Wednesday, 12 January 2022 10:03

Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports

Written by  Staff Reporters
Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash.

New research into New Zealand's premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for high quality food.

Today, Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project.

The project is run by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE).

“The new research finds scope to expand ice cream exports to Australia, Asia and the UK. It suggest premium ice cream could potentially follow the global success of premium wine and honey exports,” Nash says.

He says ice cream is produced in almost every region in New Zealand and there are approximately 48 manufacturers.

“The challenge is translating our strong global position in dairy exports into a lucrative global market for our ice cream and other frozen treats.

“Our first local ice cream makers started with some of the best milk and cream in the world more than 100 years ago and are still causing ripples.”

Nash says consumers are interested in ice cream made of milk from sheep, deer, buffalo and goats as well as plant-based alternatives like oat milk and soy milk.

“Our free trade deal with the UK agreed in principle in 2021 holds great potential for ice cream and other dairy exports. We look forward to duty-free access to the UK market for ice cream and a level playing field as soon as the FTA enters into force,” he adds.

“Ice cream exporters can also respond to new consumer demands arising from the global Covid pandemic. There is growing interest in healthy, sustainable, low-carbon or vegan foo, and premium products bought directly from supermarkets for consumption at home.”

Nash says New Zealand ice cream manufacturers are well-positioned to benefit from major global trends in the food and beverage sector, including a wish for easy and convenient meals; concern about wellness and lifestyle; awareness of where food comes from and how it is produced; and a wish to indulge in products that are more than the bare necessities.

“New Zealand already has a global reputation as a great place to produce food. We have quality raw ingredients and low production costs; a skilled workforce and processing industry trusted by consumers; and close proximity or open access to key markets which are set to grow further with new trade agreements.”

He adds that the report suggests producers build on existing strengths in the dairy export supply chain.

“We have the natural ingredients, skilled producers and premium products that global consumers want and we have new opportunities to drive export growth.”

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