Entries are open for the 2020 New Zealand Ice Cream Awards at a new website www.nzicecreamawards.co.nz.

The Awards, owned and run by the NZ Ice Cream Manufacturers Association, have been held since 1997 and are in their 23rd 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 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.

Judging at the 2019 Awards.

Every year the Awards feature a specialist category to encourage entrants to try new ideas and to innovate. This year ‘Best of Fruit’ is the special category. Conditions require any ice cream, gelato, sorbet, low fat or dairy-free frozen product entered in this category should taste of (and feature) the fruit or fruits; apricot, avocado, cherry, date, lychee, mango, nectarine, olive, peach, plum and/or hybrids including; aprium, peacherine, plucot and plumcot.


This year management of the Awards has undergone significant change, with new organisers Marvellous Marketing appointed to oversee the logistics and marketing and with the appointment of Jackie Matthews as the new Chief Judge.

Jackie Matthews has revised the scoring protocol for the Open Creative category to recognise innovation. She says this year judges will score Open Creative entries giving 25% of the marks for innovation and 25% for execution with the final 50% of the marks for the technical aspects of the entry’s production. Jackie wants to ensure entrants are recognised for great ideas and combinations which may otherwise be marked down on technical issues. Jackie said, “part of the Awards job is to encourage innovation and creativity and we want to make sure this is recognised in the judging.”

Jackie has extended the pool of talented judges to include food writers and chefs; she said their understanding of consumer tastes sits well alongside the focus of technical judges. Having more judges will allow the majority of assessment to be undertaken at Auckland’s FoodBowl over one day. A reduced panel of judges will return with fresh palates for a second day to re-taste the highest scoring entries and select 12 Category Champions, the Supreme Champion and Formula Foods Supreme Champion Boutique. 

A People’s Choice Award has been introduced and ice cream lovers will be encouraged to vote for their favourite NZ Ice Cream and/or Favourite NZ Ice Cream or Gelato store. Online voting will run during September and into mid-October and winners will be announced at the Gala Awards Dinner on Wednesday 4 November.

For the first time, an online Awards entry process has been developed. Ice cream, gelato, sorbet and dairy-free producers are invited to visit www.nzicecreamawards.co.nz to enter online and pay for entries at the same time. Producers with 10 or more entries can enter by completing a detailed spreadsheet.


Supreme Champions

  •  Supreme Champion
  •  Formula Foods Supreme Boutique Champion

Category Champions

  •  Best of Fruit Champion
  •  Fonterra NZ Standard Vanilla Ice Cream Champion
  •  IMCD Givaudan Premium Vanilla Ice Cream Champion
  •  ALTO/Pact Group Standard Ice Cream Champion
  •  Chelsea Sugar Premium Ice Cream Champion
  • Open Creative Ice Cream and Open Creative Gelato/Sorbet Champions
  •  Sensient Technologies Gelato Champion
  •  In-Fruit Sorbet Champion
  •  Hawkins Watts Low Fat/Frozen Yoghurt Champion
  •  Dairy-Free Champion
  •  New Zealand Food Safety Export Champion
  •  New to Market Champion
  •  Pacific Flavours & Ingredients Kids’ Choice   

People’s Choice Awards

  • People’s Choice – Favourite NZ Ice Cream
  • AXIEO People’s Choice – Favourite NZ Ice Cream or Gelato Store


More than 300 ice creams, gelatos, sorbets and dairy-free products are expected to be entered into this year’s Awards. The timeline for the New Zealand Ice Cream Awards 2020 is:

  • Wednesday 9 September – Entries close
  • Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 September – Judging samples to arrive at the FoodBowl, Auckland for judging
  • Friday 25 September – Kids’ Choice Judging
  • Saturday 26 September and Sunday 27 September – Judging at the FoodBowl
  • Tuesday 20 October – Gold and Silver Medal results announced
  • Wednesday 4 November, Conference and Gala Awards Dinner – Cordis Auckland

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