Apple Press appeals to judges
Apple juice made and bottled in Hawke’s Bay has been named the nation’s best non-alcoholic beverage less than six months after it was launched.
In May The Apple Press, along with parent company Apollo Foods, fired up a new $30 million drinks factory at Whakatu, and since then the good news just keeps on coming for the company, which has just won a trophy at the 2018 New Zealand Food Awards.
The Apple Press bottles specific apple varieties (Royal Gala, Jazz and Braeburn) into pure juices with no added sugar or preservatives.
Beating 23 other entries, its Jazz juice was crowned “Best Non-Alcoholic Beverage” at the awards’ gala dinner at Auckland’s SkyCity Convention Centre recently. The awards, which have run since 1987, celebrate creative innovation from New Zealand’s food and beverage manufacturers.
More than 220 products were entered this year, with 67 products from 54 companies being named finalists.
Co-founder of The Apple Press, Ross Beaton, says everyone involved was “absolutely thrilled” to win.
“We are a still a new start-up so to win a national award after five months is just fantastic.”
The New Zealand Food Awards expert judging panel included celebrity judges Bite magazine’s Ray McVinnie, chef Geoff Scott, World Kitchen television host and chef Nici Wickes, and New Zealand’s only certified cicerone (beer expert), Josh Scott.
“By isolating specific apple varieties into pure juice, The Apple Press take apple juices to a magical place,” Nici says.
The Apple Press head of innovation and strategy, Sally Gallagher, said since its launch in May, it had increased staffing levels from just a handful to a team of 42.
Ross Beaton, founder and managing director, with Sally Gallagher, head of innovation and strategy, at Hawke’s Bay Apple Press in Whakatu, near Hastings.