As other large-scale confectionery manufacturers move their operations overseas, there is still one company sticking to its New Zealand roots.
Oamaru’s Rainbow Confectionery is proudly New Zealand-owned and believes in the importance of offering New Zealanders locally-made confectionery.
When manufacturing of beloved pineapple lumps moved to Aussie shores, Rainbow Confectionery, maker of the original product, continued to make the chocolate treat.
Now, as Cadbury has announced its popular marshmallow eggs would be changing design to be cut down the middle and sold as a half egg shape, as well as no longer being wrapped in foil, Rainbow Confectionery general manager Brent Baillie assured candy lovers the Oamaru factory would not be doing things by halves this Easter.
“For us, when it comes to making the marshmallow egg, there’s simply no compromise,” he said.
“We like to do things the good old-fashioned way. This means we use a combination of people labour and machines to ensure we continue delivering the shape and taste Kiwis have come to expect from the marshmallow egg.”
Rainbow Confectionery, which employs more than 100 people, starts its Easter egg production in November.
To help meet its yearly demand of 9 million eggs, the factory also hires an additional 42 staff, who help join the egg halves together by hand.
“Whilst we appreciate joining eggs by hand can be costly to a business, our competitors across the ditch have chosen to rely purely on machinery to produce the non-egg-shaped marshmallow egg,” he said.
“We feel this is a real shame.”
He believed many manufacturers were leaving New Zealand because it had a small market.
“That’s one of the reasons a lot of these people are leaving [is] because they’re working on a global scale – that is globalisation at the end of the day,” he said.
“What does little old New Zealand mean to them? Not a lot.”
Mr Baillie said he was pleased to be able to offer a wide range of career opportunities for people in Oamaru.
Every year, Rainbow Confectionery produces 9 million marshmallow eggs. If they were to be placed side by side, the eggs would stretch 540km.
Since 2012, Rainbow Confectionery has increased its marshmallow egg production by 6 million eggs.
Manufacturing for Easter runs from November through to March.
In April 2017, the factory completed a $3 million expansion project, which meant it could boost production capacity from about 2700 tonnes a year to 8000 tonnes a year.
At present, it is the largest manufacturer of gummy lollies in the country, and still produces classic New Zealand sweets such as pineapple chunks, chocolate-coated baby fish and whole marshmallow easter eggs.