Taste of Taranaki takes over taste buds at The Auckland Food Show

This month, Venture Taranaki is working with seven local food producers to showcase Taranaki produce at the upcoming Auckland Food Show, to parade the increasingly diverse and delicious food products Taranaki has to offer, and to share the region’s proud food story.

Taranaki has long been a significant contributor to New Zealand’s food sector, having helped position the country as a global dairy heavyweight, and driving the red meat, poultry, and plant food industries with production of value-added goods for domestic and international markets.

Taranaki is continuing on this path of success, with up-and-coming producers taking to the national stage at the Auckland Food Show as part of the Taste of Taranaki Collective. Taranaki is, once again, the only region to have a significant presence dedicated to the region’s food and flavours, providing a strong regional presence and brand at the Food Show.

The Auckland Food Show is New Zealand’s largest food show and attracts the who’s who of the culinary world: trade (e.g. supermarket buyers), celebrity chefs and over 30,000 visitors.

This year, the Taranaki collective boasts four experienced returnees to the Show – local gin distillers Juno Gin, craft brewers Three Sisters Brewing, honey experts Egmont Honey, and pancake-lovers Marcel’s. Also included in the collective for the first time are artisan fudge-makers FiveFudge, sweet-treat producers Bout Time Brownie, and gourmet cracker crafters Mister K.

Venture Taranaki has secured a prime spot again this year for the Taste of Taranaki Collective.

“This is the fifth year that Venture Taranaki has provided support to a group of local food producers at the Auckland Food Show,” explains Justine Gilliland, Venture Taranaki Chief Executive.

“Our presence at the Auckland Food Show provides our established and emerging producers with brand exposure, and the opportunity to forge inroads with national and international distribution channels, and gain important feedback from consumers,” says Justine.

“The exposure can result in some really great opportunities; for example, last year Krakin Chillies and Zoa Liqueur attracted the attention of buyers and distributers, and in 2019 Kaitahi collaborated with BurgerFuel to create the Electric Pūhā burger after meeting at the Show,” continues Justine.

“Other past participants have gone on to have their own stands at the Show."

Food and fibre production is the largest sector in Taranaki, contributing $1.5 billion to the local economy and sustaining more than 10,200 jobs. Taranaki has the third highest food processing production GDP per capita in New Zealand. It is the strong food and fibre sector in Taranaki that helped to minimise the effects of COVID-19 on the region’s economy, with exports of food products remaining strong.

“Our food companies give passion and momentum to our local food movement and our ever-evolving food story. Their innovations are creating jobs and catching the attention of national and global consumers, adding to the strength of our food sector in Taranaki,” says Justine.

“Sarah from Bout time Brownies, one of the new food producers showcasing Taranaki this year, has a fantastic story about how lockdown last year prompted her to finally start the business she’s been thinking about for years. Her story is an example of the agility our local food producers exhibit in the face of change, which is pivotal to the strength and success of our food sector here in Taranaki,” says Justine.

“Venture Taranaki is constantly looking at ways to support, connect and expand on our strength in food, and our attendance at the Show is a great example of this,” concludes Justine.