Category Archives: Food & Beverage

The Grey Area & Sugar Taxes

The debate about whether to introduce sugar taxes in NZ has been interesting to see play  out. It’s perfect example of trying to make a decision in light of insufficient evidence with potentially large implications on public health.


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Bits & Pieces

Bits-&-Pieces1I’ve had some more time get back making note of some interesting news items from across the web.

A few extras

Here are a few more extra photos of products that tie in with the previous post.

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1: Healtheries selection of functional teas “ be happy tea” using St John’s Wort

2: Red Seal antioxidant tea

3: A Hubbards cereal containing ‘the optimal blend for gentle digestion”

4: Ti Tonics super tea containing grape seed extract, plant polyphenols, antioxidants….

The change at our supermarkets

Over the past 18 months I’ve noticed that more and more shelf space is being taken up by new products that have a more functional or health image.

Late last year Plant & Food Research along with its partners released a range of salad mix bags, each aligned with a different health target. The vegetables being used in these products have been produced with naturally high levels of nutrients, containing at least 25% of your daily antioxidants (vitamins). What does “produced with naturally high” mean? All the way from seed to supermarket, the vegetables have been carefully managed. For example picking the seeds with the highest nutrient levels and following the ideal growing and storage conditions required to keep these nutrients high. 

More can be found here: Currently, they are retailing for around $4, $1 more than the standard bags in recognition of its premium or functional positioning.

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Pic 1 & 2: Vitalbones Salad Mix & Vitalimmunity coleslaw mix

The word ‘antioxidant’ is also becoming more prominent on product packaging, both in the name of the product and/or as part of the additional labelling. Traditionally these are berry based products however some products are utilising the vitamin content to also claim an antioxidant message.

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Pic 3, 4, 5 & 6 (clockwise): Sunsweet antioxidant blend of dried fruits, Hubbards cereal with ‘antioxidant rich berry fruit pieces , Sujon’s AOK Smoothie drink, Uncle Tobys antioxidant cereal and bulk walnuts with omega 3s.

Labelling is also moving more functional. So rather than just a health halo around the word ‘antioxidant’, ‘omega 3’,‘natural’ or ‘organic’, a number of products actually target in on specific health and wellness targets. 

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Pic 7, 8, 9 & 10 (clockwise): Nice and natural nuts for focus and for your outer glow, bulk pumpkin seeds for men’s health, Uncle Tobys sports cereal.

Functional Foods Explained

Recently, I was involved in contributing to a short video about functional foods in the context of what we do and Plant & Food Research.

Check it out below. Additionally, have a look through the other videos on the plantandfood channel. There are some great videos that explain what the company does and the impact it is having on the sectors we support.