The New Zealand Ice Cream Association
The New Zealand Ice Cream Association
What makes ice cream from New Zealand so good? Why do New Zealanders eat so much of it, and why is it exported to so many countries?

The local market

At 23 litres per capita per annum, New Zealanders are amongst the biggest eaters of ice cream in the world, and most recent figures put us at the very top, ahead of Australia and the USA. Ice cream and edible ices account for about $1 of every $44 spent on food by New Zealand households (Statistics New Zealand).

This is not only testament to the quality of ice cream produced here over many years, but evidence of a discriminating local consumer base - New Zealanders love their dairy products and know their ice cream! As a result, the ice cream market is historically very innovative and extremely competitive for its size.

Ice cream has always been very affordable in this country - ice cream prices over the three decades to 2010 are shown in The chilling facts about ice cream: tracking prices in the CPI, by Statistics New Zealand.

The ingredients

New Zealand is world-famous for the quality of its dairy products, which are in turn the result of a clean environment, year-round grazing on outdoor pasture, a technologically advanced dairy industry, and strict quality and hygiene standards. New Zealand ice cream is made from the best and freshest dairy ingredients available anywhere.

The manufacturing technology

A combination of an open and highly competitive marketplace, and historical distance from equipment suppliers, has helped to build ice cream manufacturing technology and engineering infrastructure to a level that allows local manufacturers to successfully hold their own against multinational competition.

Technological breakthroughs such as Tip Top's world-first mass production of a multi-chocolate-coated, marshmallow-injected premium ice cream stick novelty prove that New Zealand ice cream manufacturing technology is up there with the best:
Memphis Meltdown Rocky Road

The quality standards

Our world famous manufacturing dairy industry has provided an environment that the ice cream industry has benefited from - strict quality and hygiene standards, a tight regulatory structure,and excellent training facilities.

New Zealand is free of most animal diseases, and our large agricultural-based export industries depend on the country maintaining this clean status.

Manufacturing, export quality and hygiene regulations are administered by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

The ice cream industry has been proactive in setting up its own Guidelines for Ice Cream, prescribing minimum food safety standards from farm to supermarket. Both MPI (MAF/NZ Food Safety Authority) and the Ministry of Health were involved in the development of this Code, previously administered by MPI.

These Guidelines are now owned and administered by The New Zealand Ice Cream Manufacturers' Association (Inc) (NZICA).

New Zealand ice cream manufacturers are determined that they will maintain and build on their reputation for producing some of the best ice cream in the world.
Since 2002 New Zealand ice cream has been defined under the Joint Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, administered by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).

Ice Cream is defined as a sweet frozen food made from cream or milk products or both, and other foods, generally aerated, and consisting of not less than 100g/kg of milk fat, and not less than 168g/litre of food solids. (Standard 2.5.6)

There are separate definitions for lower fat products, or products where the fat comes from another source such as coconut oil, under Reduced Fat Ice Cream, Low Fat Ice Cream, and Frozen Confection:

Reduced Fat Ice Cream: 25% less fat than standard ice cream.

Low Fat Ice Cream: Not more than 3.0 grams fat per 100 g ice cream.

Frozen Confection covers frozen desserts with no regulated fat content.

Ice cream consumption: Per capita consumption of ice cream and related products is estimated to be 22-23 litres per annum. New Zealanders are amongst the biggest consumers of ice cream in the world - most recent figures put us at the very top, just ahead of Australia and the USA.

Ice cream exports: New Zealand exports approximately 12,000 tonnes of ice cream each year, at a value of around NZ$70 million (FOB).
Ice cream export/import statistics

From importing American lake-harvested ice in the 1860s, and importing American ice cream recipes and parlour designs in the 1920s and 30s, the New Zealand ice cream industry has today come full circle, exporting New Zealand-branded ice cream, flavours and retailing concepts to countries all around the world.
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Copyright © The New Zealand Ice Cream Association (Inc.)
PO Box 9364, Wellington,
Telephone +64 4 385 1410.
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