The Food Magazine awards will return in 2013 and with entries closing on 24 April, now's your chance to have your product recognised by industry peers!
In this preview of the annual awards, we're looking at another two categories: Baked Goods and Confectionery.
Baked Goods would be a suitable category for all products that use a dry heat cooking process, whether sweet or savoury. Products that can be entered in this category include cookies, bread, pastries, pies and quiches.
Confectionery is appropriate for all kinds of sweet snack foods on the Australian market, such as chocolates, lollypops, gummy candies and boiled sweets.
The entry process for these two categories is simple; all you need to do is submit details of your company and the product (name, website, address etc) as well as information on how the product is processed, it's significance in the market, any details on export opportunities and what measures were taken to ensure food safety.
Images also need to be provide upon submission.
In last year's Food Magazine awards, the Baked Goods crown went to Byron Bay Cookie Company for its Falwasser Gluten Free Rosemary Sea Salt Crispbread.
About the winner
Djacinta van der Meulen, marketing assistant at Byron Bay Cookie Company, said "The Falwasser is a great looking and tasty gourmet snack which hits the mark for ceoliacs and people wishing to consume a gluten-free diet. It is a great all round entry- Byron Bay Cookie Company is going from strength to strength."
The judges added that the company's move into savoury flavours has been a success.
"This company is well known for its quality sweet baked products so a venture into savoury has really tested their innovative ability. The gluten free wafers have been well thought through with great ingredients and packaging," they said.
When the company decided to venture into the savoury side of things, it aimed to provide the best quality, and so the crispbread had to be packed adequately to ensure it remains crisp.
Boasting a 12 month shelf life, the range of crispbreads is doubly wrapped using modified air packing; firstly shrink-wrapped into a plastic tray then flow-wrapped to guarantee its freshness. The quality assurance team retests the packaging on a regular basis and also test new material and make necessary adjustments if required.
Van der Meulen said that successful marketing has been a matter of engaging with retailers.
"Having key distribution and retail partners and promoting well through those channels has been very much a contributing factor to the success of the brand."
Other flavours in the Falwasser Crispbreads range are cheese and onion, pepper and chive, sesame seed and natural as well as gluten free natural and the award winning gluten free rosemary and sea salt.
The Confectionery title in the 2012 Food Magazine awards went to Heilala Vanilla Limited for its Heilala Vanilla Syrup.
About the winner
Development of Heilala Vanilla's Syrup came as family owner-operators John Ross, daughter Jennifer Boggiss and husband Garth Boggiss saw the troubling breadth of very unnatural syrups on offer.
"There are a number of Vanilla Syrups available; all contain either whole or partly artificial chemical vanilla flavours. Genuine and real Vanilla is one of life's great pleasures, so we wanted to create a product that could have a wide range of applications, in coffee's, cocktails, over pancakes and ice cream", said Jennifer.
Garth Boggiss said that in order to come up with the syrup idea, Heilala Vanilla engaged food technology researches at Massey University in New Zealand to help develop the techniques of extraction and seed processing technology.
"There was actually a project that university students worked on for us so they looked in the market at what was available and they looked at a category that really needed a pure vanilla flavour added to it so it was actually a university project," Garth said.
The vanilla used by Heilala is farmed on Tonga using sustainable practices and the farm was originally set up as an aid project by John Ross who was originally a dairy farmer.
The challenges of farming have a direct impact on the end result of the vanilla syrup as Jennifer Boggiss points out. "We have two current challenges; firstly increasing our supply of Vanilla from Tonga, both from our plantation and other growers in Tonga. Vanilla is sensitive to climatic conditions and the last two seasons have been very wet. As we grow our product range and markets – which now include retail, food service and food manufacturing in New Zealand, Australia and USA the supply of Vanilla becomes critical to our future growth.
"The second challenge is ensuring we are constantly innovative and researching new food products that are 100 percent pure vanilla. Heilala Vanilla is globally unique; being the only vanilla company that is 'plantation to pantry'," she said.
For information and entry details, click here.
The 2013 Food Magazine Awards are proudly brought to you by Platinum sponsor Heat and Control. Other sponsors include Flavour Makers, Janbak, HACCP Australia, Kerry Ingredients, Newly Weds Foods, Tronics, APPMA, Earlee Products and Kurz.