Sweet success: Gareth's chocolate popcorn a winner

Gareth Midgley with Lizzy Ryley, David Nobay, Carolyn Creswell and Darren Robertson.
Gareth Midgley with Lizzy Ryley, David Nobay, Carolyn Creswell and Darren Robertson. Nigel Wright

GARETH Midgley's sell-out success Chocorn has earned him a permanent space on Woolworths shelves.

 The 35-year-old was crowned Australia's first-ever Recipe to Riches winner tonight, taking home $100,000 and a partnership with the supermarket giant to continue improving on his hit recipe.

"This is like my childhood Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory dreams come true," Midgley said.

"It's going to change my life massively. I'm really into food, I love cooking, I love making products and I love working with chocolate."

The 35-year-old graphic artist's sweet and crunchy snack sold out in more Woolworths stores than any other product featured on the show, and will return to stores in the New Year.

But with Cadbury bringing out its own chocolate popcorn product three months ago, Midgley admits he was nervous about how his product would be received.

"Cadbury brought out theirs before my episode aired but after we'd filmed, so I was nervous," he said.

"Trying it, I still felt like my product was better. I did sneaky focus groups with my friends and family and they all picked Chocorn.

"I really worked on getting all the flavours from the popcorn to the caramel to the chocolate absolutely perfect. When people try it in Australia it is something special, not just sweet things thrown together."

Midgley revealed to APN that he has plenty more in store for Aussie shoppers with a sweet tooth.

"There are other flavours which are quite exotic that I'd love to bring out," he said.

Those exotic flavours include Arabica coffee, Chipotle chili and nutmeg and mace.

The video game maker also plans to put his tech experience to work creating an interactive app for Chocorn.

"I'm definitely someone who thinks about business, so I'm going to put as much of that (my winnings) as I can into helping to make this product the best it can be," he said.

"I'd love to see other flavours coming out. I'd love to see it exported. I'm going to put it all back into Chocorn."

Topics:  recipe to riches

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