In­no­va­tion – Lo­ta­toes take out pres­ti­gious award

In­no­va­tion is a key to keep­ing con­sumers in­ter­ested. We all love pota­toes, so it’s great to see T&G be­ing crowned over­all win­ner of the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries Pri­mary Sec­tor Prod­ucts Award at the 2017 New Zealand Food Awards.

NZ Grower - - PRODUCT GROUPS -

The cat­e­gory pro­motes, recog­nises and show­cases amaz­ing in­no­va­tions in pri­mary sec­tor prod­ucts, pro­cess­ing and pack­ag­ing meth­ods.

Strong in­no­va­tion fea­tured this year among fi­nal­ists, but Lo­ta­toes came out on top with the judges be­ing par­tic­u­larly im­pressed with the process used to nat­u­rally breed and sus­tain­ably grow the lower carb and fewer calo­rie potato that’s taken New Zealand by storm.

“Lo­ta­toes™ is a high qual­ity and de­li­cious potato, sus­tain­ably grown right here in New Zealand by pas­sion­ate farm­ers and loved by kiwi con­sumers. We’re ex­tremely proud of Lo­ta­toes’™ win at the 2017 New Zealand Food Awards,” says Andrew Keaney, ex­ec­u­tive gen­eral man­ager T&G who ac­cepted the top award.

“Hav­ing judges recog­nise Lo­ta­toes™ con­firms we’re on the right track with in­no­va­tion, which in the pro­duce

in­dus­try takes a long time, so hats off to the ded­i­cated teams from T&G and our grow­ing part­ners Balle Broth­ers and Masters Pro­duce for get­ting Lo­ta­toes™ from the soil to the su­per­mar­ket shelves.”

This top-notch potato, with 40% less carbs and fewer calo­ries than other potato va­ri­eties, was de­vel­oped by cross-breed­ing dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of potato seeds to­gether.

Those seeds have a shorter, more sus­tain­able growth cy­cle us­ing less wa­ter than tra­di­tional spuds, mak­ing them bet­ter for the en­vi­ron­ment. And it’s this com­bi­na­tion that has made Lo­ta­toes™ a win­ner.

“Lo­ta­toes™ were five years in the mak­ing, so get­ting them into stores was a mas­sive achieve­ment for every­one in­volved,” says Michelle Singh, mar­ket­ing man­ager T&G.

Michelle says win­ning the award is recog­ni­tion for the ef­forts of the en­tire team, from the pas­sion­ate grow­ers grow­ing and nur­tur­ing the plants through to sup­ply chain, mar­ket­ing and sales.

“Be­ing recog­nised by the New Zealand Food Awards is a credit to the work of all of our pas­sion­ate peo­ple, who en­sured Lo­ta­toes™ had both the health cre­den­tials con­sumers wanted and the great potato taste they love.

"It's also val­i­da­tion that we are do­ing what’s right en­vi­ron­men­tally – so we’re very proud to be re­ceiv­ing this award and the judge’s recog­ni­tion for both in­no­va­tion and sus­tain­abil­ity," says Michelle.

Next sea­son’s Lo­ta­toes™ are ex­pected to be avail­able na­tion­wide from late Novem­ber just in time for sum­mer sal­ads and Christ­mas meals.

▴ T&G ex­ec­u­tive gen­eral man­ager Andrew Keaney, right, ac­cepts the award for Lo­ta­toes from Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries di­rec­tor gen­eral Martyn Dunne.

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