The New Zealand Ice Cream Manufacturers Association
The New Zealand Ice Cream Manufacturers Association


Annual NZ Ice Cream Awards announced – just in time for summer!

(14 November 2019)

Announced last night as part of NZ Ice Cream Week, the diverse range of winners of this years’ NZ Ice Cream Awards reflects the overall quality and wide variety of ice cream that is made in New Zealand. Run by the NZ Ice Cream Manufacturers Association (NZICMA), the more than 300 entries in the awards were judged across 13 different categories by an independent panel of expert food industry judges using a blind judging process and strict criteria.

Hannah Wood, representative of NZICMA and Founder & Chief Gelato Maker at boutique manufacturer Little ‘Lato, says New Zealand-made ice cream and gelato is arguably the best in the world, made from our top quality dairy and other locally sourced ingredients, and the awards are a great opportunity to showcase this.

“It’s fantastic to see so many different ice cream makers – from smaller boutiques to large established manufacturers – take out the coveted ‘Best in Category’ trophies. It demonstrates the high level of quality overall, which is great news for anyone who loves ice cream and gelato,” says Hannah.

Already well-known for its other artisan dairy products, Zany Zeus not only won the ‘Premium Ice Cream’ category but also scooped the Supreme Award for boutique manufacturers for the first time with its Ghana Chocolate ice cream. The judges commented on the ice cream’s dark, rich chocolate flavour, which leaves a clean mouthfeel, calling it absolute indulgence.

Proving that sometimes you just can’t beat the classics, Tip Top once again won the ‘Standard Ice Cream’ category with its Boysenberry Ripple Ice Cream and the 2019 Supreme Award for large manufacturers – the fifth time this flavour has taken this top spot.

There is one category that changes each year to highlight a star ingredient, and for 2019 it was all about nuts. The winner of the ‘Best of Nuts’ category was Little ‘Lato, which made hazelnuts sing in its winning Hazelnut Chocolate gelato. Little ‘Lato also took out the ‘Open Creative’ category with something a little bit different, Massaman Curry gelato.

Judges said that the spicy, sweet Massaman Curry gelato delivered a unique hint to the complex flavours of the popular Thai dish and is a great example of the innovation NZ ice cream makers bring to the ‘Open Creative’ category. There was no shortage of creativity for this year with other entries including turkey with white chocolate gravy and stuffing, and beetroot and ginger.

Talley’s Group proved themselves masters of vanilla, taking out the ‘Standard Vanilla Ice Cream’ category with their Oravida Vanilla as well as the ‘Premium Vanilla Ice Cream’ category with Motueka Creamery’s Mt Arthur Snowfall Vanilla.

“For an insight into new ice cream trends, the New to Market Award is one to watch. It is judged across all the categories for a new product that has been released in the last 12 months,” says Hannah.

This year, there were 115 eligible entries in this category, up from 91 last year, which is a testament to the level of innovation across NZ’s ice cream industry. The 2019 New to Market winner was Gellissimo Gelato’s Pistachio Premo.

Ranking as ‘extra yummy’ on the ‘yum to yuck scale’, Puhoi Valley Cafe’s Puhoi Choc Bomb has landed the Kids Choice Award as voted by a group of VIP 8-12 year old guest judges from local YMCA holiday programmes.

NZ Ice Cream Week culminates in NZ’s national ice cream day, Ice Cream Sundae, on 17 November when Kiwis are encouraged to find their own way to celebrate the role ice cream plays in their lives.

“With summer just around the corner, it’s perfect timing to check out some of the award-winning ice creams, maybe try something new, and show support for local ice cream makers, suppliers and communities across New Zealand who are involved in making our much-loved frozen treat,” says Hannah

Look out for NZ Ice Cream Awards medal stickers on packs in supermarkets and other retail outlets, from the New Year.


