Game-changing benefits on offer for Food & Beverage Award winners

Access to markets can be a windfall for any fledgling company and can accelerate their growth. What better way to get ahead, of the competitive crowd than accelerating your market entry into emerging new markets and retail opportunities. That’s what is on offer with the Food & Beverage Industry Awards, thanks to Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL) coming on board.

There is a range of great prizes for the winners of the awards:

  • Major prize* – An exhibitor space on the FIAL Australia’s nation brand stand at Food Hotel Asia Singapore 2021 event. The winning company must be export-ready and have the capabilities to supply the ASEAN market.
  • Winners of individual categories – Facilitation of a virtual ‘meet the buyer ‘country specific events. This is a valuable opportunity to attend a one-on-one videoconference with participating international buyers.
  • Creating connections with winners on export opportunities. These can include international exhibitions, inbound & outbound missions.

“FIAL is proud to collaborate with Food & Beverage Industry Awards,” said Rod Arenas, FIAL General Manager Commercial. “The Awards acknowledge and celebrate success within the food and beverage manufacturing industry, providing a platform for industry to showcase innovation and leadership.”

“FIAL is excited to facilitate business opportunities for the winners of individual category awards and to play a part in helping to grow, the share of Australian food in the global marketplace.”

* The major prize will be awarded in the first instance to the winner of the Best of the Best category, of which all finalists are automatically nominated. If the Best of the Best winner does not meet the requirements of the prize, FIAL will determine the winner based on a review of the nominations and in consideration of the prize requirements. Company must be export ready per FIAL guidelines and have the capability to supply the ASEAN market. Only the exhibition space is provided free of charge, all other costs reside with the winner.

To nominate your company or product, click here.

Meatballs in Napoli sauce – authentic protein cuisine

Country Cooked Meats specialises in a range of products including sous-vide fully cooked added value proteins. One such solution is its Italian-style meatballs in Napoli sauce, which was a finalist in the Meat, Poultry and Smallgoods category at the 2019 Food & Beverage Industry Awards.

National sales and marketing manager, Nat Perri, said that the company deliberately targeted this particular meal format because it saw a gap in the market for an Italian dish that uses Australian products and is ready to be used by simply heating.

“As part of our prepared meal format, we look at opportunities that we can develop proteins, or a restaurant meal, that people can eat at home,” he said. “The Italian meatballs was a more obvious one. Most similar products in the marketplace are a raw product that you have to finish off. This is a 100 per cent beef product. If you were doing a traditional meatball, you’d probably use pork in the product, too. However, because we wanted it to be sold across the whole spectrum of consumers, we stuck to beef. The sauce is also made in Australia by a local manufacturer.”

When it was originally developed, it was sold into Costco in 1kg packs. Currently, it is being sold at IGAs and Foodworks supermarkets in 400g version. How did the company ensure its authenticness and taste?

The company develops a lot of its products with help from chefs, according to Perri, especially when it comes to ethnic-based products. They try and get the flavour profile as close to being as authentic as they can. It helps that a lot of in-house staff at Country Cooked Meats are from an ethnic background, said Perri.

“Especially when it came to the meatballs,” he said. “There is a number of Italians in the company – including myself and the director who owns the business. The good thing with our New Product Development (NPD) team is that we have a mixture of people and personalities so when we come out with a product, we do separate assessments internally.

“When it came to the first test, we found that we were as authentic as we could get. Then we took the product to retailers and chefs – and they did their own sensory tasting of the product. The only feedback they gave us was that if we were making a traditional Napoli sauce you might get away with a few more herbs like basil or similar if you were an Italian.’

However, the general response was that while those of Italian background might love the original take on the recipe, it was suggested via feedback that the ingredients be slightly tweaked in order to appeal to the masses.

“We had the same issue with our Japanese-style teriyaki chicken,” said Perri. “We made a traditional version of the chicken. We worked with a Japanese company and made two versions of the teriyaki and took it to them. They gave us the thumbs up on the traditional one, but they felt that the Japanese restaurants they deal with tend to make their own and each have a different spin on the dish. They suggested that we replace the soy sauce from a bitter Japanese style to a sweet version. That way it would appeal to the mass audience, which we did.”

The main idea behind the range is to have a fully-cooked protein ready to eat after being heated, while the rest of the meal is prepared by the consumer. The manufacturing process is quite ornate because the company considers it a premium eating experience.

