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The popular ‘New Zealand’ foods made overseas, including Wattie’s potato Pom Poms

ANALYSIS: Think your favourite food is made or grown in New Zealand? Brace yourself for some bad news. In the aftermath of the coronavirus lockdown, many Kiwis are making a conscious effort to support local businesses and brands. Esther Taunton reports for Stuff.co.nz.

There are Facebook groups connecting Kiwi shoppers with local makers, and a large-scale media campaign encouraging New Zealanders to back small and medium enterprises.

There’s even an online platform for potato lovers to pledge their support to local growers in the face of a potentially devastating influx of imported frozen chips.

We’ve never been more aware of the impact our purchasing decisions can make. But what about the products we’ve been buying for years, the foods we throw into the shopping trolley on autopilot?

All may not be as it seems.

Founded in Hawke’s Bay in the 1930s, Wattie’s has been owned by Heinz since 1992.

Given its long history and strong reputation in New Zealand and the fact we’ve had almost 30 years to forget about its sale to Heinz, news that Wattie’s Potato Pom poms are made in Belgium, its apricots are sourced from South Africa, and its asparagus from Peru may be hard to swallow.

To its credit, Wattie’s – or Heinz – is pretty good about labelling. Fruit and veges grown here are clearly labelled “Hawke’s Bay” or “NZ Grown”. If it doesn’t say that on the front of the tin or bag, it’ll say “Made in somewhere else” on the back.

Read the full story on Stuff.co.nz here

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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