For more information or images contact: Deanna Cruse, 027 391 6264

2019 NZ Ice Cream Award winners:

Supreme Award winners

Boutique Manufacturer: Zany Zeus Limited, Ghana Chocolate
Large Manufacturer: Tip Top Ice Cream, Tip Top Boysenberry Ripple

Category winners

Standard Vanilla Ice Cream: Talley’s Group, Oravida Vanilla
Standard Ice Cream: Tip Top Boysenberry Ripple
Best of Nuts: Little ‘Lato, Hazelnut Chocolate
Premium Vanilla Ice Cream: Talley’s Group, Motueka Creamery Mt. Arthur Snowfall

Premium Ice Cream: Kapiti Ice Cream, Kapiti Fig & Manuka Honey (joint winner)
Premium Ice Cream: Zany Zeus, Ghana Chocolate (joint winner)
Open Creative: Little ‘Lato, Massaman Curry
Kids Choice: Puhoi Valley Café, Puhoi Choc Bomb
Gelato: Gelato Roma, Salted Caramel
Sorbet: Gellicious Gelato, Blackcurrant Sorbet
Low Fat: Zany Zeus, Feijoa
Non-Dairy: Little Liberty Creamery, Little Liberty - Double Espresso
New to Market: Gelissimo Gelato, Pistachio Premo

A full list of the 2019 Awards is here.

Photos from the 2019 New Zealand Ice Cream Awards dinner and presentations, coming soon.

About the New Zealand Ice Cream Awards

The New Zealand Ice Cream Awards were introduced in 1997 by The New Zealand Ice Cream Manufacturers' Association (Inc.) to promote and publicise the high standard of New Zealand ice cream.

Judging is held in October (originally at the Massey University Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health (IFNHH), Albany campus; now at The FOODBOWL, Mangere, Auckland), 3 weeks prior to the Association's Annual Conference.

Awards judging, 2017

Judging involves awarding points for a number of key attributes in different properties. Appearance is worth 10 points, Body and Texture - 30 points, Flavour - 50 points and Melting properties - 10 points. Gold Awards are given to entries with more than 95 points, Silver Awards to those between 90 and 95 points.

Over its history there have been various categories for Standard and Premium ice creams, Gelato, Sorbet and Low Fat.

A popular category has been Open Creative which was established to promote creativity in ice cream and frozen confectionery. Examples of entries in this category would be products made and served on the premises of restaurants, hotels and cafés, or produced by polytechnics, or R&D departments of manufacturers and suppliers. This category is now judged in two sections; Ice Cream and Gelato & Sorbet.

The Export category was introduced for products designed specifically for export and a Packaging category was also added to cater for Packaging only, to encourage innovation and creativity in packaging, as well as complying with the New Zealand Packaging Accord.

The New to Market Award recognises the top scoring ice cream, gelato, sorbet, low fat or non dairy product that has been newly introduced by a NZICMA Member in the past 18 months.

Local schoolchildren are invited to be guest judges for the Kids Choice category.

The children are briefed by the Chief Awards Judge, and judge each entry according to the following criteria:

Body and Texture
Overall liking

Then it comes down to rating each entry on a scale of "Really yukky" to "Really yummy" and choosing their overall favourite. There is a need for gender split between the guest judges as boys often have definite preferences from girls!

Kids Choice judging, 2017

Entries have the chance to win Silver, Gold, 'Best in Category' and Supreme Awards.

Since 2011, two Supreme Awards have been on offer - one for Large Manufacturers, and a separate Supreme Award for Boutique Manufacturers. To qualify as a Boutique manufacturer, the manufacturer must produce less than 500,000 litres per annum.

The New Zealand Ice Cream Awards are announced and presented at the NZICMA Conference Awards Dinner, usually held on the Friday evening of the Association's annual Conference.

Historical information on the New Zealand Ice Cream Awards for the years 2000 through to 2018 is also available here on the Association's website:

Any further information is available from:

Mrs Jenny de Lisle
NZICMA Secretary
Office: 04 385 1410

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Full list of 2019 New Zealand Ice Cream Awards winners.

Photos from the 2019 New Zealand Ice Cream Awards dinner and presentations coming soon.

2019 Supreme Award for a Large Manufacturer

Boysenberry Ripple
made by Tip Top Ice Cream

2019 Supreme Award for a Boutique Manufacturer

Ghana Chocolate
made by Zany Zeus Limited

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Telephone +64 4 385 1410.
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