The meatballs are manufactured on site using a nozzle filler that shoots out little balls. The staff gently roll the meatballs with palm of their hand to get make sure they are round.
They are then layer stacked and placed in a freezer to keep them firm and ready for next stage. The meatballs, along with the Napoli sauce, are placed in a tumbler and both are tumbled for a period of time to ensure the flavour of the sauce covers the meatballs.

The combined mixture is packaged in vacuum bags, which are then placed in ovens and cooked sous-vide style for a slow cook of up to three hours. As well as tenderising the meat, this method of cooking ensures the flavour of the Napoli sauce infuses with the protein.

Then there is the packaging, which Perri said has not only been designed to make the finished product the highlight, but also to make sure the consumer could clearly see what they are buying.

“The heating instructions are simple and basic so as to give the consumer confidence that they can prepare the product ready to be served,” said Perri. “The packaging is of a steady E-flute format so as to allow those that stock the product the ability to multi stack in a dairy case cabinet.”

Perri also wants to make it clear that it is a ready to eat type meal and it is not the complete package, but itis the hero.

“We call our products Centre of Plate,” he said. “The customer heats it up and makes their own meal around it, whether that be a salad, vegetables or whatever they want to create, they become the chef.”

READ MORE: Nominations open for 2020 Food & Beverage Industry Awards

The final aspects that Perri said makes this product a stand out are its longevity on the shelf and that the meatballs – or any of the company’s other products for that matter – have no antibiotics or preservatives.

“When chilled, the shelf life of the product is about eight weeks,” he said. “The reason it retains its shelf life and tenderness is because it is slow and low cooked for a long time – it is cooked in the bag so it keeps its tenderness. It is pasteurised. When you try the product the taste profile is very tender because it retains all its juices. It’s not processed; it’s not pumped with anything – if we say it’s meatball it’s meatballs, if it’s chicken, its chicken.”

Based on the successful roll out of the meatballs product and its other proteins, Country Cooked Meats plans on creating many more dishes that will fall into the same category using a range of different proteins for that restaurant at home experience.

Nominations open for 2020 Food & Beverage Industry Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2020 Food & Beverage Industry Awards. Submitting a nomination for the Food & Beverage Industry Awards is a great way to acknowledge recent success within your company. The Awards recognise the best in food and beverage manufacturing.

The categories for the awards are as follows:

  • Best of the Best
  • Export Product of the Year
  • Start-Up of the Year
  • Innovative Technology Award
  • Safety Solution of the Year
  • Convenience Product of the Year
  • Retail Product of the Year
  • Foodservice Product of the Year
  • Locally Sourced Award
  • Food & Beverage Executive of the Year

Click here for the nomination form, criteria and details of the awards.

Food & Beverage Industry Awards – Food Safety Equipment & Materials 

Have you developed a new technology or product to increase food safety?

You’re invited to nominate now for the Food Safety Equipment & Materials Award in the Food & Beverage Industry Awards. The Awards are seeking new products or advancements in technology designed to improve and maintain food safety standards in manufacturing facilities.


Food and Beverage Industry awards tickets now on sale

The Food and Beverage Industry Awards 2018 brought companies from New Zealand and Australia together to celebrate new products and the best services and technology the industry has to offer.

After a successful event in Sydney, with hundreds of attendees, it will be held in the city again in 2019.

The event will be held on Thursday July 18th at Doltone House Darling Island, Sydney.

At last year’s awards, drinks manufacturer Utonic took out the Best of the Best award and the Beverage of the Year for its Utonic Repair drink.

There will also be awards for food safety, packaging innovation, health foods and best in design.

Sponsors at this event include Flavour Makers, Rockwell Automation and Total Construction.

For tickets, click here.

Food & Beverage Industry Awards 2018 – nominations open

Calling all those in the Australia and New Zealand food and beverage manufacturing industry. Nominations for the 15th annual Food & Beverage Industry Awards are now open.

This opportunity only comes around once a year, so now is the time to consider those products, businesses and individuals which stand out from the crowd and deserve recognition for their excellence.

This year, to accurately reflect the industry as it now stands, we have made some changes to the award categories. There are nine categories as well as the Best of the Best Award, which is contested by all category winners.

We would also like to make note of our valued sponsors – some which are new for this year. Flavour Makers have returned as Platinum Sponsor of the Best of the Best Award, and we welcome the support of Wiley, Consultel Cloud, Jet Technologies and Vega Australia in celebrating the successes of the Australian industry.

