A local icecream firm won't rely on foreign contract manufacturers or long-range shipping when it expands overseas this year.
Auckland-based Pride & Joy - a new venture which aims to help unemployed young people to establish their own icecream retail businesses - will ship its own portable factories to export markets.
The company is already making its Joy Ice Cream for the local market inside a converted, 12m shipping container known as "the hub" that operates in the Auckland suburb of St John.
Co-founder James Coddington said the portable factories, converted by local shipping container firm Royal Wolf, would provide increased product consistency when the company launches overseas.
"Anywhere around the world it will taste like a New Zealand icecream," he said.
"The consistency of products is very important for us, around both the taste, appearance and also having control over the supply chain.
"When you're shipping icecream all over the world, you don't necessarily have full control over that supply chain."
The company is looking to expand this year into countries where youth unemployment is a problem, including Spain, Portugal, Argentina, South Africa and Kenya.
Kapiti Cheese founder Ross McCallum, Pride & Joy's icecream adviser, said the portable factory was sophisticated. "This is a totally integrated mini icecream plant that's highly transportable to any location in the world, while allowing us to retain control over the product."
Royal Wolf specialises in container modification and has previously converted containers for a range of uses including pop-up cafes and retail shopping malls.
The company said one of the biggest challenges of the icecream project was building multiple rooms inside a shipping container where temperatures range from -22C in the freezer to 20C in the main factory.
"That's more than a 40-degree temperature variance within a 29 square metre space which is a big ask," said Glen Millen, Royal Wolf's North Island sales manager.
Pride & Joy's store operators already run four retail "pods" in central Auckland.
Coddington said five more New Zealand stores would open this year in Kerikeri, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Wellington and Christchurch.