Showcase of new edibles, innovation and industry talent pulls in crowds and buyers

A household coffee machine that takes orders from your smartphone, tea that blooms in your cup and a tap that produces water hygienic enough to clean dishes without detergent are drawcards at New Zealand's hospitality industry event this week.

Fine Food New Zealand opened at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland yesterday, showcasing the latest edibles, equipment and industry talent.

Running until tomorrow, the event, which attracts thousands of industry professionals, also recognises innovations and top performers with a series of awards.

The winner of the best new equipment product was ice tray sanitation system IceZone. Sealord's Chilli Battered Prawns took out the best new foodservice product and Bennetto Drinking Chocolate was named the best new retail product.


Founder Lucy Bennetto said the 70 per cent cocoa dark chocolate is specifically formulated for dissolving into hot milk, and is made from sustainable and organic sources.

"It's great to know that people do want good products that are not full of additives and fillers and preservatives, and are pure," she said.

Ms Bennetto has been developing it for three years around her day job as a high school English teacher and launched the product only two months ago. It is currently sold only in Christchurch.

Fine Food NZ organisers expect close to 7000 buyers from around the world to pass through the 250-exhibit event. The 2012 show led to sales of $13.6 million.

This year's event also features a barista smackdown competition, bakery of the year competition and a gourmet Pacific challenge where Kiwi chefs take on a team from across the Tasman over seven different cook-off events. Winners are expected to be announced tomorrow.

Fine Food NZ

• Three-day food service and hospitality event at ASB Showgrounds, Epsom.

• More than 250 exhibitors from New Zealand and abroad, and more than 6500 buyers.

• Showcase of latest innovations, products and industry talent.