The New Zealand Ice Cream Association
The New Zealand Ice Cream Association
2009 New Zealand Ice Cream Awards

The 13th NEW ZEALAND ICE CREAM AWARDS were announced at the special Awards Dinner held during the NZ Ice Cream Manufacturers' Assn. Conference in Palmerston North on Thursday, 28th MAY 2009.

" You could definitely eat more than a spoonful of this" was the verdict of the Judges when they awarded the 2009 New Zealand Ice Cream Supreme Award to Takapuna Beach Café & Store for their Licorice Gelato.

The Supreme Award for 2009 went to Takapuna Beach Café & Store for their Licorice Gelato

This Gelato, with the highest score overall, was described by the Judges as near to perfect with its delicate aniseed type flavour and smooth creamy texture. Not only did Takapuna Beach Café & Store win the Supreme Award and Gelato Best in Category for their Licorice Gelato, but they also won the Sorbet Best in Category for their Mango Sorbet.

In its 82nd year the New Zealand Ice Cream Manufacturers' Association (Inc.) is continuing to diversify with the membership of smaller boutique operators who are contributing new ideas of flavours and products. "Small" is proving to be as good as "big" in terms of the ideas generated and the quality of products.

The main judging of the New Zealand Ice Cream Awards was undertaken during the first week of May at the Massey University campus, Food Technology Department in Albany, Auckland. Food Technology students acted as stewards enabling the Judges to focus on getting through the large number of entries - a record of 211 ice creams/gelatos/sorbets split over 11 categories. Some changes to the Rules enabled the gelatos and sorbets to be separated for judging and this encouraged many small manufacturers to enter resulting in large increases from last year in both these categories.

Judges (Mrs Kay McMath, Ms Joanna Boese, Mrs Susan Crowhen and Mr Aaron Pooch of Auckland, and Mr Garry Baker from Sydney) used international judging criteria with each ice cream being awarded the maximum possible marks of 100 and from this points were deducted for various imperfections in each of 4 areas:
Appearance defects
Body and texture
Flavour defects
Melting defects

While the regular favourites were entered - hokey pokey, cookies and cream, strawberry and chocolate - there were some new variations on the themes. New Zealand fruits such as feijoa, figs and guava were among the entries along with lavender, Manuka honey and lemon curd.

Open Creative entries - for those ice creams, gelatos and sorbets not available in the retail market - included some more savoury flavours such as salmon, pear and blue cheese, and strawberries, cracked pepper and nasturtium flowers.

Judges noted the increasing quality and variety in the Gelato and Sorbet categories. The range of flavours in the Gelato category was not restricted to fruits, but included such flavours as carrot cake, licorice, Easter bun, honey and date. The texture of many of the entries was superb with the creamy smooth "mouth feel" giving maximum flavour release.

By comparison, the ice cream entries did not show the same degree of innovation with old time favourites being re-entered. The Premium Ice Cream numbers have remained static over the past two years maybe reflecting market demands for great tasting lower fat products.

The task of selecting the overall winner was made easier this year by some regulation changes sorting ice creams according to their formulations (premium vs. standard) and separating the gelatos from sorbets.

The Award for the Best Premium Vanilla Ice Cream went to Deep South 2007 Ltd for their Deep South French Vanilla.

"Divine" was how one little boy from Three Kings School described the ice creams he and his fellow classmates had to judge as their role in deciding winner of the Kids Choice category in this year's Awards. They all considered they had the "best job in the world" and judging ice cream sure bet doing maths or reading for a morning. The favourite among the children was Killinchy Gold Chocolate Fudge Brownie manufactured by Emerald Foods.

The Premium category is where the higher fat and solids content (11%) results in indulgent ice creams. While the classics of chocolate, coffee, hokey pokey, strawberry and cookies and cream were entered, the winner was Limonata Cheesecake, a delicately flavoured lemon cheesecake ice cream with lemon curd ripple and biscuit pieces manufactured by Kiwi Ice Cream Co Ltd.

By contrast, the Low Fat category does not have the luxury of adding fat for that indulgent flavour, but the industry can be proud of the increasing quality of low fat frozen desserts which do not have the stickiness and gumminess associated with earlier entries. The winner of this category was Chateau Strawberry Yoghurt made by Emerald Foods. This was not only low in fat, but had the added health benefits of pre and pro biotics with bifidus and acidophilus.

The New Packaging category (for new packaging introduced in the last 12 months) included both shippers, outers and product containers and it was pleasing to note the high quality of graphic design from small manufacturers such as Orgasmic Organic Ice Cream and Blue River Dairy Products. The Best in Category for New Packaging was awarded to Emerald Foods.

A full list of the 2009 Awards is here.

Photos of the 2009 Awards presentations and winners here.

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2009 New Zealand Ice Cream Awards category winners and full list of Awards.

Photos from the 2009 NZ Ice Cream Awards presentations and Dinner.

2009 Supreme Award

Licorice Gelato
by Takapuna Beach Café & Store

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