Adding some muscle to the might of Sanford, the New Zealand Food Innovation Network aided the New Zealand seafood giant in creating new products to service new industries, like nutraceuticals.
- Looking to create new market opportunities, New Zealand seafood giant Sanford wanted to create new products derived from seafood, such as nutraceuticals.
- Over 5 years, the New Zealand Food Innovation Network gave Sanford the tools and expertise needed to create a range of high-value products, including fish oils, proteins and mussel extracts.
- Validating new products alongside Callaghan Innovation gave Sanford the confidence needed to proceed. It was a lot less risk as they didn’t have to front with large capital investments.
The FoodBowl is the perfect place to make prototypes, test concepts and help commercialise our added-value export ideas,
Adrian Grey - Business and Product Development Manager, Sanford
Sanford is a large and long established New Zealand fishing company. In fact, they’ve proudly been in the industry for over 100 years, devoted to harvesting, farming, processing and marketing quality seafood and aquaculture products.
Not ones to rest on their laurels however, Sanford has been placing increasing emphasis on utilising the natural resources they have for more than just raw material in the traditional sense. Because while seafood itself is central to its business, its ability to innovate and create new products from it, and service new markets, is pivotal in long-term growth and success. And central to this is the likes of nutraceutical industries, those products derived from food sources that come with extra health benefits).
Over a five year period, Sanford has worked within the FoodBowl hub at Callaghan Innovation’s New Zealand Food Innovation Network, an Auckland-based facility that helps food businesses innovate, scale up and commercialise new products. Here, they have carried out multiple projects looking to produce a range of high-value marine nutraceutical ingredients, not least fish oils, proteins and mussel extracts.
“The FoodBowl is the perfect place to make prototypes, test concepts and help commercialise our added-value export ideas,” says Adrian Gray, Sanford’s Business and Product Development Manager.
“The FoodBowl allows us to experiment on different raw materials and processes to get results we needed. It has a very extensive range of equipment and their engineers can tailor the setup to suit our needs. The FoodBowl really opened our minds to the possibilities,” Gray says. This use of equipment in particular included Sanford being able to take advantage of Super Critical CO2 equipment, pivotal in being able to commercialise mussel extracts.
As well as local market validation, due to the FoodBowl having an export risk management programme, Sanford was able to also make samples of new products to show overseas. This Gray explains “is an incredibly valuable service when trying to develop business and engage with export clients.”
With the initial goal to try and create new products that would see Sanford tap into new markets, with the help of New Zealand Food Innovation Network, the company is well on their way. The partnership and support has meant Sanford has been able to validate their products before having to invest the large capital needed to grow them.
Our product is completely validated before we even open the doors and that is an incredibly strong position, Gray says.
Now that the formula for success has been created, Sanford has built a $20 million marine extracts facility in Blenheim, with Gray stating that the work at the FoodBowl is crucial in giving Sanford the confidence needed for further investment and acquisitions surrounding marine extracts.