Fourteen of Aotearoa’s best ice creams and gelatos made from Queenstown to Auckland by a selection of boutique and large producers have been named Champions at tonight’s NZ Ice Cream Awards 2020.

In the first weekend of October, 17 judges assessed 316 products to find New Zealand’s best ice creams, gelatos, sorbets and dairy-free frozen products. Following announcement of gold and silver medal winners last week, two People’s Choice Winners, 14 Champions and two Supreme Champions were announced at the NZ Ice Cream Awards on Wednesday 4 November.

Top gongs are awarded to; NZ Ice Cream Manufacturers Association Supreme Champion, Much Moore Ice Cream Co, Much Moore Awesome Vanilla Ice Cream and Formula Foods Supreme Boutique Champion, Lewis Road Creamery, Double Mint and Dark Chocolate Ice Cream.

Announcing the 2020 Champions, Chief Judge Jackie Matthews said “Trophy winners have perfected all aspects of their product, including ingredients used, recipes, processing controls, packing, and freezing. It’s the attention to detail in every aspect and bringing it together with the right balance which achieves excellence.”

Jackie said the Supreme Champion, Much Moore Awesome Vanilla Ice Cream was an excellent ice cream with fresh vanilla flavour which is superbly smooth and creamy. Much Moore Awesome Vanilla Ice Cream was also named Givaudan/IMCD Champion Premium Vanilla Ice Cream.

Much Moore is is a family-owned New Zealand ice cream company, which has been making award- winning ice cream and frozen treats for over 30 years. Marcus Moore heads the team of ice cream makers who believe the possibilities for making incredible tasting ice cream are endless.

Formula Foods - Supreme Boutique Champion, Lewis Road Creamery, Double Mint and Dark Chocolate Ice Cream was a superbly crafted delicious ice cream according to Jackie Matthews. “The flavour was fresh peppermint with a hint of spearmint, perfectly balanced with chocolate flakes. Rich and creamy, it had a lovely chocolate melt.”

Lewis Road Creamery, Double Mint and Dark Chocolate Ice Cream also received the Chelsea Sugar - Champion Premium Ice Cream Champion award. In addition Lewis Road Creamery was also named NZ Life & Leisure - Champion Open Creative Champion for its innovative Lemon & Gin Botanicals Ice Cream.

Recently wholly purchased by Southern Pastures, Lewis Road Creamery was started by Peter Cullinane in his kitchen in 2012. Lewis Road Creamery premium dairy products are stocked in major supermarkets and specialty food stores across New Zealand as well as in Whole Foods and other stores in the United States and Woolworths in Australia.

Always a hotly contested award, Tip Top French Vanilla Ice Cream was named Fonterra New Zealand Champion for Standard Vanilla Ice Cream. The award was one of three for New Zealand’s biggest ice cream maker Tip Top. The other awards were: ALTO/Pact Group Champion Standard Ice Cream Award for Tip Top Crave Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream and Kiwi Labels Champion Low Fat or Frozen Yoghurt for Tip Top Mango Lassi Frozen Yoghurt.

Taranaki’s plant-based creamery, Little Liberty, creator of premium plant-based frozen desserts and nut milk blends won two awards. Little Liberty CreameryAlmond Mocca was named Hawkins Watts Dairy-Free Champions as well as Tetra Pak New to Market Champion.

A perennial favourite is the Pacific Flavours & Ingredients Kids’ Choice Champion. This year it was judged by 10 pupils from Auckland Normal Intermediate. The year 7 pupils won a school essay competition to judge 10 entries and the winner is entirley their choice. The group choose Talley’s Blueberry Ice Cream as the Pacific Flavours & Ingredients Kids’ Choice Champion.

For the first time the NZ Ice Cream Awards included two People’s Choice categories – both won emphatically by Hamilton’s Duck Island Ice Cream. Popular vote awarded Duck Island NZ Ice Cream Manufacturers Association People’s Choice Favourite NZ Ice Cream for its Duck Island Fairy Bread and its Grey Street, Hamilton East scoop shop was named DKSH People’s Choice Favourite NZ Scoop Store.

The Awards, owned and run by the NZ Ice Cream Manufacturers Association, have been held since 1997 and are the country’s only national ice cream, gelato, sorbet and dairy-free frozen products competition.