The New Zealand Ice Cream Association
The New Zealand Ice Cream Association
2007 New Zealand Ice Cream Awards

The eleventh New Zealand Ice Cream Awards were announced at the annual NZICA Conference in ROTORUA on Thursday, 31st of May 2007.

187 Ice Cream, Gelato, Sorbet & Low Fat entries, and 29 Packaging entries were submitted for judging in ten categories by four ice cream judges, Mr Garry Baker from Sydney, Ms Kay McMath, Ms Christine O’Sullivan and Ms Joanna Boese from Auckland, and two packaging judges, Tom Robertson and Michael Parker.

The Kids Choice category was judged by 8 children aged 7 and 8 years – from St Ignatious and Bayfield Schools.

The Supreme Award is given to the ice cream with the highest score across all categories. This year the award went to the winner of the Export Category with a score of 99.25 points for their ice cream destined for Asia.

The Supreme Award for 2007 went to Kapiti Fine Foods Ltd for their Lemon Grass and Ginger Ice Cream.


International judging guidelines were followed with each ice cream being awarded the maximum possible marks of 100, from which points were deducted for various imperfections in each of 4 areas:

Appearance defects
Body and texture
Flavour defects
Melting defects

Entries were in 9 categories with Category 5 (Open Creative) being split into Ice Cream (Category 5a) and Gelato/Sorbets (Category 5b). This made the task of the judges very much easier in comparing like samples with like.


The overall Award in the Open Creative Category went to Rush Munro's for their Rose Petal ice cream (complete with inclusions of chocolate covered petals), while Valentino's, a small Auckland Gelati owner operator, was the highest scoring entry in the Gelato/Sorbet class for their Blackberry Pie (authentic even down to the pastry flavour !). Entries in this category were not eligible for the Supreme Award as the products should not be available for sale in any retail outlet, the aim being to encourage entries from hotels, restaurants, food institutes and other catering establishments.

The Gelato/Sorbet Category attracted a record 40 entries. Old favourites like Cookies and Cream competed with chocolate, nuts, meringue and a full range of NZ traditional and more exotic fruits (tamarillos, Amaregna cherries, etc). The category continues to grow with consumers enjoying the superior quality of fruit flavours possible in these formulations.

The Kids Choice category was judged by 8 children aged 7 and 8 years - from St Ignatious and Bayfield Schools. They took the task very seriously and while their initial reactions were all very favourable - their final judgment after evaluating the 11 ice creams entered in the category was discriminatory. Flavour was the chief determinant and while some ice creams found favour in appearance, if the flavour didn't stack up - the overall appeal suffered.

The category for plain Vanilla ice cream continues to present manufacturers with the challenge of producing the perfect texture and subtle dairy flavour in an ice cream without the luxury of using other than vanilla flavours to enhance the raw ingredients. Manufacturers can use this category not only to bench mark their products against competitors, but to gauge their process control. Again this year, for the fifth consecutive time, the Award for the Best Vanilla Ice cream went to Deep South 2007 Ltd for their French Vanilla Ice Cream.

After finding the task of judging packaging combined with export ice creams difficult in previous years, the section was split to judge Export Packaging separately, as well as creating a new category for Domestic Packaging. These categories were judged by Tom Robertson, a Senior Lecturer in Packaging at Massey University, assisted by Michael Parker, who both found the entries exciting and innovative.

The Gold Award for Export Packaging was awarded to Emerald Foods Ltd for the presentation of their Japanese Private Label Vanilla.

The Gold Award for Domestic Packaging was awarded to Kapiti Fine Foods for their 5 Litre Black Doris Plum packaging.

The Export Category, sponsored by Allberry House Ltd, included a range of vanilla ice creams destined for Japan and Asia. These products require the manufacturers to understand the market requirements for dairy based ice creams which differ markedly from local (NZ and Australia) ice creams.


The ice cream judges were impressed by the berryfruit flavours that were incorporated into many entries. A wonderful summer has provided a full fruit flavour that carried the freshness and authenticity of the fruit through to the ice cream.

Every year the competition continues to attract new entries as the industry is constantly challenged to produce new products and the number of entries from small manufacturers increases. A record number of entries (187 ice creams plus 29 entries for packaging) were submitted this year by 24 manufacturers - from the global manufacturer to smaller local owner operators. It was encouraging to see the quality of ice creams, gelatos and sorbets of especially the small operators who don't always have access to the technology or R & D resources of larger companies.

The judging took place over two full days, hosted again by Massey University, Food Technology Department, with the help of their administration and laboratory staff. Students acted as stewards enabling the judges to focus on getting through the large number of entries.

The ice cream judges were Ms Kay McMath, Ms Joanna Boese and Ms Christine O'Sullivan all of Auckland, and Mr Garry Baker from Sydney.

The New Zealand Ice Cream Manufacturers' Association celebrates it's 80th year (the birthday cake is appropriately being made of ice cream!) and is testimony to the strength of the industry to survive increasing competition from imported products. Being a nation of dairy consumers - New Zealanders love their own unique style of ice cream. Indulgence without the guilt is the challenge for the supplier companies and manufacturers. The Ice Cream Awards will continue to promote creativity, excellence and innovation in the industry.

A full list of the 2007 Awards is here.

Photos of the 2007 Awards presentations and winners here.

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2007 New Zealand Ice Cream Awards category winners and full list of Awards.

Photos from the 2007 NZ Ice Cream Awards presentations and Dinner.

2007 Supreme Award

Lemon Grass and Ginger Ice Cream
by Kapiti Fine Foods Ltd

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