A range of new food products are hitting the supermarket shelves and a food chain boss says much more is to come.
Two new ranges of Griffin's biscuits, merging Tip Top icecream flavours, will be launched in the next few days but entirely new vegetables and new ways of selling fruit are also hitting stores soon.
Chris Quin, Foodstuffs North Island chief executive, is at a two-day private trade-only food expo being held in Auckland where those new products and ranges are being shown off to supermarket owners who can taste and take away samples to consider stocking their shelves with them.
"There are 4100 people attending and looking at 300 exhibits, occupying the whole ASB Showgrounds buildings and what amazes me most is the innovation going into food," said Quin, only in the job for a few months after taking over from his predecessor Murray Jordan.
Goody Goody Gum Drops Squiggles is a new biscuit topped with bubblegum-flavoured creme, then sprinkled with diced gum drops and coated in a smooth milk chocolate and green chocolate squiggles.
Griffin's is marketing that as "just like Goody Goody Gum Drops ice cream, but it's a bikkie!"
As well, an entirely new range of Choc Bar Mallow Puffs will be launched: "Signature Mallowpuff base with a solid choc centre, vanilla mallow, sprinkled with toasted coconut and enrobed in Griffin's milk chocolate. Just like a Choc Bar but it's a bikkie," says the marketing.
Other new products were being displayed too.
A super-sized Dole pineapple, already been cored and peeled, is expected to sell for around $5.99 each.
"Consumers buy with their eyes and the lush golden flesh can encourage impulse purchasing of wholes too," says Dole's marketing.
Oakley's golden gourmet potatoes are another new range, selected especially for their flavour and texture, coming pre-washed in boxes of 1.5kg.
Watch: Griffin's about to release new biscuits for NZ shoppers:
The same business is also launching a new vegetable: Candy Beetroot, which looks like a candy cane peppermint stick when sliced in half, with circles of red and white in the centre of each vegetable. Oakley's produced the product by purchasing seed for stock which combined beetroot with sweet white turnip. Raw in salads and grated or sliced, or cooked, are serving options.
The New Zealand Butterkin is another new vegetable, along with New Zealand Spaghetti Squash.
Mrs Higgins's new Bliss bites have no added sugar and are gluten and dairy free, with three bites in each bag. Flavours include Choc Hit with organic cacao nibs and Cranberry and cashew.
Zero-alcohol beer and a new Monteith's Pointers Pale Ale were also on display at DB's stand. The new ale will retail for $25.99 for a dozen bottles, each 330ml and the cloudy product has flavours which include tropical fruit, mandarin and peaches.
• New Zealand's biggest supermarket chain will launch North Island online orders from later this year and in about a year's time in the South Island.
Chris Quin, Foodstuffs North Island chief executive, said yesterday that towards the end of this year, customers of North Island supermarkets would be able to order groceries online.
Foodstuffs is the locally owned co-operative with the New World, Pak'nSave, Four Square, Liquorland and Gilmores brands.
Rival Countdown has offered online grocery orders for many years.
Quin said he expected click-and-collect orders to be a significant market share, whereby customers would order online but collect the goods themselves.
Foodstuffs North Island trialled online ordering at New World Thorndon and New World Kapiti.
Those trials were highly instructive, Quin said, describing the online move as a major initiative since he joined Foodstuffs from Spark where he worked for more than two decades.
Steve Anderson, Foodstuffs South Island chief executive and managing director for the national Foodstuffs, said a South Island online offering was being planned for 2017 or 2018 and an announcement would be made closer to the time.
"Food safety is paramount," he said, describing how chilled food delivered to people's homes would be in special chilled bags.