Kumara waffles, a new range of Christmas chocolates, tiny stand'n stuff tortillas, a different fresh potato product, Kit Kat dark and an entirely new summer cider/wine combination are about to be introduced to Kiwi taste buds soon.

Countdown's commercial food expo in Auckland yesterday revealed products not yet for sale in New Zealand but those that will soon be tempting shoppers, bored with the same old baskets and trolleys full of goods.

Managers and buyers from all 184 Countdowns throughout the country were sniffing, testing, tasting and viewing at the event where food suppliers, growers and manufacturers had products on stands in the main auditorium.

Orange kumara waffles were being made by former MasterChef winner Brett McGregor. His recipe is available at the kumara promotion site kumara.co.nz - and although not a new product for sale, McGregor said using a nutrient-rich vegetable such as kumara was a healthy choice.


He topped his sweet creations with fresh berries.

Countdown wants to sell more kumara, so McGregor was working with major grower Kaipara Kumara.

Watch: Kumara waffles, anyone?

Masterchef winner Brett McGregor shows us how to make kumara waffles.

Alastair Clement of Donovans and Mother Earth owner Prolife Foods was showing off a big new range of Donovans chocolates aimed at the Christmas market, developed and tested in the Waikato. Coconut ice squares, double chocolate fudge, chocolate gingerbread clusters, almond and cranberry clusters, fruit and nut and crafted sea salt and caramel squares are the new offerings, all boxed with a kiwi yuletide theme displaying pohutukawa flowers. A 280g to 300g box will sell for $7.99 from the middle of this month.

Watch: Alastair Clement on Donovans:

Alastair Clement shows off new Donovans range at the Manukau food expo.

Jason Croad of General Mills had Old El Paso's new mini stand'n stuff 12 original soft tortillas, aimed at the party and children's market, selling in two to three weeks. Fillings could include prawns, mince, pulled pork and steak, Croad said. One pack of 12 is $5.99.

Watch: Jason Croad talks mini tacos:

Jason Croad of Old El Paso talks at the food expo.

John Wilcox of Wilcox - growing potatoes since the 1930s - had Piccolos, a new bagged range of specially selected tiny potatoes with a 15-minutes cook time, mixing varieties for visual appeal. "Bit of a trial this year, expect to grow it in volume next year," Wilcox said. These sell at premier Countdown stores like Ponsonby, Greenlane and Grey Lynn. Wilcox said people wanted fewer carbohydrates and Piccolos were ideal for salads. A 700g bag is $5.99.

Watch: John Wilcox on bite-size potatoes:

Piccolos potatoes's John Wilcox discusses his latest product.

Countdown bosses were also tasting Nestle's new Kit Kat Dark in a 170g offering. The manufacturer says that is not too bitter but also not too sweet and has a deep cocoa taste surrounding the expected crispy wafer.

Pip & Seed Cider and Wine was offered by Christiaan Crous of Pernod Ricard New Zealand. The 80:20 cider/wine mix from Jacob's Creek meant 4.5 per cent alcohol compared to around 12 per cent wine, Crous said.

"This is a bit of a first for New Zealand," Crous said. The new cider / wine drink goes on sale next month.

Watch: Christiaan Crous on his new product:

Christiann Corus talks about the food expo in Manukau.

Chris Fisher, Countdown merchandise general manager, said the annual trade show was an effective and efficient way to display new seasonal products, expanded merchandise ranges and entirely new goods. The expo concluded three days of Countdown bosses gathering in Manukau.

Watch: Chris Fisher on Countdown's expo:

Chris Fisher, Countdown merchandise general manager, explains the reasons behind the food expo held in Manukau this week.