Kapiti Fine Foods Ltd, part of the Fonterra group, is a New Zealand company producing gourmet cheeses, ice cream, yoghurts and other dairy products for domestic consumption and for export. It takes its name from its original site at Lindale on the Kapiti coast. It has factories in Paraparaumu and Palmerston North. It began production in 1984.
Kapiti Cheeses was founded in 1984 by Ross McCallum and Neville McNaughton as a small cheese shop and boutique factory at Lindale Tourist Complex on the Kapiti Coast. Ross McCallum was a cheese maker of long standing with Kiwi Co-op Dairies, and took part in a Vocational Training Tour in 1978 through England, Europe and the United States. After the trip, McCallum saw potential for developing a specialty cheese category in the New Zealand cheese market, a new market that had been considered conservative and restrained up until that time. The shop and factory was run with only one full-time staff member, help from the families and part-time students. By 2002 Kapiti had 150 employees and retail outlets in Auckland, Christchurch and Lindale, assisted by an expansion of production facilities in 1997, and consistent annual growth. Even today, Kapiti holds true to McCallum and McNaughton's dream to craft quality, award winning and uniquely New Zealand dairy products.
Kapiti has a range of over 30 different specialty cheeses, including popular international styles and their own New Zealand inspired cheeses. Most of these products can be found in supermarkets across New Zealand, however rare styles are sold from the Kapiti Store in the Auckland CBD and Lindale, New Zealand. The Kapiti range includes soft-white, blue, washed rind, fresh, semi-soft yellow, cheddar and Parmesan cheeses.
For many years, Kapiti has been competing in the Cuisine NZ Champions of Cheese Awards. The following table highlights current Kapiti cheese products that have excelled in New Zealand cheese since 2006.
Shows current products only
Kapiti ice cream and sorbet has been produced for the New Zealand food service industry since 1997, mainly for hospitality (restaurants and cafes) and airlines. They have a range of flavours inspired by NZ such as those below, and are available from scooperies or restaurants:
In 2009, Kapiti launched a range of ice creams on sticks and in tubs for dairies, petrol stations and supermarkets. Flavours include vanilla, boysenberry, white chocolate & raspberry, gingernut, strawberry & cream, caramel & almond.
Kapiti ice cream has participated in The New Zealand Ice Cream Awards. The most notable awards are listed below:
In 2010, Kapiti launched a range of gourmet yoghurt for New Zealand supermarkets in flavours Vanilla Bean, Champagne Rhubarb, Passion Mango and Butterscotch. In 2011 this expanded to include a Lemon Meringue flavour. Kapiti yoghurts were deleted from the market in 2013.
Kapiti now has one retail store in New Zealand. It can be found in the Auckland CBD at the Hotel de Brett, 19 Shortland Street. This fromagerie showcases Kapiti ice cream, specialty cheeses and a selection of boutique bread and nz made condiments and products. Cheese tasting is available during store hours, or the venue can be hired for private tastings.
On 15 November 2005, New Zealand's largest dairy company, Fonterra, agreed to purchase Kapiti Fine Foods Ltd from Foodstuffs.