Best Chip Shop na­tional win­ner

The Best Chip Shop Com­pe­ti­tion re­turned in 2017 af­ter a 4-year hia­tus.

NZ Grower - - Election 2017 -

The com­pe­ti­tion run by the Chip Group (a di­vi­sion of Pota­toes New Zealand Inc.) was open to any per­son or busi­ness that serves hot potato chips to the public.

To be el­i­gi­ble to en­ter they had to have com­pleted and passed the Chip Group’s Best Prac­tice Fry­ing train­ing which teaches op­er­a­tors how to cook chips in a way that min­imises fat and sodium (salt) con­tent.

Over 150 con­fer­ence del­e­gates and all seven Re­gional Win­ners at­tended the Pota­toes New Zealand Awards Din­ner in Pukekohe on 26 July 2017, where the Best Chip Shop Com­pe­ti­tion awards were pre­sented.

Af­ter fat sam­pling and two rounds of mys­tery shop­ping... the pres­ti­gious ti­tle of Grand Na­tional Win­ner went to So Fine Seafoods in Lower Hutt, Welling­ton. It's pleas­ing to note that So Fine Seafoods were a re­gional fi­nal­ist in 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2009!

The mys­tery shop­per had this to say about So Fine Seafoods: “The store was well lit and wel­com­ing. I was asked for my or­der im­me­di­ately by a well-groomed team mem­ber wear­ing branded cloth­ing. The food grade (A) was on dis­play and clearly vis­i­ble.

The team mem­ber cooked the chips, shook and banged the bas­ket be­fore they asked if I wanted ex­tra sea­son­ing. The food was hot, fresh and tasty. Eas­ily the best chips I’ve ever had the plea­sure of eat­ing.”

An­thony Cho, owner/man­ager of So Fine Seafoods, said: “This was such a sur­prise. We are de­lighted to have won this amaz­ing award. We place a big em­pha­sis on our cus­tomer ser­vice and the qual­ity of our chips, fish and other foods served.

We’d like to thank Pota­toes New Zealand and the Chip Group for or­gan­is­ing this com­pe­ti­tion. The Chip Group Train­ing was very good for teach­ing us how to make health­ier chips that still taste great.”

Pota­toes New Zealand chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris Clar­idge of­fered his con­grat­u­la­tions to the fi­nal­ists and the win­ner: “Fish & chips is a Kiwi tra­di­tion. New Zealan­ders love hot potato chips and there’s all the more rea­son to love the health­ier chips served by our re­gional win­ners. Con­grat­u­la­tions to So Fine Seafoods, they are renowned for pro­duc­ing great tast­ing, health­ier chips.”

To en­ter the com­pe­ti­tion it was a mat­ter of com­plet­ing the on­line reg­is­tra­tion form, then:

1. En­trants sub­mit­ted a sam­ple of their cooked hot potato chips to Hill Lab­o­ra­to­ries for sci­en­tific test­ing of the fat con­tent per­cent­age.

2. Stores whose chips were 9% fat or less re­ceived the Highly Com­mended Chips awards and be­came Re­gional Fi­nal­ists. Those whose chips were more than 9% fat were elim­i­nated from the com­pe­ti­tion.

3. All 51 Re­gional Fi­nal­ists were then mys­tery shopped by Hoed Re­search. The mys­tery shop­per as­sessed chip taste and qual­ity, cook­ing process, salt op­tions, cus­tomer ser­vice and store pre­sen­ta­tion.

4. The high­est scor­ing store in each re­gion be­came the Re­gional Win­ner.

5. All seven Re­gional Win­ners were then mys­tery shopped and the high­est scor­ing store was crowned Re­gional Win­ner.

▴ So Fine Seafoods, Lower Hutt, pre­sented with a well de­served award as the best chip shop in the coun­try.

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