Banger baron Ben Polkinghorne puts agency life on hold, wins thing, gets set to take his meaty idea to the world

Ben Polkinghorne had an odd hobby: burritos. When he wasn’t writing copy and winning various awards at Colenso BBDO, he sought them out, reviewed them, experimented with new varieties. Then last year he met a guy with another odd passion: sausages. And the burrito-flavoured sausage was born. Now the entrepreneur has quit his day job to take the Bangerrito to the world —and, in a nice send off, he also won IdealogLive’s Pitch Circus last night. 

  • Check out the full story of the creation of the Bangerrito here

“The thing with sausages is that there are no rules, so we thought: ‘Why not mix meat, whole black beans and chunks of ingredients into a sausage’. Then we thought, instead of a piece of stale white bread, why not serve it in a tortilla, with guacamole, hot sauce and sour cream?”

Six months, and 50,000 bangerritos later—sold mainly through supermarkets like Farro Fresh, Nosh and Moore Wilson, as well as through My Food Bag—Polkinghorne will soon head for Sydney and then London to set up distribution.

Working at an agency that might take six months to create an ad campaign, he says he’s found it satisfying to create a profitable business that has potential in other markets in about the same amount of time, so he felt it was time to concentrate on his own business. And at last night’s Idealog’s latest Pitch Circus event at Auckland’s Seafarers venue, he told the crowd that his entrepreneurial journey had been chaotic (its first public showing was a “probably illegal” barbecue on a footpath in Ponsonby). The company is set to celebrate its anniversary with the launch of a tequila-soaked chicken Bangerrito (a co-branded initiative with Jose Cuervo that comes under the threshold required for labelling of alcoholic products) and a party at Britomart Country Club bar on June 6 (it is planning on adding vegetarian and beef bangers at some stage and an alpaca farmer has also been in touch, which Polkinghorne liked the idea of). 


Second place at Pitch Circus went to Sarah Richie, whose A.M.Insider website addresses the lack of professional development tools for account managers in the advertising and print industries.

“In my career I needed training and resources that didn’t exist, and it turns out it’s a global problem. I decided to do something about it.”

Meanwhile, Desmond Chai pitched his company Indent Star, which sources and manufactures a range of sustainable bamboo products, from stationary and keyboards to toys.

“Clients find it hard to source sustainable products. I’m sourcing from Japan, Vietnam and China and can help overcome cultural and language barriers.

Idealog Pitch Circus winners get featured in Idealog magazine and online, receive $1000, a package of business and IP advice, and a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label. To compete, pitch us your idea at [email protected]

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