Manufacturer makes sweet progress

Last updated 05:00 08/06/2012

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Deep South Ice Cream's sales are double last year's levels, thanks to the South Island manufacturer securing shelf space in Progressive supermarkets in the North Island.

Now the company plans to get its product into 20 parlours and cafes around the country, mainly in the Auckland region.

Deep South director Mike Killick said the company was in talks with one cafe chain which had national presence, and was in initial discussions with several parlours.

"The main focus is the Auckland region just because of sheer size.

"And then we want to get some in key locations in the touristy spots like Rotorua," he said.

Meanwhile, export sales were showing good growth, particularly in China.

In November last year export sales represented 7 or 8 per cent of total sales, but this year the company was forecasting export sales would account for 20 per cent of total revenue, Killick said.

The New Zealand two-litre ice cream market was all about "price fighting". That was a challenge for the company, which markets its ice cream as a premium product.

A two-week visit to China and Japan in February had resulted in new contracts which were close to being finalised.

New Zealand's "clean, green" image appealed to consumers in China, and a shift in "cultural cuisine" towards more Western foods was working in Deep South's favour.

Deep South has factories in Invercargill and Hornby.

It has received a grant from the Canterbury Business Recovery Trust which will go towards buying new freezer units and point of sale materials for outlets, mainly in the North Island.

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