Press Release – Hansells
NEWS RELEASE 31 JULY 2012 Hansells Achieves First With Palm Oil Free Spread Hansells Food Group today unveiled what it believes is New Zealand’s first palm oil-free spread, after revamping its popular range of Alfa One spreads1. Hansells Food Group …
31 JULY 2012
Hansells Achieves First With Palm Oil Free Spread
Hansells Food Group today unveiled what it believes is New Zealand’s first palm oil-free spread, after revamping its popular range of Alfa One spreads1.
Hansells Food Group Chief Executive Officer, John McKay said the launch of the range was an exciting development not only for the company but also for people that care about orangutan and the rainforest habitat in which they live.
“While our Alfa One spreads used to contain trace amounts of palm oil – the lowest amongst all spreads on the market – we saw an opportunity to take a proactive stance and eliminate it completely from the range. As a result, we now believe that we have the only spread in New Zealand that is palm oil-free.”
On average, Kiwis consume approximately 19 million kgs of spreads each year2. Unlike chocolate, which is considered to be a treat item, spreads are often used more than once a day. New Zealanders can now choose to support the move towards eliminating palm oil from an everyday staple product, without forgoing an essential component of many meals and snacks.
John said the new range was an output from its multi-million dollar innovation centre which is located in Auckland.
“We’re continuing to identify new trends and opportunities in the food sphere that will help to drive business growth not only in New Zealand but also offshore. “
He said the new look product is also set to make its way to various overseas markets including Australia, where Alfa One also has a strong market presence.
Aside from being palm oil-free, the Alfa One range also contains more naturally occurring antioxidants than other spreads, including Vitamin E as well as a balance of ‘good’ mono and polyunsaturated fats. John said the secret to the product is the fact that it is made from the nutritious parts of rice grain – the bran and germ.
He said while the company does use palm oil from sustainable sources in some of its products it was actively looking for suitable alternatives to use.
“For instance, we’ve replaced palm oil based margarine with Rice Bran oil in all our Aunt Betty’s range of steam puddings effectively further reducing palm oil consumption by over 80 tonnes per annum.
“We believe it’s important that we make changes wherever we can and this change in a product that is so widely used by everyone will be a positive one.”
The launch of the palm oil-free range has come as good news to advocates of the orangutan including the Auckland Zoo.
“Auckland Zoo congratulates Hansells on this achievement. It’s fantastic news that New Zealand consumers can now buy an everyday spread that is totally palm oil-free, and is a product we’ll be adding to the Zoo’s Palm Oil-Free Shopping Guide,” says Auckland Zoo director, Jonathan Wilcken.
“Deforestation for the planting of oil palm plantations remains the single greatest threat to the rainforests of South East Asia. It’s through consumers having the power to make choices such as this that we will help save the orangutan, and other tropical forest species.”
Photo 1: John McKay
Photo 2: Orangutan with product
1Spreads includes all margarines and spreads but excludes butter.
2Aztec MAT 20 May 2012