The concept of a Future Foods hub to supercharge the growth of the region’s food industry is currently under investigation as one of the Tapuae Roa priority projects.

Several workshops have been held involving food companies in the region, along with interviews and a survey seeking input on barriers to growth and avenues to enhance support.

“The goal is not necessarily about producing more food – but the creation of more value-add foods”, says Venture Taranaki’s Anne Probert.  

Instead of focusing on what we can grow or produce as the prime driving force, Anne says scanning the market and considering the influential factors that consumers are looking for presents significant opportunities for many of our new and incumbent food manufacturers. These influential factors include:
  • Health and wellness foods, such as ‘free from’ products  (e.g. no sugar or gluten) or those with perceived nutritional benefits;
  • Sensory and indulgent foods e.g. have rich textures  or wonderful smells; or offer exciting new food experiences
  • Authentic and responsible foods  e.g. which have sustainable packaging, product traceability, or ensure full disclosure of their ingredients or origin.  
  • Easy and convenient foods such as packaged food meals or those in single serve packets.
Taranaki has a burgeoning number of innovative food companies which are capitalising on these (and other) trends, and this includes products backed by the story of the company, people, values and insights of our region. Consciousness of sustainability and the purchase of locally grown food is also building in momentum. Tapuae Roa’s Future Foods projects will seek to support these endeavours, and catapult value-add regional food production even further.

Meanwhile, preparations are already underway to showcase the Taranaki region at the 2019 Auckland Food Show (25-28 July 2019), and this provides another avenue for local food companies to identify and capitalise on emerging opportunities, meet thousands of prospective customers and view the latest food products.