The NZ Ice Cream Manufacturers Association (NZICMA) has moved the dates for the 2021 New Zealand Ice Cream Awards, shifting judging to the beginning of November.

Making the announcement NZICMA President Karl Tiefenbacher said while no-one can read the future and know exactly when the Covid lockdown will end, the Association thought it best to make an early decision to secure new dates.

Therefore, judging will be held at the Foodbowl in Mangere on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 November 2021. Medal winners will be announced on Monday 22 November, before the Association hopes to hold its Gala Awards dinner at Mantell’s on Tamaki Drive on Wednesday 1 December.

Pushing the dates out means ice cream, gelato, sorbet and frozen yoghurt makers have until Friday 15 October 2021 to enter online at

Karl said the Association hopes that by pushing out the dates they will be able to celebrate 25 years of promoting local ice cream, gelato, sorbet, dairy-free and low-fat confectionery frozen products through the NZ Ice Cream Awards.

The Awards, run by the NZ Ice Cream Manufacturers Association (NZICMA), have been held since 1997. The New Zealand Ice Cream Awards are the country’s only national ice cream, gelato, sorbet, dairy-free and low-fat frozen confectionery products competition, benchmarking Aotearoa’s best, celebrating the local industry and introducing consumers to delicious new products. 

Aside from the change of date, all other details for the NZ Ice Cream Awards remain the same. For the second year Chief Judge Jackie Matthews will preside over a panel of up to 30 judges. ‘Best of Chocolate’ is the 2021 special category.

An update to rules for 2021 will allow all products judged to be eligible to win the Supreme Champion Awards. That means there’s a possibility that, for the first time in the awards’ 25-year history, frozen confectionery products in addition to ice cream are eligible to win the top accolade.

To acknowledge and encourage industry creativity an ‘Innovation’ category will be awarded for the first time. Jackie says this category will consider many elements over and above the flavour combination. For example, judges may review packaging, production techniques and ingredient sourcing.


Supreme Champions

•       Americold Supreme Champion

•       Formula Foods Supreme Boutique Champion

Category Champions

•       Standard Vanilla Ice Cream Champion

•       IMCD/Givaudan Premium Vanilla Ice Cream Champion

•       PACT Packaging Standard Ice Cream Champion

•       Chelsea Sugar Premium Ice Cream Champion

•       GS Hall & Company Ltd Best of Chocolate

•       Sensient Technologies Gelato Champion

•       Sorbet Champion

•       Export Ice Cream Champion

•       Low Fat/Frozen Yoghurt Champion

•       Hawkins Watt Dairy-Free Champion

•       Open Creative Ice Cream, Gelato or Sorbet Champion

•       New to Market Champion

•       Innovation Champion

•       Pacific Flavours & Ingredients Kids’ Choice Champion


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

o       Friday 15 October – Entries close

o       Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 November – Judging samples to arrive at The Foodbowl, Auckland for judging

o       Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 November- Judging at The Foodbowl

o       Monday 22 November – Gold and Silver Medal results announced

o       Wednesday 1 December, Conference at Remuera Golf Club and Gala Awards Dinner at Mantell’s Tamaki Drive, Auckland

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