Arnott’s get the golden ticket with Auckland’s new state-of-art facility

Arnott’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-esque” facility marks a return to Aotearoa and a boost to our local economy.

The brand that bought us Tim Tam and Scotch Finger is continuing its 157-year legacy by bringing manufacturing back to New Zealand and has opened a new multi-million dollar, 4000sqm factory in Avondale, Auckland.

I was lucky enough to draw a golden ticket to the grand opening of Arnott’s new biscuit factory, joining a small group tour of the new state-of-art facility.

There was much excitement and anticipation as it’s been 25 years since Arnott’s baked and manufactured products in New Zealand.

As our group of four donned PPE for the tour, I couldn’t help thinking of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, though what Arnott’s has created is more efficient and welcoming! Arnott’s in Avondale is as close to a bakery as a factory can be.

The facility is split into four sections all looking like it was designed by a Scandinavian minimalist (in a good way). There’s the storage area for ingredients, of which nearly 30 per cent are sourced locally and Arnott’s intends to increase that number.

There’s the mixing room, where the dough is processed and shaped, an oven hall where the treats are baked and once they’ve cooled but still warm, the biscuits enter the packing hall where they’re packed and weighed, then wrapped fresh, ready for delivery.

I’m no Augustus Gloop, so managed to resist helping myself to a freshly baked biscuit as they passed by me on the conveyor belt, though it was tempting. So, when our tour guide secured a packet of these freshly baked delights to share, it was happy days indeed.

Arnott’s CEO George Zogbhi believes the facility will nourish New Zealand’s continued century-long love for the brand. Not that they don’t love it already!

Arnott’s was recognised as New Zealand’s most trusted biscuit brand in the 2023 Readers Digest Annual Trusted Brand Awards.

Mike Cullerne, Arnott’s Group country director NZ, says the opening of the Avondale facility signals Arnott’s continued support for the local economy, industry and community.

“It’s a welcome boost for local suppliers responsible for everything from ingredients to logistics and will also allow us to strengthen relationships with our retail partners around the country and continue supporting local food relief charities,” says Cullerne.

Local iwi Te Kawarau ā Maki representative Tyler Taua-Gordon says Avondale is also known as Te whenua o te koura ā Maki, o Hui Korero and was a traditional meeting spot and place of conversation. “This was a meet-up spot for all the other iwi and whanau, they would come together to korero or majority more gossiping,” says Taua-Gordon.

Cullerne says it’s a fitting location Arnott’s. “What we tend to find with biscuits and a cup of tea is a lot of gossip, so we’re in good company.”

Arnott’s is also baking and rolling out a new biscuit range which will hit shelves in late July.

Arnott’s Shortbread Bites, in collaboration with Barker’s of Geraldine, are made with pure New Zealand butter in classic Kiwi flavours – Black Doris Plum –with Black Doris Plum puree with decadent dark chocolate chips. Feijoa – with sweet puree plus poppy seeds. And Mixed Berries made with a boysenberry and blackcurrant puree combo with decadent white chocolate chips.

Zogbhi says the factory is not built for scale to compete on low-cost products with the rest of the world. “It has been built in a way to create innovation for the rest of the world and show them what the future of product can be done in premium and great biscuits.”

I for one am happy to put my hand up as a test marketer for Arnott’s new biscuit innovations. Just saying.

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