Kumara Fusion - Low GI Healthy Treat


Olga and Carlos Martenez hail from Basque Country north of Spain who moved to New Zealand with a dream of bringing a Spanish-Kiwi fusion cuisine to kiwi tables. After years of playing around with a specially developed recipe utilising the New Zealand kumara Olga and Carlos were ready to go to market with a product they truly believed in.

The product is a kumara based paste that uses 3 ingredients kumara, agar and sugar.

The name – Kumara Fusion!

Olga and Carlos were using a small commercial kitchen to produce their product which was sold at local farmers markets in Whangarei. The packaging design and branding clearly needed development as well as a commercial process to ensure the product had a sufficient shelf life and could be replicated at scale.

The FoodBowl BDM visited Olga and Carlos on a northland trip with the local northland EDA. It was clear that Olga and Carlos needed some direction with how to progress their product development and what stages were needed to be completed in order to get their product to market.

The FoodBowl helped to identify the following requirements for Olga and Carlos:
- Engage with a food technologist for shelf life assessment and HACCP documentation
- Highlight what is required to sell into the supermarkets
- Book a trial at The FoodBowl to conduct a small scale commercial run
- Engage with a marketing agency to design up a product brand concept

The FoodBowl was able to facilitate a small commercial production trial which Olga and Carlos used samples for shelf life testing. This production experience also provided great insight for what a larger scale production run would look like.

The FoodBowl process engineers were also able to educate Olga and Carlos on the types of equipment they could use for larger scale commercial runs as well as processing methods that optimize their production efficiency.

“Having an engineer in place helping us all the way to produce in bigger scales without changing main recipe. All the equipment needed is there, plus all health and safety requirements needed are in place. It has been a great experience”

“It give us all the guarantees to produce at the level requires in supermarkets and to export product. Plus they have all the knowledge and network which is very helpful when you start a business. Setting a factory of your own is far too expensive to start with and manufacturing somewhere else does not give you the same guarantees”

“The Food Bowl has help us with everything to get our product into our supermarkets. From the production process to the selling process, with great advise and connections. We couldn't have made it without them.” - Olga Martenez