Since hemp seeds’ legalisation for growing, manufacture and sale in November 2018, supermarkets have quickly pivoted to include hemp products such as protein powder in their health food and specialty sections, but the trendy ingredient has already found its way into mainstream product categories.
Prior to the legalisation, hemp seed products were only permitted to be marketed as pet food in New Zealand. Australia legalised a year earlier, giving Australian-owned retailers such as Countdown a head start in sourcing product, but Kiwi companies are working to rapidly roll out homegrown hemp seed products. Existing local suppliers include Matakana Superfoods, Good Pantry and Hemp Farm.
Wairarapa-based bread manufacturer Breadcraft has today launched what it describes as “the first mainstream food product containing hemp seed” - hemp seed wraps. The products were launched under a new brand named Rebel Bakehouse. There’s also a variant made with cricket flour, plus purple corn and spinach for less adventurous eaters.
Rebel Bakehouse’s Chris Petersen says the new products were developed in response to consumer demand.
“The world’s population is forecast to grow to more than 9.7 billion by 2050. Sustainably-sourced, environmentally friendly proteins are the future of food if we are to meet the challenge of feeding all of these people.
“We’re excited to introduce crickets and hemp to Kiwis - already, more than two billion people around the world eat crickets and hemp is one of the few sources of complete protein for plant-based eaters. As well as being good for you, they’re good for the environment. Crickets, for example, produce just one percent of the greenhouse emissions that cows do - and use a fraction of the water and land space that cows do. “