Hospitality Business Magazine

Kiwi chorizo crowned NZ Food Awards’ supreme winner

Described as a true free range “Paddock to Plate” product, Poaka Artisan Cured Meats has been crowned the Massey University Supreme Award winner for its whole chorizo salami, at the 2022 New Zealand Food Awards.

More than 350 guests attended the gala dinner at the Central Energy Trust Arena – the first time the awards have been held in Palmerston North.

The winning Poaka chorizo salami was described as a delicious product with a compelling and engaging story and is an exciting contribution to New Zealand’s cured meats selection.

As the name suggests, Poaka Artisan Cured Meats focuses on traditionally made free range meats. Their heritage breed Tamworth, Berkshire and Wessex saddleback pigs are slow grown on open pasture and finished on acorns and sweet chestnuts, delivering a “melt in your mouth” texture traditionally found in European charcuterie.

Judges described the entry as, “A journey from a traditional style Catalan product to a modern high quality New Zealand chorizo, this is a unique product to be savoured by consumers in our high class restaurants, food service and speciality food markets”.

Head judge Kay McMath says the chorizo salami is a delicious product with a compelling and engaging story, and is an exciting contribution to Aotearoa New Zealand’s cured meats selection.

“A key aspect to the success of the product was the careful consideration and addressing of challenges along the whole value chain, from animal production and feeding through to the development of new drying procedures and facilities, and the journey to scale.

“Poaka is to be commended for their efforts to implement a long-term, resilience-based perspective throughout their farming practices and their production of premium foods that deliver a special consumer experience,” she adds.

Poaka Artisan Cured Meats also won the Cuisine Artisan Award and the New Zealand Food Safety Primary Sector Award.

Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas says the finalists and winners are proof that Kiwi ingenuity continues to thrive, despite a difficult few years.

“It was fantastic to see such a broad range of products and businesses at the awards. The innovation, sustainability and excellence was inspiring, world-class and a true snapshot of the ingenuity happening up and down the motu, across the food and beverage sector. It was also lovely to be able to share the evening with finalists, sponsors and members of Aotearoa’s food and beverage industry, kanohi ki te kanohi, face to face, after the disruption of the past few years. And in Manawatū, a true food hub.”

Massey has played an important role within New Zealand’s food industry since its establishment in 1927.

“Our support of this industry truly starts from the bottom up. Our Bachelor of Food Technology with Honours programme is offered at our Manawatū and Auckland campuses, and in Singapore in association with the Singapore Institute of Technology. It’s the only degree in Australasia that combines food science, food engineering and food business and has seen us producing highly skilled graduates for more than 50 years,” Professor Thomas adds.

Kiwi favourite Whittaker’s Peanut Slab Chocolate Bar won the AsureQuality Product Lifetime Achievement Award. The award, which was introduced in 2019, celebrates Kiwi products that have withstood the test of time.

The public were also able to take part in the judging again this year, as part of the People’s Choice campaign. The Food Hero Award, in association with Palmerston North City Council celebrates people or organisations that continuously support the New Zealand food and beverage supply chain in some way. The judges selected the finalists, but the winner was determined by public vote.

Food rescue company KiwiHarvest was awarded the Food Hero Award, voted for by a People’s Choice campaign. KiwiHarvest rescues 170,000 – 200,000 kilograms of good quality surplus food every month and diverts this back to people who are struggling, across the country.

Other category winners included: The Wild Fermentary’s Kefir Soda – Beet & Berry, winners of the Beverage Award, in association with the New Zealand Food Network; Little Island’s Tropical Nice Block, winners of the Food HQ Below Zero Award; and allmite gold® yeast spread, winners of the Countdown Pantry Award.

The New Zealand Food Awards have celebrated New Zealand’s food and beverage manufacturers, focusing on innovation, sustainability and excellence, since 1987. Powered by Massey University, the awards are open to small and large food and beverage manufacturers, primary food producers, food service providers and ingredient supply companies.

Finalist and winning products earn the New Zealand Food Award’s quality mark to highlight their technical capability, consumer acceptability, regulatory compliance, and food quality and safety to shoppers and industry.

Massey University Supreme Award

Poaka Artisan Cured Meats – Salami whole – Chorizo

AsureQuality Product Lifetime Achievement Award

Whittaker’s Peanut Slab Chocolate Bar

Americold Chilled Award

Aoraki – Pōhutukawa Hot Smoked Salmon

Beverage Award, in association with the New Zealand Food Network

The Wild Fermentary – Kefir Soda – Beet & Berry

BNZ Business Innovation Award


Countdown Health and Wellbeing Award

Rebel Bakehouse – Gluten Free Sourdough & Super Seeds Wraps

Countdown Pantry Award

allmite gold® – Yeast Spread

Cuisine Artisan Award

Poaka Artisan Cured Meats – Salami whole – Chorizo

Food Hero Award, in association with Palmerston North City Council


Food HQ Below Zero Award

Little Island – Tropical Nice Blocks

KiwiSo Novel Award

Good Sh*t Soda – Ginger

New Zealand Food Safety Primary Sector Award

Poaka Artisan Cured Meats – Salami Whole – Chorizo

The awards’ programme is made possible with the support of Palmerston North City Council, New Zealand Food Safety, Countdown, Cuisine, BNZ, New Zealand Food Innovation Network, AsureQuality, Kiwiso, FoodHQ, Americold, FMCG Business, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, The New Zealand Institute of Food Science & Technology Inc., XPO Exhibitions and Villa Maria.