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Food Innovation ‘Big Day Out’ offers a taste of our food future  

Most people have no idea that New Zealand’s largest centre of food innovation activity is located just across the river from Palmy. The inaugural ‘Food Innovation Big Day Out’ aims to showcase some tangible examples of the exciting products being developed by the scientists and the companies they work with. 

Hosted by FoodHQ, the Big Day Out will take place between 10am-2pm on Friday 21st of October in Palmerston North,at 31 Dairy Farm Road (off Tennent Drive). 

There will be opportunities to see, taste and hear about some of the latest in food innovation from a wide variety of companies and research organisations; as well as a mix of commercial products and those still under development.  

What do you think about ice cream from cauliflower? Cheese lollipops? Beverages that help your brain and body work better? A spray to enhance the flavour of your meat? Milk and meat-substitutes from hemp? Freeze-dried ice cream? And much more. 

Visitors to the Food Innovation Big Day Out will get to talk with those involved in the work, taste samples of their products and get a glimpse of potential future food on show in the Manawatū.

There will also be chef demonstrations, locally produced foods for purchase, food trucks and coffee to keep you caffeinated and well-fed, educational exhibits, and even some robots wandering around. 

This event will be held at the Manawatū Science Park, just over the river from Palmy’s city centre.  

FoodHQ CEO, Dr Abby Thompson, says, “So few people really understand the great work that happens here, and so we decided that it was time we tried to change that.  

“The Food Innovation Big Day Out is a great chance for locals and visitors to come and see and taste for themselves.  We are hoping that people will leave with a real buzz about the exciting things they have sampled, and a deeper knowledge and understanding of the work being done to develop New Zealand’s food future.” 

To help plan for likely numbers, FoodHQ would be grateful if you cold register your attendance via Eventfinder or Facebook, but please also feel free to just turn up on the day. 


When: Fri 21st Oct, 10am-2pm 

Where: 31 Dairy Farm Rd, Palmerston North. 

For more information on this event contact [email protected] 


Additional information: 

The following exhibitors will be on display: 

  • Kinda cauliflower ice cream 
  • Sustainable Foods plant-based products 
  • Fernglen sheep milk 
  • Pure Heart Aotearoa hemp products 
  • Plant & Food Research 
  • AgResearch 
  • Massey University 
  • Fonterra Research and Development Centre 
  • The Riddet Institute 
  • FEAST – Massey University’s Consumer Science and Sensory team 
  • Ohau Gourmet Mushrooms 
  • Emoyeni 
  • Three Oaks Organic 
  • Tex As Salsa 
  • Gillard Honey 
  • Cartwheel Creamery 
  • The Factory 
  • UCOL 
  • Migg’s McTaylor, known as “Callmeishbel”, a Botanical Cuisine Specialist 
  • Grant Kitchen – local Chef 
  • Environment Network Manawatū 
  • Just Zilch 
  • Sprout 
  • Dos Locos Food Truck 
  • Feeding Out Food Truck 
  • Scoop Food Truck 


Manawatū is home to three crown research institutes and Massey University, is the headquarters of national science collaborations including the Riddet Institute and the New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre, and the base for Fonterra’s global R&D centre, Synlait’s beverage R&D team, Sprout Agritech and more. We have a unique cluster of food scientists, researchers, engineers, startup incubators, and experts in all things food. FoodHQ connects across the local and national food innovation ecosystem to help advance New Zealand’s efforts in developing the future of food. 

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