Rich, moist, unbelievably delicious and less than 5% fat! Aunt Betty’s steamed puddings are prepared using only the finest ingredients. We adore their range of baked desserts.

Ross MacKenzie and business partner Fred Willetts have been described as having a tiger by the tail. When they got together six years ago, with plans to grow Willetts’ Aunt Betty’s steamed pudding range, they knew they had a good product and planned to add a few more flavours – and along the way pick up a reasonable amount of market share.

What they’ve actually done is grow the New Zealand market for steamed puddings five-fold – and the competition has virtually disappeared.

And recently, their Traditional Oven Baked Desserts – the latest in Old Fashioned Foods’ Aunt Betty’s range – won both the New Zealand Food Safety Authority Assurance Award and the A J Park Convenience Foods category at the Massey University Food Awards.

Aunt Betty’s Fresh Oven Baked range of old-fashioned favourites is designed to strengthen Aunt Betty’s place in the cooked dessert category.

Creating awareness of a new product range isn’t difficult when your name’s already a household word but MacKenzie and his team have put considerable time and effort into developing the new range.

MacKenzie, whose background is in food science, directs the company’s marketing with packaging design by Bizam.

The company operates on the principle that the product is king. “We try to make it look as mouth-watering as possible. That’s been the key.”

Initially the Aunt Betty’s logo was much larger but now the brand is established the logo has been reduced in size. “We’re pushing the product. The branding’s just there for reassurance.”

According to MacKenzie, the biggest challenge with any new food product is getting it onto the shelves. And while he agrees pricing is important, he says the key is pricing the product as an everyday item.

“When we started with Aunt Betty’s we had no advertising budget. It was a matter of getting the product on the shelf then holding tastings to demonstrate the convenience and the taste.”

But while the company can now afford the luxury of a tv advertising campaign, MacKenzie still believes there’s nothing like actually tasting the product to sell food.

And, he notes, some of Old Fashioned Foods’ most successful demonstrators are ‘Aunt Betty lookalikes’.

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