribution chains, partly because they are increasingly selecting produce with these values in mind. Another reason is that the process of acquiring third party certifications demonstrates the sort of supply chain control that gives the major chains confidence they can avoid any repetitions of mishaps such as the UK horse meat debacle. BRAND NEW ZEALAND There is no doubt that New Zealand has a strong background story to tell, especially when it comes to food and beverages. Richard Templer says: “You only have to look at the number of times people attempt to steal the brand with images of New Zealand or silver ferns on products that are not from here. That is because of the strong reputation for quality and safety. “It’s a very strong brand.” But as you will oftend hear from design experts, and as you will have seen in a recent Idealog interview with Geoff Ross and The Business Bakery team (Idealog #44), it can’t be relied on as the only story you tell. Blackwell agrees. “We have all the God-given stuff about being remote and temperate, whether you are talking about sunshine hours or water. It’s a pretty good foundation but you have to do something with it. “The story that needs to be told is more about the people who live in that land and how they have been inspired by it. “You can never lose the qualities of both the land and people’s side of the story.” Highlighting provenance and eco-friendly practices played a key role in marketing Kiwi meat manufacturers Silver Fern Farms as a reputable brand. J. Friend and Co’s Beechwood Honey Dew and Viper’s Bugloss Honey are carboNZero certified. MAY-JUNE 2013/IDEALOG /107
  31. 31. IDEALOG IN ASS OCIATION WITH DESIGNWORKS From the sourceConsumers aren’t drawn to products – they’re drawn to stories and experiences that connect through honesty and authenticity Total traceability and transparency of origin is now essential to every serious player in the premium food category. Designworks has helped Silver Fern Farms (above) tell a story reaching from plate to pasture, to connect with consumers. T he food and beverage sector is changing. The search for authenticity – knowing the origin and the owner of what we’re consuming – is driving a complete reframing of how companies entice us to buy their products. Taste and quality alone aren’t enough; consumers require transparency, right from source. What might once have been a back-story is now front and centre, says Michael Crampin, head of creative strategy at Designworks. Total traceability and transparency of origin is essential to every serious player in the premium food category. Silver Fern Farms is a case in point. With Designworks as a partner, it has told a story reaching from plate to pasture – one that’s connected with consumers so successfully that it’s reinvented the way companies approach the category. “Consumers want to know where it’s from, how it’s made, and why they can trust it,” Crampin says. “Success for a brand is when the origin is expressed with integrity to bring the story to life.” Designworks combines strategy and creativity to help its clients make their mark on the marketplace. “It’s not about branding in traditional terms – it’s more about leading the category and establishing a new standard that exceeds consumer expectations.” Designworks’ recent work for Silver Fern Farms and Monteith’s Brewing Co. illustrates this wider, richer offering, with new formats and ways to prepare, share and experience products. Starting at the source, proof of care and commitment The breadth and depth of the Silver Fern Farms New Zealand origin story supports a brand that allows flexibility and shifts positioning for end user and international markets. Everything in the brand references back and takes its truth from this story. The look and feel has grown from the initial master brand core to today’s more artisan inflections – premier selection for foodservice, restaurant quality cuts in supermarkets. Silver Fern Farms has also been innovating in the supermarket with branded, vacuum-packed, fine-trimmed cuts that lock in the freshness of a better eating experience, and collaborating
  32. 32. IDEALOG.CO.NZ/BUSINESSPLAN ADV2013 IN BRIEF Designworks is a leading strategic design practice that works with New Zealand brands across all sectors to help them succeed internationally. Designworks recently helped iconic Kiwi brands Monteith’s beer and Silver Fern Farms create complete consumer experiences and weave authentic stories around the origins of their products. CONTACT To find out more, contact Jef Wong, head of design, Designworks jef.wong@designworks.co.nz www.designworks.co.nz The Monteith’s brand is about creating a more rewarding experience with the beer as the hero. Designworks helped the beer brand to amplify the unique qualities of its different beer styles while demystifying craft beer as a category. with chefs to hone in on the perfect cut and pitch for the specialist food service offering. Recently their storytelling has been taken to new levels with the boutique offerings of Silere Alpine Origin Merino, a joint venture with The New Zealand Merino Company. “By rethinking Silver Fern Farms’ role in the category and how it presents its story, we’ve created an emotional connection that, in effect, takes you up the mountains where this true free-range product was created,” says Designworks head of strategy Noel