Vanilla ice-cream suffers price surge

  • 30/12/2016

New Zealand's most popular ice-cream flavour has become more expensive.

An international shortage of vanilla crops has meant a surge in price, affecting New Zealand's premium brands.

Civil unrest and civil war in Madagascar have seen vanilla supplies dry up, and prices elsewhere have skyrocketed.

Kohu Road managing director Greg Hall says their Tongan supply increased prices by 500 percent last year.

"Imagine $2000 worth of purchasing goes to $10,000, and it's the same stuff and it's the same volume.

It's New Zealand's top seller across all icecream makers.

Mr Hall admits it's a sticky situation because at $19.99 for a litre tub already, they can't make it any more expensive for Kiwis.

"We have to find other ways to manage that cost increase."

That means focussing more on markets in Asia, where people are still willing to pay top dollar for ice-cream with fresh vanilla, as opposed to vanilla essence, which sometimes contains no vanilla at all.

A spokesperson for Tip Top says for them it won't have a significant impact, at least not enough to pass the cost on to customers.

That's because the vanilla flavouring that they use makes up a comparatively small amount of the overall product - just 5 percent of the ingredients.

Tip Top says they're ramping up vanilla ice-cream production to make sure there's enough to last Kiwis all summer long.