The full list of awards being competed for is:

  • Beverage of the Year
  • Ingredient Innovation
  • Food Safety Equipment & Materials
  • Packaging Innovation – new for 2018
  • Innovative Technology of the Year
  • Health Foods
  • Best in Design – new for 2018
  • Meat, Poultry & Smallgoods
  • Paddock to Plate
  • Best of the Best

 All winners will be announced on Thursday 16 August at Dockside, Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney.

Click here to nominate

For more information on the Food & Beverage Industry Awards, or to sponsor, please visit

Photo by: Photographic Memory (
Photo by: Photographic Memory (



From the boardroom to the farm

Last year the Food & Beverage Industry Awards introduced a number of new categories. One of these was the Paddock to Plate award, won by El Cielo.

The Food & Beverage Industry Awards’ Paddock to Plate category celebrates companies that source their product direct from the producer and maintain freshness while meeting a consumer demand, such as longer shelf life and/or ease of preparation and cooking.

The winner of the award last year, sponsored by Chr. Hansen, was El Cielo for its White Corn Tortillas, Totopos and Tostaditas.

As Cesar Duran (pictured), managing director of El Cielo told Food & Beverage Industry News, putting the Paddock to Plate philosophy into practice was no easy task.

“It’s a continuing work in progress. You’re bringing together two worlds which are very different. The language is very different; the expectations are very different,” he said. “It took a lot of communication, a lot of understanding and a lot of time to get everybody [farmers, manufacturers and retailers] on the same page.”

Despite the difficulties, the Paddock to Plate dream started to come to fruition in 2016 when the company started to grow and use its own white corn in northern NSW.

In conjunction with the farm, extensive research and planning was undertaken in order to establish the best location for growing high-quality white corn in Australia. This also required extensive planning with regards to logistics and ensuring the white corn would reach the production facility fresh.

Upgrades and development of processing machinery were required in order to facilitate the production of the products, while providing the fresh products to restaurants (including El Sabor) meant the dream was realised. In order to maintain freshness, the grain is harvested in NSW, then immediately transported to a production facility in Port Melbourne for processing. The products are then delivered directly to restaurants and independent retailers for sale.

The end result impressed the judges of the aforementioned awards. “El Cielo has taken the concept of paddock to plate one step further – deciding to grow the corn themselves to ensure the best quality for the product. Their impressive supply chain sees them grow the corn, process it in their Port Melbourne facility and then deliver direct to restaurants as a fresh product,” they commented.

Does El Cielo have any advice for businesses hoping to follow in its footsteps?

“The hardest bit is to develop trust and understanding. The advice I would give them would be to come down from the boardroom and be closer to where ingredients come from,” said Duran. “It’s about relationships and getting off our high horses in the cities to actually go to the farms and see where food comes from.”

Founded in 2012, El Cielo (which translates as ‘The Heaven’) employs over 20 people. The company was established with the aim of promoting ‘The True Taste of Mexico’, offering the flavours of traditional Mexican cuisine.

According to Duran, the company plans to grow into 2018. “Soon we’re launching a range of full-flavoured tortillas. Also we’ll continue to develop our Mexican range next year. We have new salsas and new products coming,” he said.

While at this stage only the company’s corn products (White Corn Tortillas, White Corn Totopos – corn chips, and Tostaditas) are ‘Paddock to Plate’, all other products use elements of the philosophy.

According to Duran, the company intends to maintain close relationships with those on the land. “We need to be more grateful to farmers. We should probably be more grateful to farmers than doctors.” he said.

Click here for more information on the Food & Beverage Industry Awards.

Think local, act global

In September, Adelaide-based HMPS was named winner at the Impact Awards 2017, an event that recognises companies that assist with the globalisation of the South Australian economy. Read more

Food & Beverage Industry Awards 2017 – finalists announced

The finalists in the Food & Beverage Industry Awards, the premier awards program for recognising the successes and innovation of the industry, have been announced.

Now in their 14th year, the Awards are an opportunity for everyone involved in food and beverage manufacturing to come together and celebrate breakthroughs and advancements, network with other like-minded professionals and learn about what others are doing in this fantastic industry.

The Awards night is being held in conjunction with Foodpro and will take place from 6:30pm on Monday 17 July, at Doltone House Hyde Park in Sydney.

Tickets are currently on sale for $180 + GST, or $1,500 + GST for a table of 10, and can be purchased from

Awards will be presented in eight categories. Then, at the end of the night, the Best of the Best Award (Sponsored by Flavour Makers) will be presented to one of those category winners.

