The Australian macadamia industry will be showcased to the world, with the finals of the second annual Australian Macadamia Innovation Challenge taking place in the Northern Rivers on Wednesday and Thursday 3-4 April 2019.
In 2019 the event has expanded and will play host to international teams and judges from Japan and China, as well as a number of Australian contestants. Representatives from Austrade and the Department of Agriculture & Water Resources will also visit the region as part of the event.
The Innovation Challenge is part of the Australian macadamia industry’s international marketing strategy focused on inspiring the food manufacturing industry to develop innovative new food products using Aussie macadamias. It was launched in 2018 by Australian Macadamias and is the first challenge of its kind by anyone in the global tree nut industry.
Competitors (food technology students and professionals) from Australia, Japan and China have submitted an impressive range of unique and innovative concepts for a new packaged food product containing macadamias (across four categories – cereals, snacks, confectionary and ‘future foods’).
Australian Macadamias’ market development manager Lynne Ziehlke says the Innovation Challenge is about driving new demand for macadamias amid increasing global supply, and then inspiring food manufacturers across the world to take advantage of these exciting opportunities.
“Research has found that macadamias are a perfect ingredient for innovation as a premium, high quality and healthy food with consumers actively on the look-out for new products with macadamias.
“The Innovation Challenge contestants have impressed us with their amazing ability to think outside the square with regards to macadamias,” says Ms. Ziehlke.
The 18 finalists arrive in the Northern Rivers tomorrow to settle in and prepare their creations before presenting their inspirational macadamia products to the judges on Thursday. Each entry will be judged on key criteria including taste, insight/trend behind the creation, and how new the concept is to the market.
The winners will be announced at a special event in Byron Bay, attended by local macadamia growers and industry representatives. Prizes up for grabs include a trip to Fi (Food Ingredients) Europe (the world’s leading food and beverage ingredients event), a cash grant and a tailored mentorship program.
The expert judging panel includes Byron’s Pam Brook (co-founder of Brookfarm and Cape Byron Distillery), Dr. Kiyoko Kubomura (President, Kubomura Foods Advisory Consultants Japan), Ben Kolly (Technical & Product Manager at Haigh’s Chocolates) and Emma Welsh (Co-founder, ‘Emma and Tom’s’).
Source: Australian Macadamia Society