www.foodtechnology.co.nz 7 NEWS SNIPS The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation is working with partners to help protect the world’s banana crops from a new strain of fungus which can last for years in the soil. Retail Food Group, the ASX-listed franchiser of food outlets including Donut King, Brumby’s Bakery and Michel’s Patisserie has taken control of the New Zealand master franchise for Gloria Jean’s Kraft Heinz, which counts Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway as its biggest shareholder, will spend A$290 million buying Cerebos Food & Instant Coffee and Asian Home Gourmet from Suntory Beverage & Food Massey’s end-of-year exhibition for final year students at the College of Creative Arts will include a handheld scanner for measuring kiwifruit, and a coffee and water refill/reuse/recycle service. KIWIS KEEN ON TAKEAWAYS MONEY FOR FOOD EXPLORATION Four directors have been appointed to drive the growth strategy for OCHO (Otago Chocolate Company) ahead of a PledgeMe campaign to move the company to public ownership and retain premium chocolate-making in Dunedin. The first board meeting has been held in Dunedin, and the crowdfunding campaign aiming to raise $2 million started on November 13, OCHO spokesman Jim O’Malley says. “We were delighted with the calibre of people wanting to be part of this exciting project. We searched for a mix of people with strong practical skills especially in food and beverage and in scaling companies for expansion,” O’Malley says. OCHO founder Liz Rowe will continue to work for the company and act as transitional chief executive until an appointment is made. The crowdfunding is a little different in that organisers aim to attract as many $100 investors as possible, and will limit the total any one person can own to 11% so no single investor can dominate. The board is Dunedin City councillor and R&D expert O’Malley, co-founder of SHOTT Tami Louisson, Pasta d’Oro’s Vito Iannece and Silver Ferns Farms’ Stewart Cowan. New Zealand is one of the fastest growing takeaway markets in the world, with annual growth of 6.7% expected by 2021 which is more than double the expansion of dine-in and pick-up takeaway markets. Research sourced by global takeaway giant and Menulog owner Just Eat shows Kiwis are quick to embrace online methods for ordering takeaways, with six-in-ten Aucklanders reporting that they have already ordered takeaways via an app or website. Menulog NZ commercial director Paul Dodds says the food and hospitality sector is going through phenomenal growth and change because of technology. “Mobile apps and online food ordering platforms have transformed an industry that really hasn’t changed much in the past 100 years or so.” Last year, Menulog saw a 42% increase in orders, with the group generating more than $600 million in orders for local businesses across New Zealand and Australia. Wok Express owner Paul Brandwood says technology is now an essential part of business and the convenience of ordering online has changed people’s eating habits. “When we first started out in 2006, online ordering only represented 10% of our order numbers. But this has jumped to more than 60% and we have restructured our business model to prioritise online ordering and home delivery. Being on Menulog means we have access to an audience base of over 150,000 – a number we would never get with walk-in and telephone orders. It’s a natural extension to our business.” Menulog is New Zealand’s largest online takeaway and home delivery company. Exploring why more complex food texture makes us feel fuller faster has won the University of Auckland engineering researchers $945,000 in new funding from the Marsden Fund for 2017. Led by Professor Bryony James from the chemical and materials engineering department, the project will look at the links between food, texture and satiation, and investigate whether it’s the brain’s response to the sensations felt while chewing that actually leads to satiation. Mechanical engineering research was boosted by $300,000 in new funding for a project investigating vibration energy harvesting technologies, and developing an eco-friendly alternative to traditional battery power. Dean of engineering Professor Nic Smith says the new funding is welcome support for innovative research. DUNEDIN CHOCOLATE GOES PUBLIC LISTINGS FOR THE 2018 ANNUAL DIRECTORY ARE CLOSING 5PM, 24TH OF NOVEMBER.
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