The full list of finalists:

SunPork Premium Australian Pork

Beverage of the Year
Product Company
Kyoto Matcha Elixir Alchemy
AquaBotanical water AquaBotanical Beverages (Australia)
H2Melon Watermelon Water H2Coco
Sheep Whey Vodka Hartshorn Distillery
Remedy Kombucha Remedy Kombucha
shine+ smart drink Shine Drink
Hot Apple Cider Those Girls Beverage Co.
Relaxation Botanicals Wood Lane Beverages
Utopia Hard Lemonade Woolshed Brewery
Health Foods (Sponsored by Miller Leith)
Product Company
Coconut Chips & Coconut Sprinkles Beach Harvest Australian Coconuts
Ayurvedic Teas Chai Walli
Coco & Lucas Kitchen Frozen Ready Meals Coco & Lucas Kitchen
Fermented Turmeric Fermentanicals
Potstickers Range Golden Pig & Co
KOJA Multi-Vitamin Breakfast Toppers KOJA
Clean Treats Dry mixes The Clean Treats Factory
Protein Pizza Base Mix The Protein Bread Co
Ingredient Innovation (Sponsored by Creative Food Solutions)
Product Company
AquaBotanical water AquaBotanical Beverages (Australia)
Ballantyne Spreadable Lighter with Macadamia Oil Ballantyne
Apple Extract Flavour, Sweetener Botanical Innovations
CO YO Coconut Ice Cream Alternative CO YO Corporate
DohFresh Masterol Foods
Alkalising Greens Morlife
Innovative Technology of the Year (Sponsored by NORD Drivesystems)
Product Company
FGP Food Grade Primary Cleaner Flexco
HMPS5000 Wraparound Case Packer HMPS
Simple Simon Pie Machine Lindsay PieMaking Equipment (LPME)
Augmented Reality Omniverse Foster Packaging
BladeStop Series II Scott Automation & Robotics
Meat, Poultry and Smallgoods
Product Company
CFS Classic Roast Beef Andrews Meat Industries
Steggles BBQ Chook-Can Baiada Poultry
European Dumplings From Granny
Finest Quality Beef Range – Porterhouse, Eye Fillet, Scotch Fillet Harvey Beef
SunPork Kassler Pork Chop SunPork Fresh Foods
Paddock to Plate (Sponsored by Chr. Hansen)
Product Company
CFS Meals for 2 – Lamb casserole and braised lamb shanks Andrews Meat Industries
Lilydale free range chicken Baiada Poultry
White Corn Tortillas, Totopos & Tostaditas El Cielo
Born Pure Baby Food Fresh Produce Alliance
Black garlic Garlicious Grown
Novello Extra Virgin Olive Oil Pukara Estate
 Sunpork Premium Australian Pork Sunpork Fresh Foods
Ready Meals
Product Company
Appetite for Healthy range Andrews Meat Industries
Pitango Butter Chicken Beak & Johnston
Coco & Lucas Kitchen Frozen Ready Meals Coco & Lucas Kitchen
Potstickers Golden Pig & Co
UpBeet Berry Chia Pudding Morlife
Orange Cardamom + Pistachio Pud Pud Official
Food Safety Equipment & Materials
Product Company
Novitool Aero Splice Press Flexco
Dynamic Inspection Metal Detector OFI Weigh & Inspection Solutions
ROXSET SE123 ROXSET Health & Safety Flooring
BladeStop Series II Scott Automation & Robotics

The Protein Bread Company wins big at Food & Beverage Industry Awards

The Protein Bread Company, maker of the Protein Bread Loaf, was named Best of the Best at the Food & Beverage Industry Awards in Sydney on Friday night.

The company which was founded by siblings Anna and Luke Hopkins had a big night, also taking out the Label and Packaging Design Award.

“It was definitely a surprise. One award was fantastic and that was unexpected. But to take out two was unreal,” commented Luke Hopkins.

Asked what was behind the success, Anna Hopkins put it down to a willingness to innovate.

“I think we just always ask why. Why does something have to be like that? Why is this like this? We’re constantly questioning,” she said.

“We never do what everyone else does. We’re just looking for how we can do things a bit differently,” added Luke.

The Protein Bread Loaves are packed in a unique, stand up carton that sits on shelves much like a milk carton.

The packaging includes a cardboard outer for protection. In addition, the stand-up bread carton has great frontage and shelf presence, and clearly highlights the product and its key features.

