Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Sydney embraces the return of Fine Food Australia

Making its home among the memories of champions at Olympic Park, Fine Food Australia returned to Sydney on September 20-23 for its 31st year and an Olympic-sized celebration of the food industry.

Welcoming thousands of visitors through the doors every day, the four-day event held at the Sydney Showground cemented its reputation as the most relevant and practical event for the industry.

Fine Food Australia is the country’s largest and most relevant food and hospitality event, showcasing everything from specialty and bulk foods, beverages, cooking and hospitality equipment and machinery to bakery products, coffee and emerging food trends.

The business benefits of attending include one-on-one sessions with industry leaders, educational master classes, demonstrations and competitions throughout, as well as the opportunity to build relationships, drive business and be inspired about the industry. “The presence of regional and international exhibitors continued to grow this year, and exhibitors in the health food sector also increased, as did exhibitors with a sustainability focus to their business,” Event Director Minnie Constan said.

“This is a great reflection of the continued trends in these areas, and Fine Food Australia strives to remain at the forefront of bringing such trends to the industry in a useable and useful format.” Highlights of the 2015 event include several new aspects, such as the finals of Nestlé Golden Chefs Hat, and the Fonterra Foodservice Battle of the Pacific, plus much-loved show favourites the Official Great Aussie Pie Competition, Pizza Revolution’s pizza acrobatics, and the Women in Foodservice Charity Event.

Innovation in products and equipment was also the order of the day, and more new products than ever were entered into this year’s Best New Product Awards.
Fine Food Australia will return to Melbourne next September.

Best new products

Ms Constan hosted the Best New Product Awards 2015 ceremony and said: “2015 has once again proved to be an exciting and challenging year for our industry. We constantly need to reinvent ourselves and evolve in line with consumer demand and industry trends, and the new product awards is a great opportunity to recognise those businesses who are doing just that. It’s also a great way to celebrate everything that is great about the
business we are in.”

Winners of the Best New Product Awards 2015 are:

Best New Retail Product

  • Winner: Old Fashioned Lemonade Soda Syrup by The Soda Press Co.
  • Finalist: Hot Sauces by Culley’s.
  • Finalist: Goat Masala by India’s Best.

Best New Foodservice Product

  • Winner: Milklab by Freedom Foods.
  • Finalist: LFD – 100% Liquid Food Digester by Wrightway Products.
  • Finalist: plate2farm tracker by Kialla Pure Foods.

Best New Bakery Product

  • Winner: Pastry Press by W&P Reedy.
  • Finalist: Eco Parchment Baking Trays by Confoil Containers.
  • Finalist: Traditional Christmas Figgy Pudding by Our Festive Puds.

Best New Hospitality Equipment

  • Winner: Winterhalter PT Climate Plus by Winterhalter.
  • Finalist: WMF Espresso by Australian Beverage Corporation.
  • Finalist: Wireless Temperature Loggers by OnSolution.

Australian Made Product

  • Winner: Coffee Machine Technologies by Viper.
  • Finalist: Preparation Board by Preparation Board.
  • Finalist: plate2farm tracker by Kialla Pure Foods.

The best in retail

Soda Press Co Director Cameron Romeril says the brand’s Best New Retail Product award at Fine Food Australia has been the jewel in the crown of its recent award wins in Australasia.

“It’s shown Soda Press Co has developed a product that delivers impact, authenticity, integrity and interest,” he said.

An alternative to traditional soda machine syrups and cordials, Soda Press Co is promoted as evoking good, old-fashioned food values, as well as offering a unique contemporar y feel, distinguishing it from the crowd.

The soda syrups are made from natural and organic ingredients and a tad of organic cane and brown rice syrup, using a slow flavour-extraction process. This method allows Soda Press Co to deliver ‘bold flavour’ with less sugar than would other wise be needed.

“It took amazingly smart people some time to create a bespoke, long-brew batch process, along with other innovations that allowed us to reduce the need for sugar by half without compromising the product or adding nasty sweeteners,” Mr Romeril said.

“We’re also organic and have just launched the world’s first ‘clear’ and now multi-award-winning Classic Organic Indian Tonic Syrup [also with 50 per cent less sugar] along with a killer Pink Grapefruit. This joins this existing Liquorice & Lemongrass, Ginger Ale, Blueberr y & Lime, and Old Fashioned Lemonade flavours.”

Mr Romeril said Soda Press Co was developed for the growing segment of consumers looking for an alternative to the existing “uninteresting, sugar-heavy and additive-laden” syrups and cordials on offer.


“A growing number of Australian and NZ palettes just won’t accept the status quo, and why should they?” he said.

“This is further fuelled by the current health movement, but also by the rebirth of SodaStream users and the home cocktail enthusiasts. People want to entertain at home, they often seek an alternative to drinking beer or wine when having guests or wanting to unwind, especially with tightening drink-driving laws. Now people can offer a premium homemade soda, cocktail, slushy, popsicle, jellies and more. It really is an enabler of universal uses and appeal.”

The brand recently extended into the foodser vice market with a 4lt cask/pour format.

“This allows bars, caf.s and restaurants to pour a premium organic in-house soda and make a 1,000 per cent mark-up, as opposed to an 80 per cent mark-up on bottled drinks,” Mr Romeril said.

The 4lt cask format is available through wholesale for $29.90. The retail variant is packaged in a fully recyclable glass bottle (500ml), which makes 20 drinks and has an RRP of $14.95.


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