Hospitality Business Magazine

Entries open for NZ Ice Cream Awards

Entries open this week for the 2021 New Zealand Ice Cream Awards at

The Awards, owned and run by the NZ Ice Cream Manufacturers Association (NZICMA), have been held since 1997 and are in their 25th year. It is New Zealand’s only national ice cream, gelato, sorbet and dairy-free frozen products competition. The NZ Ice Cream Awards benchmark the best in New Zealand and celebrate the local industry. 

Ice cream, gelato, sorbet and dairy-free frozen confectionery producers throughout New Zealand are encouraged to submit products for consideration with the assurance that judging is objective and transparent, conducted by an independent panel of food experts.

Every year the Awards feature a specialist category to encourage entrants to try new ideas and to innovate. This year ‘Best of Chocolate’ is the special category. Conditions require any ice cream, gelato, sorbet, dairy-free or low-fat products entered must contain cocoa derivatives and the hero (dominant) flavour must be chocolate, products may include chocolate ripples and inclusions.

Jackie Matthews is again the Chief Judge. She has huge technical knowledge of ice cream, gelato, sorbet and dairy-free frozen products. She is a former President of the Association and a long serving member of the NZICMA Technical Committee. The Awards are fortunate to have someone of Jackie’s calibre and experience as chief judge.

In a change to judging rules for 2021 all products entered in the competition are now eligible for the Supreme Champion Awards.

To acknowledge creativity in the industry a new ‘Innovation’ category is to be awarded. Jackie Matthews says this category will consider many things, it may be the packaging, or the production technique, or the ingredient sourcing etc, not just the flavour combination.

The judging panel this year will again include technical judges who will work alongside food judges and chefs. Judging will take place on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 September at The FoodBowl in Auckland. From an expected 300 plus entries 14 Category Champions, the Supreme Champion and Supreme Champion Boutique will be selected.

Entry is again online or producers with 10 or more entries can enter by completing a detailed spreadsheet.


Supreme Champions

o       Supreme Champion

o       Supreme Boutique Champion

Category Champions

o       Best of Chocolate Champion

o       Standard Vanilla Ice Cream Champion

o       Premium Vanilla Ice Cream Champion

o       Standard Ice Cream Champion

o       Premium Ice Cream Champion

o       Open Creative Ice Cream and Open Creative Gelato/Sorbet Champions

o       Gelato Champion

o       Sorbet Champion

o       Low Fat/Frozen Yoghurt Champion

o       Dairy-Free Champion

o       Export Champion

o       New to Market Champion

o       Innovation Champion

o       Kids’ Choice  


More than 300 ice creams, gelatos, sorbets, dairy-free and low-fat frozen products are expected to be entered into this year’s Awards. The timeline for the New Zealand Ice Cream Awards 2021 is:

o       Friday 10 September – Entries close

o       Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 September – Judging samples to arrive at the FoodBowl, Auckland for judging

o       Saturday 25 September and Sunday 26 September – Judging at the FoodBowl

o       Monday 18 October – Gold and Silver Medal results announced

o       Wednesday 3 November, Conference and Gala Awards Dinner – Mantell’s Tamaki Drive, Auckland