A company that produces texture-modified products to enhance the quality of life for people with eating difficulties has been named the Massey University Supreme Award winner at this year’s New Zealand Food Awards.
The Pure Food Co also won the James & Wells Business Innovation Award, with judges saying the company showed an impressive level of collaboration with target customers to understand consumer needs and realise the benefits of intellectual property to build a trusted brand.
The Auckland-based company was co-founded by Sam Bridgewater and Maia Royal in 2014 after a family member of Mr Bridgewater’s became so ill he could no longer eat solid foods. Products are supplied both nationally and internationally to hospitals and rest homes as well as direct to consumers. The nutritional benefits and quality of the food is achieved through collaboration with chefs, dietitians and food technologists.
“We’re honoured to get this award. It’s something we had hoped to win in the past, so getting it tonight is unreal,” Mr Bridgewater said.
“Every day we try and put our feet in our consumers’ shoes, our elderly customers. We try to think about what makes a better meal for them and how we can improve their nutrition.”
The company previously won two New Zealand Food Awards categories – the Massey University Health and Wellness Award in 2015 and the Ministry for Primary Industries Food Safety Culture Award in 2017.
The judging panel said The Pure Food Co met all of the criteria for selection of a Supreme Award winner, judged against the three themes of innovation, excellence and sustainability.
“The judges agreed that this company demonstrated best practice in terms of its growth and strategic direction, market development and product development processes, and nutritional and health impacts.”
Judges stated that the products were innovative and of extremely high quality. “From a social sustainability perspective, The Pure Food Co proactively engages in upskilling health care professionals as well as their own staff, and from an environmental sustainability perspective, they seek to manage the environmental impacts of their processes.”