7 Oct 2008

Hangi maker looking to export

7:17 am on 7 October 2008

A maker of ready-to-go hangi meals in Matamata is looking to expand offshore.

Started and run by Ron and Anne Smith in the late 1980s, Puff 'n Billy provides hangi meals for a faster-paced world and is available in some supermarkets.

The company uses lean meat packed with dirt in a patented oven.

Mr Smith says the secret lies in the oven and he's keen to expand overseas. He is currently talking to New Zealand Trade and Enterprise about finding the right model to cross the Tasman, such as franchising.

He says New Zealand families are all familiar with the hangi - so it was not difficult to find a domestic market.

He describes the meals as an ethnic product which fits categories such as sushi, pizza or tacos.

However, he acknowledges people in new markets will need to acquire a taste for it.