New Zealand sheep milk gelato makes it to finals of global dairy awards
Two New Zealand companies have made the finals of the World Dairy Innovation Awards, although neither managed to come away with a first prize.
Spring Sheep Milk, based near Lake Taupo, was a finalist in two categories: the best ice cream or frozen yoghurt, and best dairy packaging design.
Fonterra was a finalist for the best dairy ingredient.
Spring Sheep Milk chief executive Scottie Chapman said it was a great achievement for the company to make the finals after just one year in operation.
"It shows the industry is looking at alternative dairy. There were so many categories, but if you asked me which one I'd like to win, it would certainly be the ice cream innovation. There is a lot of kudos within the industry with these awards," Chapman said.
Most of the company's first year's production was turned into probiotic and prebiotic powders. About 98 per cent of products are for export, with Taiwan earmarked as the first market followed by South Korea and Malaysia.
Spring Sheep Milk would soon sell gelato, sheep milk latte and butter on the local market.
Chapman said consumers were looking for alternatives to traditional dairy.
"Sheep milk is richer and creamier than traditional cow's milk. It has been used in Europe for centuries as a gastronomic indulgence, renowned for quality cheeses and is now a rapidly growing category worldwide."
The creator of the gelato was Murray Taylor, formerly technical manager for Tip Top and at present a director of OOB Ice Cream. The nzicream website describes him as "Mister Ice Cream".
"When you think of your favourite ice cream there's a good chance Murray Taylor has been involved with creating it so we approached him to help us. He's got over 40 years' experience but this was the first time he'd worked with sheep milk," Chapman said.
Taylor created a dark chocolate and a vanilla bean gelato and says he's been impressed with sheep milk.
Spring Sheep Milk was established in June 2015 and is a partnership between Landcorp, and boutique sales and marketing company SLC.
The World Dairy Innovation Awards are in their tenth year and are designed to celebrate excellence and innovation across every category of the global dairy industry.