Marton company Speirs Foods took out the Massey University Supreme award at this year's New Zealand Food Awards with their Whole Mix vegetable noodle range.
The Whole Mix Co. Limited also won the Massey University Health and Wellbeing award and the James & Wells Business Innovation award for its noodle range that includes zucchini, butternut, medley (beetroot, carrot, zucchini) and kūmara.
Judges said the products are a tasty and nutritious alternative to pasta, can be used in stir-fries and salads, or eaten straight from the packet. The product's growing popularity reflected some of the changing tastes of New Zealand consumers.
Speirs Foods is the parent company of The Whole Mix Co. Limited and managing director Ross Kane says winning the awards is recognition of the way the company has evolved and improved over the past 18 months.
"We got the team reinvigorated, got the right culture within the business and set a goal of being more innovative and producing what people really wanted in the market place, and I think it's just a celebration of that journey over the past 12 to 18 months. Our vision is to create fresh food to make people's lives healthier and easier and this is just the beginning of our journey — watch this space for more innovation."
The team of judges said the vegetable noodle range rides the wave of market demand for easy to serve fresh vegetables, with a twist.
"These prepacked, spiralised, microwaveable vegetable noodles, prepared from locally-grown vegetables, are delicious, nutritious and fill a much-needed gap in the fresh vegetable market. The judges loved that the vege noodles were so versatile, and could be served up raw to spice up a salad, or microwaved for additional nutritional vegetable options.