We’re here to help innovative, ambitious food businesses scale up and commercialise new products.

5 Steps to New Product Development

Get started with this quick guide to developing a new food or beverage product.

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What is NZFIN and how will you help me?
NZFIN stands for the New Zealand Food Innovation Network.

We’re a national network of specialist food processing facilities staffed by industry experts. We support ambitious food businesses of all sizes by helping you develop your initial food or beverage idea into a commercial product for local and export markets. More about us.

Who should I talk to about my project or idea?
Contact your nearest NZFIN Business Development Manager (BDM).

Your local BDM will have a chat with you to understand your requirements. They may provide general advice about product development, including path to market, capability providers, and funding options. They can also put you in touch with the NZFIN facility best suited for your project and the BDM there will support you to develop your plans for your business and/or specific trials.

If you’re not quite ready to use the NZFIN facilities, your BDM can also put you in touch with the right people outside of the network to support your progress.

What products can be processed by NZFIN?
We process a very wide range of foods and beverages for local and export markets.

We are restricted to food grade products and are not licensed for pharmaceuticals or pet foods (unless food grade). However, for bench-scale or prototype R&D, the FoodPilot and FoodSouth may be able to conduct some projects in non-food grade labs, allowing you to test a wide range of materials.

Can NZFIN manufacture product for me on a contract basis?
NZFIN is not a contract manufacturer.

Food businesses hire manufacturing space and equipment at our hubs and make the products themselves with the support of our engineers. In some cases, we can scale-manufacture until volumes are large enough to move to a contract manufacturer.

Food Waikato is an exception as a spray drying facility that contract manufactures milk powders.

Will you develop my food product for me?
FoodPilot and FoodSouth offer product development services.
Alternatively, we can link you to contract food technologists who can develop your product for you. Your BDM will be able to advise you on the best approach for your needs.

Can I sell the product that I make at NZFIN?
Yes, provided it meets consumer food safety and regulatory requirements. We can advise you on what you need to do on this.

How is food safety covered?
We have Food Control Plans at our sites. If your product is to be consumed by other people you will need to write a HACCP food safety plan for your product using our templates. We can help you with the HACCP plan and it’s usually very straight forward.

How are you funded?
Most of our income is from central government with a portion coming from the food businesses that use us – your work with us is heavily government-subsidised.

What is the cost of using NZFIN?
Each project is different, and all our hubs offer different facilities and expertise. We work with you to develop a brief and then provide you with a quote. Because we are government-subsidised, we offer an affordable route to develop new food products and processes. Your local BDM can help you through this process, and we work hard to scope a project to fit your budget.

How do you cover confidentiality and IP?
Confidentiality is fundamental to our work and is covered in our contracts. Discuss your IP and confidentially needs with your local BDM.


Event Date: Cohort One is live now and then Cohort Two is from September 2024.

NZFIN Food and Beverage Accelerator. Powered by Rise Growth lab.

In May 2024, we launched our NZFIN Food and Beverage Accelerator designed to drive the profitable growth of small Food and Beverage businesses.

The NZFIN accelerator is a six month program of in-depth training, personalised coaching, access to an expert network and a supportive community – all designed to take your food and beverage business to the next level.  You’ll create your own profitable growth plan AND gain the tools you need to make it happen.

Cohort One is LIVE and is running from June to December. We have 7 small F&B businesses taking part.

Cohort Two: We are currently recruiting businesses for Cohort 2 which starts in September. Sign up now while spots are available.

Register your interest here or contact your NZFIN BDM for more information.



Jumpstart is an exciting new resource for early stage start-ups that will be offered by NZFIN from September 2024 onwards. Jumpstart consists of pay-perview, online recorded videos and content specifically designed to give startups the essential knowledge to start a successful food or beverage business. It covers over thirty topics such as food safety, product development, bar codes, quality, how to validate products and many more. Register your interest for Jumpstart by emailing and we will keep you posted on the launch.