Speaker Profile: Bennie Hendricks

Bennie is the Executive General Manager of Life Health Foods, and will be presenting at ProteinTECH 2019!

Bennie will share insights on what is motivating New Zealand consumers to choose more plant based foods, drawn from new local research. Hendricks will discuss consumer attitudes and drivers of lifestyle and food decisions and how this varies between different consumer groups. Concluding with possible implications for the food industry and what Life Health Foods, New Zealand’s leading manufacturer of plant based foods is doing to respond to this.

Read on for more…

Much-loved Kiwi brands unite to offer ‘Cuisine without compromise’ from new $12million facility

Once known as Lisa’s Healthy Foods Ltd, LHF now operates as Life Health Foods Ltd, with a comprehensive portfolio of well-loved Kiwi brands such as Lisa’s, Naked Organics, Olive Grove, Sahara, Bean Supreme, Kato, Food by Chefs and Prep Kitchen.

100% New Zealand owned, the LHF brands each have their own identity and unique product offering but are united with a common vision: to celebrate life, and bring to the market a wide array of foods, that, in the words of their Naked Organics brand, offer “Cuisine without compromise”.

Today, Wednesday 1 September, LHF celebrate the official opening of their brand-new, purpose-built plant in Avondale, Auckland. The new building, opened by the Hon. Prime Minister John Key, covers an area of 3,800m² and combines all existing operations that were previously conducted out of five individual business units, as well as off-site storage locations. The capital investment in the acquisition of the property, the building of the factory and upgrading of plant and machinery, amounted to $12 million.

In his speech, Mr. Key referred to the Kiwi spirit of ingenuity and that the Government was keen to see entrepreneurial businesses grow and flourish in New Zealand. Mr. Key pointed out that he felt New Zealand food manufacturing could play an important role in food innovation and safety, focussing on supply to countries like Australia and China. With reference to the diversity of the LHF workforce, Mr. Key said that he felt New Zealanders have turned diversity into a strength through their positive embracing thereof.

According to Bennie Hendricks, General Manager of LHF, relocation to the new site was necessitated by capacity constraints at existing facilities and to cater for LHF’s expansion strategy through product innovation. This reflects positively on the growth of the entertainment and healthy food category in New Zealand, and the fact that LHF, through its brands, has extended its strong position in the market.

In a market characterised by closures and battening-down-the-hatches, this new investment marks the remarkable confidence of a company that has grown consistently through the years. Starting out as a small home-kitchen business, today LHF has become a company with well known and loved brands that have achieved household name status in New Zealand.

As part of the investment, some of the LHF brands also received manufacturing process upgrades. With the help of process engineers, the Lisa’s dip manufacturing process was totally redesigned to not only ensure quality, consistency and safety of products, but to also afford the opportunity to retain Lisa’s market leadership position through constant product innovation. An example of this innovation is the launching of the Lisa’s Toppings range earlier this year, bringing a fresh new range of dip products to the discerning New Zealand consumer. The new facility also includes the Bean Supreme manufacturing plant, with improvement in processes and the addition of new equipment, now affording LHF the opportunity to expand its fast growing Australian export product range and to capitalise on the growth in much needed alternate forms of protein.

According to Mr Hendricks, a key to LHF’s success is a commitment to constant innovative product development with an array of fresh new tastes, flavours and healthier food experiences on offer. “New Zealanders are moving rapidly into a modern era of cuisine as a way of life, and with our new factory, processes and product innovation, LHF is a company well poised for growth”, he says. “At LHF we approach the table with much humility, recognising that the people who eat our foods do so with an expectation to be delighted and well cared for”.

Source: Info News

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