THESE are exciting times for New Zealand, as its food and beverage products make waves around the world, including the Philippines. While its milk, butter and other dairy products have long been hailed for being pure, fresh and natural, New Zealand’s wines are now considered as a new world leader and are thus starting to share important space on the shelves with the best in the world.
So, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of New Zealand’s relationship with ASEAN this year (2015) and the long relationship that exists between New Zealand and the Philippines not only in terms of business but also in government, education, culture and immigration, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise recently staged New Zealand Food Connection in Manila.
Held at Ballroom 2 of Fairmont Makati, ‘New Zealand Food Connection’ was an exclusive trade show that showcased New Zealand’s exciting food and beverage offerings in the Philippines. Eight New Zealand food and beverage producers presented their products—Babich Wines and local distributor Straits Wine Company Wholesalers Inc., Federated Distributors Inc., The Better Drinks Co. represented by its local distributor Equilibrium Intertrade Corp., Fonterra Brands, Brumms Quality Wines, New Zealand Natural Ice Cream, Villa Maria and its local distributor Wine Warehouse, and Havelock North Fruit Company.
Founded in 1916 by Croatian immigrant to New Zealand Josip Babich, Babich Wines offers great wines from New Zealand’s finest wine regions and has won several awards, such as inclusion in Drink International’s Top 50 World’s Most Admired Brands in 2012 and 2013 and New Zealand Wine Producer of the Year honors at the China Wine and Spirits Awards Best Value.
Federated Distributors Inc. brings in all of Palm Corned Beef’s seven variants—Corned Beef, Gold Label Corned Beef, Corned Beef Hash, Garlic Corned Beef, Barbecue Corned Beef, Chilli Corned Beef and Onion Corned Beef. Palm is made from 100% premium quality beef from New Zealand, where livestock is raised on natural green pastureland. It has been awarded the right to use “The New Zealand Brand” symbol, which is accorded only to producers who meet the highest standards of quality and environmental responsibility.
The Better Drinks Co. is one of the most recognized and loved drink manufacturers in New Zealand and Australia. Among its best-known brands are Charlie’s (fruit juice, smoothies, quenchers, kids juice drinks, and water) and Phoenix (a range of drinks that are internationally certified as organic, and includes soft drinks, sparkling juice drinks, fruit juices and sparkling mineral water).
Fonterra Brands is perhaps one of the most recognized New Zealand companies in the Philippines. A global leader in dairy nutrition, this farmer-owned New Zealand cooperative is the largest processor of milk in the world and draws on generations of dairy expertise in the production of its food and beverage products. Who would not recognize the Anchor brands in butter and cream?
Brumms Quality Wines offers two important New Zealand products—Schubert Wines (wines of uncompromising quality that stand out alongside the finest in the world) and Antipodes Water (pure New Zealand water sourced from an aquifer 327 meters below the ground in the Bay of Plenty on the east coast of the North Island).
New Zealand Natural Ice Cream is another well-known New Zealand brand in the Philippines. It offers a line of delicious, superb quality ice cream made with fresh dairy cream from free roaming happy cows that feed on the green, unpolluted pastures of New Zealand.
Founded in 1961 by George Fistonich and 100% New Zealand and family owned, Villa Maria Estate owns the distinction of being New Zealand’s Most Awarded Winery. Drinks International has named it as the fourth most admired wine brand in the world, making it the only New Zealand winery to make the Top 10 list. Villa Maria wines are now enjoyed in more than 70 countries worldwide.
Havelock North Fruit Company is bringing in to Manila Rockit apples. Being marketed as a healthy snack food in a novel tube packaging, Rockit apples are unique apples that have been specifically bred to be genetically small. They are one-and-a-half times the size of a golf ball and are characterized by a sweet flavor, distinctive bright red blush and fantastic crisp crunch.
Aside from getting to taste the products on showcase during the trade show, New Zealand Food Connection participants also got to enjoy a VIP lunch prepared by the Fairmont chefs led by Chef Christine Zarrandin, who made full use of New Zealand ingredients in the dishes. The menu: New Zealand King Salmon paired with Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand Natural Berry Sorbet to cleanse the palate, New Zealand Lamb Rack Wellington and Braised Shanks paired with Babich Gimblett Gravels Merlot/Cabernet 2013, finished with Kiwi Fruit Pavlova for dessert.