The New Zealand Ice Cream Association
The New Zealand Ice Cream Association
2008 New Zealand Ice Cream Awards

The 12th NEW ZEALAND ICE CREAM AWARDS were announced on Thursday, 29th of May 2008 at the NZICA Annual Conference and Awards dinner, held in Christchurch.

The most popular ice cream flavour in New Zealand, Standard Vanilla has won the Supreme Award of the 2008 New Zealand Ice Cream Awards. Invercargill-based ice cream manufacturers Deep South have fought off challenges from all the exotic Premium ice cream flavours, proving that vanilla is the heart of good ice cream.

The Supreme Award is given to the ice cream with the highest score across all Categories, and this year the Award went to the winner of the Standard Vanilla Ice Cream Category with a score of 99 points:

The Supreme Award for 2008 went to Deep South 2007 Ltd for their Standard Vanilla Ice Cream

Not only did Deep South win the Supreme Award, but they also won Best in Category for their Standard Chocolate and Hokey Pokey ice creams.

A record 206 entries greeted the judges during the days of 7 - 9th May when the annual Ice Cream Awards were judged 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. The judges were Mrs Kay McMath, Ms Joanna Boese and Ms Susan Crowhen of Auckland and Mr Craig Davis from Sydney.

International judging guidelines were followed 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

It was a mammoth task to choose not only the awards for each category (now 12 in total including packaging), but to find an overall winner.

The areas of growth this year were in the new class of Premium vanilla, Premium ice cream (up by 16%) and Gelatos and Sorbets (up by 10%)

With increasing costs of raw materials and the squeeze exerted by the retail giants - the challenge is for ice cream manufacturers to continue to produce a creamy flavour and texture such as is known and expected by the New Zealand consumer. While the temptation is to reduce costs at the expense of quality - manufacturers who were able to maintain that full bodied flavour and texture of the dairy ingredients really won on the day.

The first category judged (Standard vanilla ice cream) is always a good indicator of the quality to come. If manufacturers can meet the challenge of making a product with good mouthfeel and flavour in this category, without the luxury of higher fat and indulgent flavours to give that premium experience - they truly know and understand what constitutes ice cream quality.

Again this year, for the sixth consecutive time, the award for the Best Standard Vanilla Ice cream went to Deep South, which also won the Supreme Award.

The Open Creative Category attracted several new entrants with some very novel ideas. The judges were exposed to peanut butter ice cream, bacon and egg ice cream and Mexican ice cream (a mix of chilli and corn chips).

Children aged 8 - 12 years from Dairy Flat Primary School, accompanied by just as enthusiastic principal and parents, came along to judge the Kids Choice category. The children were certainly not afraid of using extremes of the scale from "yum" to "yuk" to sort out the winners among 14 entries targeted at them. For their efforts - the sponsors of this category, Salkat New Zealand Ltd presented the children with their own "Ice Cream Judge 2008" apparel. Kid's Choice category was won by Fonterra Brands (Tip Top) Goody Goody Gum Drops.

The Premium Category is where the higher milk fat content (>12%) allows manufacturers to indulge their fantasies in a wide range of flavours. Favourites such as Hokey Pokey went head to head with new flavours of Blue Cheese and Pear, and Pecan and Pumpkin. The winner of this category, Killinchy Gold Cookies & Cream, managed to combine the flavours of both cookies and cream in an all natural vanilla ice cream with Oreo cookies.

The challenges of making a low fat product which has the mouthfeel and flavour release of a full fat version is a test of not only formulations, but also process control. The closest entry to match the perception of a full cream product - without the kilojoules, was an all-natural 97% fat free frozen yoghurt made with wild berry ripple manufactured by New Zealand Natural Pty Ltd.

The Gelato/Gelati/Sorbet category attracted a record 44 entries. Fruit flavours competed with chocolate and various coffee styles with the addition of nuts, honey and alcohol for more indulgence. The category continues to grow with consumers enjoying the superior quality of the flavour varieties possible in these formulations. The category was won by Kapiti Tamarillo Sorbet.

The Packaging categories were redefined this year to include only new packaging which had been introduced during the past 12 months, plus a category for Innovative Packaging. Judging was performed by Tom Robertson, Senior Lecturer in Packaging at Massey University. The Innovative category was won by Fonterra Brands (Tip Top) Ltd for their Big Thumb Stick and the new packaging category was won by New Zealand Natural Pty Ltd.

The New Zealand Ice Cream Manufacturers' Association enjoys its 81st year 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. Healthy indulgence without the guilt, is the theme of this year's Conference and remains 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 2008 Awards is here.

Photos of the 2008 Awards presentations and winners here.

BackBack to the Awards page
2008 New Zealand Ice Cream Awards category winners and full list of Awards.

Photos from the 2008 NZ Ice Cream Awards presentations and Dinner.

2008 Supreme Award

Vanilla Ice Cream
by Deep South 2007 Ltd

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