Wraps maker rapt at expo opportunity

More than 240 food, beverage and food service suppliers have spent the past two days waiting on potential customers at the country's largest food retail event.

The Foodstuffs Expo at Wellington's Westpac Stadium was attended by about 3000 members of the public and Foodstuffs members, who followed their noses around the concourse, checking out the products from suppliers.

Foodstuffs owns the New World, Pak 'n Save and Four Square stores.

Upper Hutt-based Farrah Wraps, which guarantees its breads will not crack or split, has been selling to supermarkets for about three years.

Owner Jovan Canak said the expo provided a chance to work directly with owner-operators to help build the company's brand and support.

"I think like every business, it's about relationships.

"For us, it's a way for us to say, ‘How can we do a better job?' We get to speak to the decision-makers here."

Canak founded the company when he was 22, and in 15 years it had grown to have 50 per cent of the country's market share in flatbread, he said.

Farrah Wraps, named after Canak's wife, started in an old fish and chip shop, selling to local kebab outlets.

It now had a 5000 square metre factory in Upper Hutt, about 30 staff and its products were sold throughout the country.

More recently, it commissioned the largest production line of its kind in Asia Pacific, capable of producing 50,000 tortillas and wraps an hour.

Canak said the expo had been great, with Foodstuffs an "integral part of our growth journey".

The company had plans to begin exporting soon.

"New Zealand's a great market and we don't want to forget about our domestic market. I think it's really still an important part of our business.

"But I just think for us to continue growth and to continue to be able to innovate, going offshore, we're very lucky we've got a product we can do that with."

The Dominion Post