Entries are now open for the 22nd New Zealand Ice Cream Awards with the judging commencing from the 30th April. The specific objective of the Awards is the raising of standards and promoting the quality of New Zealand Ice Cream.  The results will be announced at the Awards Dinner in Auckland on  Thursday, 31 May 2018.

The “Best of …” category was introduced six years ago and the first flavour to feature was New Zealand’s iconic Hokey Pokey.  Previous flavour categories have been Cookies & Cream, Chocolate, Berries, Caramel and Coffee.  This year we have chosen to showcase the “Best of Coconut”.

In 2012 a “New to Market” Award was introduced which is presented to the highest total score, as judged in the appropriate category, for a new product launched in the previous 12 months.  Last year there were 78 entries eligible for this Award which shows the depth of innovation in the ice cream industry.  This Award will be presented again this year.

In recognition of the growth in small boutique ice cream and gelato manufacturers, we will continue to have a Supreme Award for Large Manufacturers and a Supreme Award for Boutique Manufacturers.  The criteria will be determined by the manufacturer’s annual production with a declaration on the entry form.  A Boutique manufacturer must produce less than 500,000 litres per annum.

Any manufacturer (large or boutique) or individual can enter the New Zealand Ice Cream Awards and will be eligible for the Silver and Gold Awards, however to win a Best in Category or Supreme Award they must be a Member of The New Zealand Ice Cream Manufacturers’ Association (Inc.) (NZICMA) at the time Judging commences.  All Gold Award winning ice cream entries from NZICMA Members are then eligible for the Supreme Awards based on their score.

Last year a new Non Dairy category was introduced for products considered as dairy-free alternatives to ice cream.  There are also separate categories for Low Fat, Gelato and Sorbet to cater for those products that do not meet the Standard or Premium Ice Cream formulation guidelines.

In 2017 the Supreme Award for a Large Manufacturer went to Talley’s Group Ltd for their Talley’s Export Green Tea.  The Supreme Award for a Boutique Manufacturer was awarded to Puhoi Valley Cafe for their entry in the Premium Ice Cream category, Chai Latte Ice Cream.

The Vanilla Ice Cream judging is divided into Standard and Premium Categories which allows Premium Vanilla Ice Cream to be judged separately from other Premium products.  The Standard Vanilla Ice Cream category will include products that contain between 10%–10.9% milk fat content, and the Premium Vanilla Ice Cream category will contain not less than 11% milk fat and may contain vanilla additions.

The ‘Open Creative’ category once again has two sections, Ice Cream and Gelato/Sorbet, and is open to any individual, student or the Research and Development departments of the manufacturers and suppliers.  Products entered in this category should not be available for sale in any outlet.  The judges pick an overall winner across the two sections of this category and last year’s winner was an ice cream with great flavour balance made by Puhoi Valley Café  called “Puhoi Valley Lemon Cheesecake Ice Cream”.

Last year there were 340 entries coming from a range of large corporate companies as well as small owner-operators of retail outlets.

Each Category will be sponsored by an Associate Member of this Association.  The categories and sponsors of the 2018 New Zealand Ice Cream Awards are:

Category                                                           Sponsored by

1 Standard Vanilla Ice Cream Fonterra
2 Standard Ice Cream Eurofins NZ Laboratory
3 Best of Coconut Davis Food Ingredients
4 Premium Vanilla Ice Cream Formula Foods
5 Premium Ice Cream Chelsea Sugar
6 Export Ice Cream Brenntag NZ Ltd
7 Open Creative Huhtamaki Henderson
8 Kids Choice Pacific Flavours & Ingredients Ltd
9 Gelato Tetra Pak (New Zealand) Ltd
10 Sorbet Alto a division of PACT
11 Low Fat Sensient Technologies
12 Non-Dairy Hawkins Watts
  New to Market Award Axieo


The closing date for entry forms is THURSDAY, 19 APRIL 2018

Products samples must be delivered to The FoodBowl for judging by Thursday, 26 April 2018

Entry Forms and Rules are available on the NZICMA website.