National Watermelon Month will take place for the first time this year from 1 - 29 February, to celebrate one of the nation’s most popular summer fruits. Led by LeaderBrand, an innovative, Kiwi owned producer of fresh fruit and vegetables, a number of initiatives have been planned to help New Zealanders take part in the celebrations. “Nothing says summer in New Zealand like a delicious, juicy watermelon,” says Bevan Roach, LeaderBrand Marketing Manager. “It is also one of the most guilt-free foods you can get. It has excellent levels of vitamins A and C, and ... more
The History of Ice Cream in New Zealand: The history of the ice cream industry in this country is fascinating - the product that we all love, in fact was often handicapped through the years by the perception that it was frivolous and non-essential.
From the restrictive, Victorian Sunday trading laws that persisted into the 1950s, to wartime rationing of sugar and milkfat (being prosecuted for having too much cream in their ice cream!), to PM Robert Muldoon's 1979 20% sales tax on ice cream alone. Disowned by the booming dairy industry, at the mercy of the nationalised Town Milk industry, and yet dependent on both for ingredients, ice cream manufacturers had to forge their own path.
Technology, geography, politics, pricing, and archaic legislation were often against them, and eventually they had to work together to survive. The New Zealand Ice Cream Manufacturers Association was incorporated in 1927, and has represented the industry ever since.
So who would have thought, especially from today's perspective, that ice cream would come to be seen as a genuine health food?
Claimed to be "a nutritious food", with "high food content", "properties that represent the finest, invigorating vitamines for the human system", and “extremely valuable … in some of the most serious forms of illness and in convalescence.” In fact, the original company that launched the Tip Top ice cream brand in Wellington in 1935 was called Health Foods Ltd.
At one time, it was proposed that ice cream be distributed free to all New Zealand school children, instead of milk.
And during World War II, it was thought to be so important for morale that mini ice cream factories, ice cream mix, and even ice cream trucks were shipped from New Zealand to our troops fighting in the Middle East and in the Pacific.
Read much, much more in the NZ Ice Cream Manufacturers' Assn's "History of Ice Cream in New Zealand":
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