Positive responses for participants from Fine Food Show

The Fine Food New Zealand Show in Auckland has netted good contacts and leads for the four participating Pacific Island food and beverage companies. 

Elaine and Amos of PNG’s Namalu Coffee at their stand.

Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand invited four businesses to their Fine Food New Zealand stand.  The three-day trade only show held every second year, was at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland between 24-26 June. The show is specifically targeted to attract those from across the food and beverage business spectrum, from machinery, kitchen and cooking equipment to new product launches, relaunches, seminars and information.

PTI NZ Trade Development Manager Joe Fuavao* who created the display stand at the show said the response to the companies was very positive and there were some good learnings for first time attendees.

The participating Pacific Island businesses were Namalu Coffee from Papua New Guinea, Savaii Popo coconut cream and palusami from Samoa, from Tahiti there was Noni Energy and from Tonga, Tupu’anga Coffee.

Fronting the stand for Savaii Popo was Auckland distributor Sam Yip of Mellow Foods and Savaii Popo’s Food Technologist Elvis Prasad from Samoa.

They had a steady stream of enquiries from visitors interested in the coconut cream but also curious to know what palusami was – a delicious mixture of taro leaves cooked with coconut cream.

Mr Yip with a can of Savai’i Popo.

Mr Yip was a first time Fine Food exhibitor and is primarily a fresh produce importer. He is the agent for Savaii Popo products and was impressed with the stand, the professional presentation and the range of different companies at the show. Mr Yip warmed to the marketing role, promoting Savaii Popo’s 100% Samoa made with natural coconut ingredients and no additives or preservatives. He said he was happy with the contacts made. He is now keen to introduce Savaii Popo to consumers at the next food show.

Meanwhile PTI NZ’s Office Administrator Shivani Prasad, Interns Jade Sefo and Naeemah Pouvalu were promoting Noni Energy’s stand. The new product drew comments for its unusual taste. The colourful soft packaging pouch with built in straw had mixed response.

Of the four Noni Energy flavours, apple, banana, berry and honey – the apple blended with noni was the most popular followed by the banana blend.  Consumers enquired how the product could be used, how much could be consumed and pricing. Noni Energy was part of PTI’s Path to Market programme and came to the Pasifika Festival this year to participate in the PTI NZ Pasifika Business Market along with 38 other companies.

Tonga’s Tupu’anga Coffee attracted a few good enquiries and contacts. The friendly, cheerful face of Alipate Mafile’o was very popular with fellow exhibitors who were regulars for their free morning hit of Tonga’s finest coffee.

Tupu’anga Coffee from Tonga was a hit with the visitors.

Overall, Mr Mafile’o said he was happy with the response and had a few leads to follow up. But for Mr Mafile’o attending the show was somewhat bittersweet compared to his previous shows. The business had felt the impact of Cyclone Gita with damaged premises and some of his workers were still living in tents. Despite the challenges, they were slowly getting back on their feet, building up production. Mr Mafile’o generously thanked PTI NZ for being able to profile and promote their coffee company.

Another coffee company new to Fine Food New Zealand were Elaine and Amos of Papua New Guinea’s Namalu Coffee. The couple was part of the PTI NZ Path to Market programme in PNG and came to this year’s Pasifika Festival in March. Namalu reported a positive overall response to their offerings including; Blue Mountain (medium roast), Espresso coffee (dark roast) Irish cream (medium/light roast), caramel flavoured (medium/light roast), vanilla hazelnut (medium/light roast) and coconut flavoured (medium/light roast). The pair also attended an afternoon coffee seminar on Day 2 of the show and spoke to one of New Zealand’s biggest coffee importers. They are considering opening an outlet in New Zealand to promote Namalu Coffee as they found much of PNG imported coffee is blended with other countries.

*PTI NZ’s Trade Development Manager Joe Fuavao has since moved on to a new role at New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (NZMFAT) new Pacific Connections office.

For more information please contact PTI NZ Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong at ian.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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