The 2009 Icecream Awards were held in the Manawatu this week and a surprise creamy creation sheepishly scooped the premium section to become the ultimate vanilla winner.

Last night in Palmerston North, the judging panel for the 2009 New Zealand Ice Cream  Awards  announced this year’s winners and Southland new-comer to the ice cream scene, Blue River Dairy Products, was awarded a Silver Medal for their recently launched Sheep’s milk ice cream, Milk Maid’s Vanilla.

Scooping the award in the category for Premium Vanilla Ice Cream was a real coup for the company and Blue River Sales & Marketing Manager, Kathryn MacDonnell was ecstatic about the award.
“Some people have been a bit hesitant to try sheep’s milk ice cream but now we  know that it stands up well against other more established cow’s milk ice cream brands.  To get that recognition from our industry peers is just fantastic!”
MacDonnell added, “We consider our ice cream a premium product, not only on a technical level but also as a concept as sheep’s milk has a high milk solids content and is an extremely rich source of many essential vitamins and minerals. Sheep’s milk is naturally sweeter and this coupled with a refreshing creaminess makes it a deliciously indulgent ice cream.”
The awards categories included a range of options including Kid’s Choice, Export Ice Cream, Standard Vanilla and Standard Chocolate and included in the judging criteria were marks for appearance, body and texture, flavour and melting defects. Southland veteran ice cream award entrants, Deep South,  also had a successful night taking the Best in Category Award for their French Vanilla and several Silver Medals to add to their collection of awards gained over the years.
Milk Maid’s Vanilla is New Zealand’s first sheep’s milk ice cream and has been well received since its launch with stores throughout the country from Auckland to Napier, Nelson, Christchurch through to Invercargill stocking the ice cream.
While Sheep’s milk products are nothing new for many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries which, traditionally, have always used sheep’s milk,  they are something new for New Zealanders. However, Blue River Dairy is leading the industry with their range of cheeses and now their ice cream.


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