Green tea and chai latte flavoured ice creams have scooped the top awards at the 21st Annual New Zealand Ice Cream Awards.

Waffle with bacon and bourbon ripple, blue cheese, pear, walnut and honeycomb, and rockmelon and prosciutto were among the innovations entered.

But it was the flavour, body and texture of the green tea and chai latte ice creams that impressed judges the most.

A panel of judges, including chef Geoff Scott, assessed a record number of entries across 12 categories in early May and tonight announced the winners.


Talley's Group Ltd won the Supreme Award for Large Manufacturer with its Talley's Export Green Tea Ice Cream, the best standard ice cream.

It stood out for having a good "creamy texture and green tea flavour with no astringency", judges said.

The Supreme Award for a Boutique Manufacturer was awarded to Puhoi Valley Cafe, which won with their Chai Latte Ice Cream.

There was a record 340 entries from 31 companies and individuals this year, with the award winners representing an even spread across both large and boutique ice cream makers.

The largest number of entries came from sorbet with 60 entries, premium ice cream with 53 entries and gelato with 44 entries.

A new non-dairy category was added to reflected the growth in the industry.

Kohu Road Ltd took the top spot in non-dairy for its Kohu Road dairy-free strawberry flavour.

This year's 'Best of' category was coffee, with 33 entries from ice cream, gelato and sorbet manufacturers.

The judges selected Matakana Roasted Affogato Yoghurt Ice Cream made by Puhoi Valley Cafe as the winner of the category.

The winner in the Kids Choice category was very predictable - Candy Floss and Marshmallow Ice Cream by Puhoi Valley Cafe.

A dozen students from Westmere School in Auckland judged 15 different ice creams.

They rated the ice creams from "really yucky" to "really yummy" and in the end, it was the Candy Floss and Marshmallow Ice Cream that licked the competition.

Other winners included:
Gelato: Kowhai Creamery - Velluto Blueberry Yoghurt Gelato
Sorbet: Joint winners Carrello del Gelato - Feijoa Sorbet and Tip Top Ice Cream - Tip Top Top Notch Mango Sorbet
Standard Vanilla Ice Cream: Much Moore Ice Cream Co Ltd - Much Moore Wonders Vanilla Ice Cream
Premium Vanilla Ice Cream: Talley's Group Ltd - Talley's Premium Export Vanilla Ice Cream
Export Ice Cream: Emerald Foods Ltd - Killinchy Gold Chocolate Fudge
Low-Fat: joint winners Much Moore Ice Cream Co Ltd - Much Moore Awesome Strawberry Yoghurt Low Fat Ice Cream and Tip Top Ice Cream - Tip Top Light Vanilla
Best New to Market: Kowhai Creamery - Zesty Lemon Curd Gelato