Master­ton soup mix still go­ing strong

Wairarapa News - - FRONT PAGE - PIERS FULLER

As the cold weather kicks in Ki­wis grav­i­tate to­wards their tried and trusted soups, but not many know that one of the sta­ple old fash­ioned soups of New Zealand house­holds is made in Wairarapa.

Hansells Master­ton Ltd is a 75 per cent lo­cally owned com­pany that cre­ates prod­ucts for many well known brands, one of the clas­sics be­ing King’s Soup Mix.

With a pea, bar­ley and stock mix that is con­tract pack­aged at the Opaki Road plant, it is one of those base mix­tures that many of us grew up with.

Hansells has been mak­ing the soup mix on site for the last thirty years since they bought the brand off Dunedin’s Lane La­timer in 1987.

Tech­ni­cal man­ager Mal­colm McDon­ald said King soup is a prod­uct that sells es­pe­cially well when it’s cold so it’s not a bad thing for Hansells when the tem­per­a­ture plum­mets over win­ter.

Th­ese soups are of­ten used as a base with other in­gre­di­ents such as ham hocks or more veg­eta­bles added.

It is cooked over a low heat for sev­eral hours on the stove or crock­pot. Sports teams and clubs of­ten use th­ese types of soups to feed large groups, McDon­ald said.

The big su­per­mar­kets in New Zealand all stock King soup mix, which comes in eight va­ri­eties, and Count­down has a fo­cus on soup this win­ter with a price lock­down on a large range of soup prod­ucts for the sea­son.

Count­down busi­ness man­ager – bev­er­ages and cook­ing, Greta Tay­lor, said they have been sell­ing King soup mix since it first came on the mar­ket 60 years ago and New Zealan­ders em­brace it this time of year.

‘‘It is a New Zealand icon in the soup game. The largest chunk of our sales are be­tween April and Septem­ber.’’

Hansells Master­ton has had to adapt to sur­vive in re­cent years. Most of the com­pany is lo­cally owned again, with a 25 per cent stake owned by overseas in­ter­ests. They now man­u­fac­ture for var­i­ous brands on con­tract in­clud­ing the Auckland-based Hansells New Zealand Ltd.

One of the Master­ton fac­tory’s strong­est lines are ready-to-mix dairy prod­ucts for the ex­port mar­ket- pre­dom­i­nantly China.

The Master­ton plant now em­ploys 65 peo­ple.

Its fu­ture prospects re­main pos­i­tive with mar­ket ad­van­tages such as its cen­tral lo­ca­tion, sta­ble work­force and abil­ity to ac­com­mo­date smaller con­tracts.

PIERS FULLER/ FAIR­FAX NZ

Hansells Master­ton Ltd King Soup Mix pro­duc­tion line.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.