Blackwell. A creative collaboration saw top New Zealand chefs feature Silere Alpine Origin Merino on their menus, so consumers could begin to understand the product they were eating and the story surrounding it. “The result is a truly global portrayal of the origin aspects of our high-quality red meat and the credible promise of an unforgettable eating experience that’s 100 percent made of New Zealand.” Keeping the explorer spirit alive Monteith’s focus is on making a wider range of beer more interesting and relevant to a wider audience, says Designworks creative director Jef Wong. “The goal was to amplify the unique qualities of different beer styles while demystifying craft beer as a category, helping consumers get over the ‘craft is difficult’ hurdle,” he says. “Monteith’s wants to champion the craft beer category by making it less technical, and instead giving it more character and making it fun.” The Monteith’s work was based on creating more connections to the brand’s origin and spiritual home, the West Coast. A new brewery built on the longstanding site is designed as somewhere visitors can experiment, brew and taste beers ‘live’. The recent launch of the refreshed Monteith’s range was a way to deliver the origin story with greater accessibility and energy, and to meet a new demand for beer that’s fresher, lighter and brighter in character, says Wong. “Single Source was conceived with a desire to have a purer expression of our product. “As with wine, the terroir was completely controlled and traceable, from batch to field to brewer to climate – something that’s totally unique in the beer category.” The completeness of the experience is key for Monteith’s. The brand is about creating a more rewarding experience with the beer as the hero – from in-bar food matching and events such as The Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge, to the rituals that accompany the pour, the overall feeling in-bar, and growing the appreciation of different beer types. Monteith’s commitment to experience has driven the new bar format, where consumers can explore and appreciate beer styles in a more contemporary, accessible, vibrant environment. The results are clear: Monteith’s sales are growing despite an overall decline in the New Zealand beer category.
  33. 33. Show and tell Food and beverage brands getting it right, according to our experts } Moa Anton Gibson picked out the Business Bakery’s use of wine techniques in brewing and marketing as a great example of cross- referencing methods across different products. ~ Innocent Noel Blackwell says: “Innocent is a big brand built on the humble origin story of its founders, and looks like it was made by your neighbour.” | Antipodes water Michael Crampin says of the Whakatane-based premium water brand: “It has the combination of how it is presented, the minimalism of the delivery. The back story becoming the front story. It sums up New Zealand best without having to rely on clichés and nationalistic branding. It’s one of those we wish we had done.” 110/IDEALOG.CO.NZ IDEALOG GUIDE TO FOOD INNOVATION € Farro Crampin describes the Auckland-based chain of one-stop fresh food shops as “an amazing local example of a sense of localism and close connection to source. It has that ‘democratisation’ of accessible quality. And the way it is presented is really ‘unbranding’, with the hero being the food.” | All Good Bananas The multi-award-winning Fairtrade banana crusaders also get Crampin’s vote. “It is so creative and fantastic,” he says. “The ability of businesses to have a real manifesto and be cause-driven. ‘This is what we believe and this is how you should judge us’. It is not necessarily new but is front and centre now.”
  34. 34. Digestif Final thoughts O ne question we might ask about the food and beverage sector is this: according to research firm Coriolis, doubling the export sales of New Zealand food by 2025 would need something like one and a half new Fonterras. So where will they come from? It would also assume that we have the capital or consumer base in this country to build businesses on this scale – and that the sector they enter will be operating under similar parameters that created the giant food conglomerates in the first place. It is not clear that either is true, and it remains to be seen whether a nation whose business culture is still largely made up of small and medium-sized companies has the appetite to create new behemoth-scale multinational food and beverage companies. It is also uncertain whether the world will have an appetite for more of them in the future. The pressure is definitely on to feed the world and enormous money is there to be made. But the pressure is also on doing this in a way that is ethical, healthy and sustainable, as there is an increasing awareness among both consumers and producers that this is the only way possible. This leaves New Zealand in a fabulous position. With our iconic environmental credentials still just about intact, and an increasing set of pioneering brands out there leading the way, the table is laid for us to put on a really great spread for consumers in Australasia, Asia, Europe and beyond. All we have to do is get to work. As Michael Crampin puts it: “There are perfect growing conditions in New Zealand for brilliant ideas.” PHOTOGRAPHPHOTONEWZEALAND/BRUCEJENKINS

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