21 Nov 2018

NZ vegan icecream breaks into Chinese market

10:54 am on 21 November 2018

A new dairy-free ice cream company based in Auckland has broken into the Chinese market.

WāHiki Creamery ice-cream is vegan, gluten free and halal.

WāHiki Creamery ice-cream is vegan, gluten free and halal. Photo: Supplied

WāHiki Creamery, which was founded in late 2016, has signed a deal to supply it's coconut icecream product to Asia's biggest childcare centre.

Cathay Future has about 20,000 children enrolled in Tianjin, a major port city in northeastern China.

Two thousand of the children are at the centre full-time and the rest are enrolled in the after-school programme.

WāHiki Creamery's co-founder, Haman Shahpari, said it secured an agreement with the centre after attending an ice-cream expo held in the city last month.

He said the coconut ice cream stood out among hundreds of other exhibitors as it was a healthier alternative to other ice creams currently served in Chinese schools and day-care centres.

"As a result we managed to partner up with a lot of customers and retailers," he said.

"We were very stoked to see the reception of the Chinese and the parents of anyone that we talked to ... and their understanding of how nutrition is important."

Last year, WāHiki sold about 23,000 tubs of its ice cream and Mr Shahpari said next year it expects to sell up to ten times as much.

He said while it currently had supply agreements around New Zealand, some Pacific Islands and China it was also looking to trade with other markets.