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Drinks Awards 2020

Awards honour

When the organisers of the Outstanding New Zealand Food Producer Awards approached us about entering our new drinks ideas, we were both flattered and a little unsure about whether our new drinks were good enough.

We were thrilled and honoured to be told late in March 2020 the judges had given Silver Drinks Awards to CH’I Ginger Crunch, and CH’I Source Naturally Alkaline Water.

To enter a product we were asked about its history, the challenges in moving from an idea to a finished product available to buy from chillers, shelves and our webstore.

Ginger Crunch

The idea behind this drink was to our favourite baked slice into a whole new delivery. At a time the drinks industry is prioritising functional promise ahead of enjoyment we want to show a natural crafted drink could be pure fun and flavour. Ingredients to deliver the flavours are all natural, and include our own extracts crafted from ginger root. As well as an amazing flavour we challenged ourselves to lower sugars to 7.0 grams per 100ml, but retain enjoyment.

High pH Naturally Alkaline Water

Ch’i Source Water draws from the same water source that has been used in Ch’i Original drinks since 1987. This source is not available to other users. We always believed it to be unique and have been asked many times over the years to make it available as water. Bottled within metres of the artesian well head and completely unadulterated it tests at an incredible pH = 9.7. With the recent interest in high pH waters we decided the time was right.

There are some very strong beliefs about the potential impact of an alkaline shift in diet. The contribution we are happy to claim is that the Ch’i origin, and distinctive and enjoyable taste from this water will draw in and engage consumers in more frequent and considered hydration.

Questions about Us, not just our Products

It’s a sign of our collective and increasing concern for people not just business that we were asked questions about our Social behaviour – towards our own people and our wider communities.

We are a small business family owned with a handful of staff. We have had many offers of corporate buyouts over the years, but have never had confidence in their commitment to people, craft and our beliefs.

All our staff are paid significantly above the living wage. Our relationships with staff are loyal – the average length of service is 10 years, and the longest 20. Supporting the development of local community across New Zealand is important to us. We are frequent donors of product to grass roots groups fundraising and taking the initiative to organise and build their own sense of community.

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