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A media release from Salt & Pepper PR - New Zealand's food and beverage communications specialist 
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KUMARA TRIUMPHS AS NATIONAL VEG BUT BEETROOT STILL RECOGNISED AS A FIRM FAMILY FAVOURITE 

The votes have been tallied and it seems kumara is the clear favourite to be named New Zealand’s National Vegetable, after securing more than 80% of the vote.

Inspired by the #VoteBeetroot campaign launched earlier this year by LeaderBrand, one of New Zealand’s largest producers of fresh vegetables, kumara was a late entry into the race but managed to pip beetroot to the post. 

“We knew there would be a lot of support for #VoteKumara,” says Bevan Roach, Marketing Manager of LeaderBrand. “Both beetroot and kumara are quintessentially Kiwi, neither would be out of place as our national vegetable.”

The #VoteBeetroot and #VoteKumara campaigns were run via an online petition with LeaderBrand gathering support for beetroot and Kaipara Kumara backing kumara. Consumers were asked to place their vote over a 6 week period that culminated at The Food Show held in Auckland from July 30 to August 2.

“Beetroot was hugely popular at The Food Show, Kiwi’s definitely still have a taste for it,” says Bevan. “Though it may not have come out top in the voting stakes, it is still a much loved staple on the plates of many New Zealanders. We’re also very proud of the effect the #VoteBeetroot campaign has had on encouraging Kiwis to include more New Zealand grown beetroot in their diets. Lots of people have approached us over the past two months to let us know that the campaign got them thinking about the taste and health benefits of beetroot again and how to incorporate it into more dishes.”

The kumara petition will now be submitted to the New Zealand Government for consideration. 

For more information on the two contenders visit www.leaderbrand.co.nz and www.kumara.co.nz. For more information on the National Vegetable campaign, visit the Facebook page  www.facebook.com/pages/Kumara-vs-Beetroot.

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Contact:
Jennifer Boyes – Salt & Pepper PR
Email: jennifer@saltandpepperpr.com
Phone: 021 667 873

About LeaderBrand:

Founded in 1975 by Murray McPhail, LeaderBrand is recognised as one of New Zealand’s largest and most innovative horticultural and fresh food businesses. Still a family owned business, LeaderBrand prides itself on providing fresh produce of the highest quality. By overseeing all stages of production from site selection, soil preparation, planting, growing, harvesting, processing and distributing, LeaderBrand maintains full control of its products from “garden gate to dinner plate”, ensuring the best eating experience possible.

With farms located in Canterbury, Gisborne and Auckland, LeaderBrand grows approximately 3,500ha of fresh produce each year for domestic and international customers. LeaderBrand grows Broccoli, Lettuce, Buttercup, Sweet Corn, Watermelons and a variety packaged Salads available from the fresh department of your local supermarket shelves.
For more information on LeaderBrand Ltd. Please visit the website www.leaderbrand.co.nz

About Kaipara Kumara:
 
Kaipara Kumara began as a family business in 1970 focusing on mushroom cultivation in Ruawai, in the Far North. While kumara has overtaken mushrooms as the heart of the business, the company remains a family business with brothers Anthony and Peter Blundell now at the helm. The company has grown to one of New Zealand’s largest kumara pack houses, producing nearly 5,000 tonnes of kumara each year and employing 33 staff members. For more information, visit www.kumara.co.nz.
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