Reinventing the humble baked bean


Thompson Family Foods is a small food company based in Canterbury New Zealand. Owner Andrew Thompson, asked himself “why is it we can buy premium, gourmet products such as craft beer, potato chips and peanut butter at the supermarket but not the iconic New Zealand staple food the baked bean?”

Some two years later Thompson Family Foods have launched their premium baked bean at the Christchurch Farmers Market. Andrew adds “I’m really pleased with the reception, people at interested and love the product, sales are brisk. It’s a good start.”

Andrew contacted John Morgan the Chief Executive of FoodSouth at the start of his journey when the idea was mainly a twinkle in his eye. John comments “We talk with a lot of people with new food ideas but right from the outset I could see that Andrew was on a good track, he had a plan and he was actively seeking to build his knowledge and contact base.” John continues “taking a new product to market it hard, not only do you have to have a novel, tasty, safe, authentic, consistent, cost effective product you also need to get it to market, it’s a journey that demand tenacity and adaptability. Andrew has both”

Andrew adds, “John helped me with advice and contacts at several points along the way. It’s good to have someone independent to talk things through with.”

FoodSouth are the southern hub of the New Zealand Food Innovation Network. The Network helps firms and entrepreneurs take new products from concept to commercial production. FoodSouth sister hubs are The FoodBowl (Auckland), FoodWaikato (Hamilton) and the FoodPilot (Palmerston North.

For more information go to the Thompson Family Foods ( or Food Innovation Network ( websites.