Alliance Group’s Te Mana Lamb has been announced as a finalist in two categories of this year’s New Zealand Food Awards: Frozen, which is offered in association with Palmerston North City Council; and the NZ Food Safety Primary Sector Products Award.
The Primary Sector Products Award looks for single ingredient foods – those sold in their purest form, with minimal processing – where producers, researchers and manufacturers have added-value to primary products through introducing new varieties, cultivars or breeds.
Te Mana Lamb has been produced as part of the Omega Lamb Project – a Primary Growth Partnership led by Alliance, in association with farming group Headwaters New Zealand Ltd and the Ministry for Primary Industries.
Alliance Group general manager marketing Peter Russell says being named as a finalist in this year’s NZ Food Awards is not only validation for the product but is also part of Alliance’s strategy to capture more market value for its shareholders.
“We have positioned Te Mana Lamb as a scarce, luxury good; effectively akin to the Wagyu of lamb,” he explains. “This is an innovative product, with extraordinary levels of healthy high Omega intramuscular fat and is the result of transformational thinking about the end-product and discovery by an innovative group of farmers.”
The product, which scooped a New Zealand Innovation Award for the country’s most innovative food last year, is targeted principally at foodservice, where Russell says feedback from the chefs who have used the product has been “extremely positive, allowing for all new ways of preparing, using and serving lamb.
“For Alliance, Te Mana Lamb is about re-positioning lamb – it is a reaffirmation of New Zealand as the home of the world’s best lamb,” he says, adding it will deliver benefits for the entire lamb category.
Russell says the product is being launched into a number of new top-end foodservice markets around the world later this year and early 2019.
Also featured in the list of 2018 NZ Food Awards finalists are a NZ Wagyu Bresaola from A Lady Butcher (Chilled/Short Life), an Angus Beef Bourginon with Mustard Cheddar Pie (Chilled/Short-Life, NZ Food Safety Food Safety Culture and James Wells Business Innovation categories) and Pāmu’s new deer milk powder (NZ Food Safety Primary Sector Products Award).
The Massey University-organised awards, offer six FMCG awards – Cuisine Artisan, Alcoholic Beverages, Non-alcoholic Beverages Award, the Countdown Grocery Foods Award, Chilled and Frozen. There are also special award categories for Massey University Health and Wellbeing Award, NZ Food Safety Primary Sector Products, MPI Food Safety Culture, James and Wells Business innovation and Novel Food or Beverage. The Massey University Supreme Award is selected from the category winners.
NZ Food Awards winners and the Supreme Award will be announced at a Gala Dinner on 17 October at SkyCity in Auckland.