The Ice Cream Awards – instituted in 1997 – are being held again this year and entries are open. The specific objective of the Awards is the raising of standards and promoting the quality of New Zealand Ice Cream, and the results will be announced at the Annual Conference in Auckland on Thursday, 28 May 2015.
In 2012 organisers introduced a new category for “Best of …” and the first flavour to feature was New Zealand’s iconic ice cream flavour, Hokey Pokey followed by another favourite, Cookies & Cream and last year Chocolate. This year they have chosen to showcase the “Best of Berries”.
They also introduced an additional “New to Market” Award in 2012 that was presented to the highest total score, as judged in the appropriate category, for a new product launched in the previous 12 months. There were 83 entries eligible for this Award last year (88 in 2013), 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, the awards will continue to have a Supreme Award for Large Manufacturers and a Supreme Award for Boutique Manufacturers. Similar to the New Zealand Cheese Awards, 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 the Supreme Award for a Large Manufacturer went to New Zealand Natural English Toffee made by New Zealand Natural. The Supreme Award for a Boutique Manufacturer was awarded to an entry in the Premium Ice Cream category, Maple Walnut Ice Cream made by Rush Munro’s of NZ Ltd.
The ‘Open Creative’ category once again has two sections, Ice Cream and Gelato/Sorbet, and is open to any individual, restaurant, hotel or catering establishment that produces and serves these products on the premises.
Kay McMath is the Chief Judge and judging will take place at The FoodBowl, Auckland in early May. The ’Kids’ Choice’ category will again be judged by local school children.
The closing date for entry forms is Friday, April 24, 2015 and product samples must be delivered to The FoodBowl for judging by Thursday, 30 April.
Entry Forms and Rules are available on the NZICMA website www.nzicecream.org.nz