New Zealand Natural Premium Ice Cream is a global franchise network based in Auckland, New Zealand. It operates as an international franchisor of ice cream, frozen yoghurt, smoothie and juice parlours and mini parlours.
New Zealand Natural began as a small ice creamery in Christchurch in New Zealand's South Island in 1984 that specialized in ice cream with no artificial colours or flavours. Rael Polivnick, a South African entrepreneur and Australian resident, met the owner on a plane shortly after it opened, and this chance meeting led to him opening a store at Bondi Beach in 1985. Polivnick settled on a franchising model as the best way of growing the business, and the first franchised store was opened in 1990.
Purchased from Polivnick in July 2005, today the company is 100% owned by New Zealand-based Emerald Foods, run by local entrepreneur Diane Foreman. The Auckland factory produces almost all of the ice cream for the company's franchised network of over 700 branded outlets in 22 countries. Today the brand has diversified to include a range of ice-creams for retail, grocery and foodservice.
Despite previously being under Australian ownership for almost 20 years, the ice cream has always been made in New Zealand. "Our ice cream has always been proudly made in New Zealand, using the freshest and purest cream and ingredients." explains Shane Lamont, New Zealand Natural's Managing Director. "It used to be produced in Christchurch, but now it's made at Emerald's factory in East Tamaki."