FoodStarter 2022, led by New World and the Ministry of Awesome, has been searching for the next FMCG entrepreneurial superstars to help propel their products onto supermarkets shelves and into homes across the country.
The FoodStarter competition is a nationwide search supported by New World and Ministry of Awesome for New Zealand’s most innovative grocery start-ups and small suppliers. The competition is open to companies who are already small suppliers of New World with an innovative new product, as well as new start-ups with a burgeoning idea.
The top ten finalists were announced in May. They will be giving a live demo in front of a panel of judges at the Final Event on 18th July, and the winners will be announced the following day.
Ministry of Awesome Chief Executive Marian Johnson says the next phase is where the rubber hits the road and we get to see the companies and products up close and get insight into the passion and drive that has brought them here. “All finalists will pitch in front of an esteemed panel of industry judges where the once in a lifetime prize will be decided”, says Johnson.
FoodStarter is now in its second year as a nation-wide competition. Winners of booth categories will have their products fast-tracked, with the support of industry experts, and included in New World national ranging. Benefits include go to market brand support, development and PR for launch activities, headquarters for up to four team members for 12 months at Christchurch’s Te Ohaka – Centre for Growth and Innovation, or Auckland’s GridAKL. There will also be activation, development, design and marketing support provided by the Ministry of Awesome, Food Innovation Network and Strategy Creative.
“FoodStarter has evolved to become an amazing platform for New Zealand’s creative and passionate food and beverage creators, and we’re delighted to be able to work alongside Foodstuffs to support early stage startups to get their foot on the ladder and thrive.” Says Marian Johnson, Ministry of Awesome Chief Executive.
Head of New World for Foodstuffs North Island Pippa Prain says the calibre of this year’s entrants was at an extremely high level. “Taking in everything from Keto, Vegan and allergen friend products, and narrowing the 20 semi-finalists down to just 10 finalists was a challenge for the judges. “
“This year’s finalists are so strong because the products have been designed to address key issues that exist in the current market. Whether it’s being pushed for time, getting more value at the checkout, or trying to eat less of certain products or more of another, these products all look at what is happening in the market and have developed a great forward-thinking solution. For us, that’s the key to FoodStarter, working with entrepreneurial suppliers to use innovation to help meet our customer demands”, says Prain.
“Our passion for this competition keeps growing, year on year. It’s so exciting to see something and think wow I can really see a home for this across our supermarkets- why has no one done this before?”
2022 Top 10 finalists
For entrepreneurs who have product, are at early stage of trading, but are not yet selling to the New World network.
• Black Doris Ltd
• No Rush
• PARKERS Beverage Company
• QB’s Snacks
For entrepreneurs who have registered as a vendor with New World and might be selling to a limited number of stores.
• Feliz Wholefoods Limited
• Kavita’s Kitchen NZ Ltd
• Olive and Ash Ltd
• The Damn Good Food Company
• The Excellent Side Project
The Ministry of Awesome in partnership with HTK Group, is a force for high-growth startups in Aotearoa.