The Food & Beverage Industry Awards were again a great success. Hosted this year by Channel Seven’s Larry Emdur, there were 15 awards in all.

Food & Beverage Industry News would like to thank the award sponsors – Flavour Makers (Platinum Sponsor), Newly Weds Foods (Australia), Mintel, HACCP Australia, B-d. Farm Paris Creek, SMC, and Kimberly-Clark Professional. Without their help, these awards would simply not be possible.

The full list of winners:

Baked and/or Snack Foods: Soma Bite – Soma Organics Pty ltd

Best New Non-Alcoholic Beverage: Sparkling Pink Lady – Summer Snow

Confectionery Product of the Year: Dark Chocolate Coated Blueberries – Morlife

Health Foods: Mavella Superfoods – Mavella Superfoods

Ingredient Innovation: Meatless Meat ROVITARIS System Compounds

Label and Packaging Design: Protein Bread Load – The Protein Bread Company

Meat, Poultry or Smallgoods: American BBQ Range – Creative Food Solutions

Most Innovative Dairy Product: Creamy Coconut Frozen Yoghurt – Twisted Frozen Yoghurt

Ready Meals: Healthy Everyday Ready Meal Range – Healthy Everyday Pty Ltd and Creative Food Solutions

Alcoholic Beverage of the Year: DIY Craft Extracts – Coopers Brewery

Food Exporter of the Year: Della Rosa Fresh Foods

Food Safe Equipment and Materials: eWater Systems – eWater Systems Pty Ltd

Seafood Product of the Year: Salmon Rashers – Tassal

Sustainable Manufacturer of the Year: GOJO Australasia Pty Ltd

Best of the Best: Protein Bread Load – The Protein Bread Company

Screen Shot 2016-09-26 at 12.20.59 PM
Co-founders of the Protein Bread Co, Anna Hopkins (right) and Luke Hopkins (left), pictured with Aaron Wallace, CEO of Low Carb Living Group.




Come on down to see Australia’s best food and beverage manufacturers

The names of the stars of Australia’s food & beverage manufacturing industry will be up in lights at this year’s 12th annual Food & Beverage Industry Awards.

The Food & Beverage Industry Awards will showcase outstanding achievement from Australia’s food & beverage manufacturers across a wide range of industry categories from Health Foods to Seafood Product of The Year.

Set to be attended by the top echelon of food and beverage makers, the event will take place from 6:30pm on  Friday 23rd September at Rydges World Square, Sydney and will be hosted by game show megastar Larry Emdur, the host and face of The Price is Right.

This is a great opportunity for attendees to network and put their finger on the buzzer of Australia’s vibrant food & beverage manufacturing sector.

Some of Australia’s premier brands have been shortlisted, including KR Castlemaine, Australia’s leading provider of high quality packaged meats & Bickford’s, an eminent family owned beverage manufacturer.

The Food and Beverage Industry Awards are proudly supported by Platinum Sponsor Flavour Makers, Australia’s premier end-to-end food developer & food manufacturer. Flavour Makers services the FMCG, QSR, foodservice and industrial sectors.

Past winners of Awards include the likes of SPC for its delicious Fruit & Chia Spread and Primo for its Primo Hot Roast.

The Food & Beverage Industry Awards are proudly presented by Food & Beverage Industry News, Australia’s premier publication for the food & beverage manufacturing industry.

So come on down and buy your tickets to Australia’s premier food & beverage industry event!

Food & Beverage Industry Awards 2016 – Finalists announced

The finalists in the Food & Beverage Industry Awards 2016, which take place in Sydney on September 23, have been announced.

Now in their twelfth year, the Awards (formerly known as the Food Awards) have become a key event on the industry’s calendar. They celebrate the food manufacturing industry’s many and diverse successes stories and provide tomorrow’s industry leaders with role models.

This year we’ve tweaked the award categories slightly to better reflect the place of the industry in 2016.

As always, thank you to our sponsors – without you, these Awards would not be possible. Thank you to our Platinum Sponsor, Flavour Makers, and sponsors Newly Weds, HACCP, B.-d. Farm Paris Creek, Mintel, Kimberly-Clark and SMC for your continued support of the food and beverage manufacturing industry.

WHEN: Friday 23 September, 2016
WHERE: Rydges World Square, Sydney
TIME: 6:30pm (for a 7:00pm start)

The finalists are as follows: