INSIDE: Roam the Gnome’s Guide to the Best New Zealand Snacks to buy as souvenirs!
Our favourite shop in New Zealand is a GROCERY STORE!
Strange, but true.
While I love browsing unique gift shops full of handmade gifts and souvenirs from New Zealand, the one place I’m guaranteed to pull out my wallet and spend all my pennies is the supermarket.
I never leave New Zealand without a suitcase stuffed full of the BEST New Zealand snacks and drinks, and all the goods to make my favourite New Zealand slices, cakes and treats.
Snack foods from New Zealand are also a good gift idea when there’s a lot of people to buy for.
I buy a few bags of classic kiwi snacks or wrapped candy for the kids to take to school.
I also buy snacks in New Zealand to share among their friends and the kids in our street when we return home.
Not everyone can afford to travel (or has the time to) but we can bring a taste of another culture back to our friends, neighbours and family in a Kiwi snack.
Want to know everything about the best Kiwi snacks?
Check out our monster list of the best New Zealand snacks below.
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Image credit: Wikipedia
BEST NEW ZEALAND SNACKS TO BUY
Correct at time of publication on Roam the Gnome. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of. All prices in NZ dollars, unless otherwise stated
Want to know what are the must try New Zealand snacks and drinks, or what are some snacks one can only find in New Zealand?
You are in the right place.
Let’s start with New Zealand drinks.
NEW ZEALAND DRINKS
No.1: L&P drink
Probably the most famous drink in New Zealand is L&P.
L & P cans or bottles of softdrink can be found in every New Zealand supermarket or corner ‘dairy’.
L & P, short for Lemon and Paeroa is a popular, if not iconic fizzy drink in NZ. It was invented in 1904 by a thirsty fellow wanting to spice up the plain mineral water he was drinking from the town of Paeroa, by adding a squeeze of lemon.
It was a sensation.
More than 100 years later, L&P is still a buzz brand.
If you get to the town of Paeroa, north of Matamata and close to Tauranga itself, you can take a selfie with the giant L&P bottle!
What is the most popular drink in New Zealand? L&P is it.
No.2: Raro drink
RARO powdered drink sachets are one of those childhood memories for kids who grew up in New Zealand.
Kind of like Tang in Australia, or Dr Pepper cherry drink in the USA.
I kind of know better these days than to drink powered fruit drinks, but when it’s in the house, I can’t help myself!
(I tell myself it’s bringing a bit of culture to my half-Kiwi boys.)
Raro drinks come in flavours, including:
- Mango orange
- Passion Orange
- Pineapple orange
- Strawberry Passion
- Sweet Navel Orange, and
No.3: New Zealand Tea
Want a cup of tea in New Zealand?
Guaranteed it’s a Choysa classic tea bag – square or round.
This is the go-to tea bag brand in New Zealand.
For something fancy, try:
- Twinings New Zealand breakfast tea, or
- Ti Ora brand teas.
Alt: New Zealand Coffee
A flat white is a pretty standard order.
Coffee drinkers in New Zealand may now drink fancy single origin or blend coffee beans that have been specially roasted ethically.
Good coffee is quite a thing in New Zealand now!
But once upon a time it was a choice between:
- NZ Special Blend Instant Coffee, or
- Gregg’s Red Ribbon roast coffee.
Take your pick.
No.4: More Famous Kiwi Drinks
No.1: Fresh Up drinks
The Fresh Up apple and orange can is one drink no NZ kid can pass by.
Fresh Up Big Fizz Feijoa Burst is full of Feijoa flavour, and you can buy Fresh Up Big Fizz Crisp Apple, or Fresh up Big Fizz Juicy Orange too.
These fizzy fruit drinks have been a Kiwi drink favourite since 1962.
E2 is another New Zealand drink brand to try in lemon and lime, or orange flavours.
No.2: Royal Crown Draft Premium Cola
Royal Crown draft cola is a fan fave.
Some say it’s better than Coca Cola!
No.3: Teza Iced Tea
Don’t miss tasting a Teza Feijoa and Limeblossom real brewed iced tea.
These 100% natural iced teas are made with batch brewed organic leaf tea, fruit juices and botanicals.
- Teza Mango and Ginger
- Teza Peach and Passionflower
- Teza Lemon and Mandarin
No.4: Hansells Make-a-Shake drinks
Make your own milkshake with this powered concentrate in banana, chocolate or orange flavours!
No.5: Milo drink
Milo is a household staple too.
Just like in Australia.
No.6: Arahi non alcoholic drinks
Ārahi is growing in popularity too – this is a gourmet range of New Zealand alcohol-free beverages made from cold-pressed, premium New Zealand wine grapes.
No.7: Thriftee Cordial
The Thriftee drink is another popular after school fave
Thriftee blackcurrant is like Ribena, and also comes in:
- Thriftee lime flavour
- Thriftee Orange cordial
- Thriftee Raspberry cordial
- Thriftee Orange Mango drink
- Thriftee Pineapple Orange cordial
POPULAR NEW ZEALAND SNACKS FOR SOUVENIRS
This the big list of the must try New Zealand snacks and the best New Zealand junk food from these Kiwi Company brands.
Never leave the country without at least one iconic New Zealand snack food in your luggage, even if it’s only to gift them to your Kiwi expat mates.
No.1: ETA chips
No.1: ETA Ripple Cut potato chips
Eta Ripples potato chips come in these flavours:
- Eta Ripples Ready Salted
- Eta Ripples Chicken
- Eta Ripples Salt and Vinegar
- Eta Ripples Sour Cream and Chives
- Eta Ripples Spring Onion
- Eta Ripples Thick Cut & Thick Cut BBQ
- Eta Ripples The Works (Gluten free)
No.2: ETA peanuts
Kiwis don’t ever go anywhere without Eta peanuts in their bag.
They come in honey roasted, dry roasted, salted peanuts, salt and vinegar peanuts, sweet and salty mix, a savoury mix, chocolate peanuts, and a chocolate and nuts mix.
No.3: ETA Kettles chips
- Kettles sea salt chips
- Honey Soy chicken
- Sea salt and vinegar
- Thai chilli and wild lime
- Sweet chilli and sour cream
No.4: ETA Cheeseballs
Light and crunchy popped balls of cheese!
No.5: Eta Munchos Chips
Similar to prawn crackers.
Eta Munchos come in:
- Spicy Tomato, or
- Cheese and Onion flavours
No.6: Eta Cruncheese chips
Kind of like a Kiwi version of Twisties.
No.7: Snacka Changi chips
It’s the vintage packaging that we love!
- Salt and Vinegar
- Sour cream, chive and onion
No.8: Eta Tortilla Chips
In original, nacho cheese and tasty cheese versions.
No.2: New Zealand Bluebird Foods
Pick any one of these NZ snack foods and you’ll have a guaranteed hit.
No.1: Grainwaves chips
Grainwaves were one of my favourite discoveries the first time I visited New Zealand.
I brought back 5 multipack bags in my suitcase!
100 mini packets to share around.
Wish I could have fitted more.
Don’t miss these healthy New Zealand snacks – kids love them as much as we do.
No.2: Bluebird Twisties
A Twisties style corn snack with a moreish cheesy coating that gets all over your fingers so you have to lick it off.
No.3: Bluebird Rashuns chips
Rashuns cheese and bacon flavour crunchy corn snack top the list of our list of foods to buy in New Zealand for souvenirs.
No one can resist!
No.4: Bluebird Burger Rings
Burger Rings look like a crispy crunchy calamari ring.
Their claim to fame is that they have a full on burger flavour.
They are definitely unique!
No.5: Bluebird Cheezels
Another cheese flavoured crisp, this time in a tube.
Pop one on each finger and eat them all in a row.
No.6: Bluebird Biguns
Similar to Cheezels, but HUGE in size!
No.7: Bluebird Curlies
New Zealanders love a good cheese snack.
This is another, in a soft popped curly shape.
No.8: Bluebird Poppa Jacks
These flavoured wheat snacks are at every birthday party gathering you’ll ever go to!
No.9: Bluebird chips
Last but definitely not least, their range of chips is good too.
- Bluebird salted chips
- sour cream and chive
- green onion chips
- cheese and onion chips
- crispy bacon chips
- salt and vinegar
You’ll find both thin and thick cut chips on offer.
The Bluebird Classic Kiwi Onion Dip chips are a best seller!
All these Bluebird chip flavours are better when you make real NZ onion dip to go with them.
(See below for the recipe!)
BEST KIWIANA FOOD IDEAS
If you are buying chips (alt: crisps), then THIS is the perfect accompaniment.
In fact, it’s the ONLY dip you’ll need in NZ, top of the New Zealand famous food list.
The Best NZ Onion Dip Recipe
Cover and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
Grab that bag of crisps and dig in!
MORE of the Best New Zealand Snack Foods
Here’s two more!
No.1: Krispa Cool Crisps
These crispy chicken flavoured chips are another New Zealand household staple.
No.2: Crispy Noodles by High Mark
Try these New Zealand noodles in traditional or chicken flavour.
BEST NEW ZEALAND SLICES (& LOLLY CAKE RECIPE)
I ate my first slice of Lolly cake at 30 when meeting the woman who would become my mother-in-law, Anne.
We were friends from first bite!
I love visiting with Anne.
She NEVER lets my sweet tooth down.
There is ALWAYS at least three plastic ice cream containers in the fridge filled with this week’s Kiwi slice creations.
When she knows I’m coming to town, Lolly cake is on the menu.
(I’m glad these New Zealand treats are not available in my everyday life at home, or I couldn’t help myself.)
Best New Zealand Lolly Log Cake recipe
New Zealand Lolly cake is:
- a soft biscuit batter of malt biscuits, butter, and condensed milk,
- filled with bite size pieces of Eskimo lollies (delicious New Zealand lollies)
- rolled into a log, coated in coconut, and
- then cut into round slices.
No.1: More Popular Kiwi Slices for your recipe book
Here are more iconic kiwi food slices.
Popular new zealand slices include:
- Peppermint Slice
- Jelly Slice
- Marshmallow Slice
- Caramel Slice
- New Zealand slice
- New Zealand’s Ginger Crunch slice
- Louise Slice or Louise Cake
- Eccles cakes
- Churchill Slice (or Churchill square)
- Tan Square caramel shortcake slice
These are the best New Zealand baking classics.
Recipe tips below.
Where to find the Best New Zealand Slice Recipes?
No.1: The Great New Zealand Baking Book
I highly recommend The Great New Zealand Baking Book.
It has ALL the favourite New Zealand baking recipes for the popular NZ slices.
Simple recipes for the everyday cook.
No.2: The Edmonds New Zealand CookBook
The other NZ cookbook to find is the Edmonds Cookery book by Bluebird foods.
The Edmonds cookbook is a Kiwi staple, found in just about every cupboard across New Zealand!
BEST NEW ZEALAND BISCUITS
The most popular New Zealand biscuit is, arguably, the chocolate Afghan with a walnut on top.
New Zealand afghan biscuits can be found in EVERY bakery in the country.
Some would argue the New Zealand Anzac Biscuit is the most well loved, but I think this is because it’s the sentimental favourite!
Popular Biscuits in New Zealand
Here’s a list of the other best biscuits in New Zealand:
- Sultana Pastie
- Hundreds and Thousands biscuits
- Marshmallow Puff
- Belgium Biscuit
- Ginger Crunch biscuit
- Squiggle biscuits
- Pink Wafer biscuits
- Gingernut biscuits
- Melting Moments biscuits
- Kiwifruit and Manuka Honey shortbread
New Zealand Biscuit Companies to Search For
Griffins is the most prolific of the NZ biscuits makers, and if you were to randomly door knock 25 houses across New Zealand, I guarantee you’d find these New Zealand biscuits in about 22 of the cupboards.
If you only visited Grandmas and Grandpas, the score might be a perfect 100%!
Take a peek below, so you know what to look out for.
No.1: Griffins biscuits
Griffins is NZ’s much loved biscuit company.
Try at least two or three different varieties from below:
- Griffins Mint Treat Biscuits
- Griffins Chocolate Thins Biscuits
- Griffin Shrewsbury biscuits
- Griffins Chocolate Coconut Macaroons biscuits
- Griffins Afghans biscuits – not as good as homemade, but will do when you don’t have time to bake!
- Griffins Choc Thins and Jaffa thins
- Griffins Sultana Pasties
- Griffins Dundee
- Griffins Golden Fruit
- Griffins Gingernuts
- Gingernut Fingers
- Griffins ChitChat
- Griffins Chocolate sultana pasties
- Belgian Cremes
- Classic Cameo Cremes
- Choc Krispie
- Cookie Bear Hundreds and Thousands
- Cookie Bear Stripes
- Cookie Bear chocolate chippies
- Original Snax crackers
Hot tip: Griffins Mallowpuffs
My boys LOVE the Griffins MallowPuffs in both original, and double chocolate flavours.
They don’t care which one comes their way first, so long as Nana gives them one quick smart!
No.2: Earnest Adams cakes
Don’t miss either of these:
- Mini Rich Fruit Christmas Cake
- Raspberry Slice
No.3: Kea cookies
Kea Cookies are another NZ brand of biscuits.
- Chocolate chip
- Gluten free macadamia cookies
Healtheries Milk Biscuits come in these varieties:
- strawberry, and
No.5: Best New Zealand Biscuit Recipes
The Great New Zealand Baking Book has a section on Biscuits, AND savoury snacks too.
If you haven’t already got it, what are you waiting for?
You seriously do not need any other cookbook if you want to bake your own NZ snacks and sweet treats.
BEST NEW ZEALAND ICE CREAM
No.1: Hokey Pokey Icecream
It’s not a slice but you can’t write a list of NZ treats without mentioning the much loved Hokey Pokey ice cream.
Hokey Pokey is vanilla ice cream with a bucketload of honeycomb toffee bits throughout.
I’ve seen people attempt to make Hokey Pokey slices but haven’t tried it myself.
Tip Top ice cream may just be the best New Zealand ice cream brand.
They scoop the New Zealand ice cream awards most years!
No.2: Kapiti Ice Cream flavours
But if you are looking for unique New Zealand ice cream, Kapiti Ice cream is your go to.
- Kapiti Black Doris Plum & Crème Fraiche
- Kapiti Passionfruit & Lemon
- Kapiti Summer Nectarine
Best New Zealand Ice Cream Brands?
You can also look out for:
- DEEP SOUTH Ice Cream – in particular their Kiwiana French Vanilla
- Much Moore Ice Cream Co. Ltd
- Emerald Foods
- Much Moore Ice Cream Co. – this one: Marvels Mango Passion Ice Cream
- Gelissimo Gelato
- Kowhai Creamery
- Lush Gelato Salted Caramel
- New Zealand Natural English Toffee
- Puhoi Valley Cafe – try this: Salted Caramel and Roasted Cashew Ice Cream
- Rush Munro’s of NZ
- Gelato Roma (Artisan Gelato Ltd)
- Joy Ice Cream
- Mama’s Scream-licious
- Kohu Road
- The Ice Cream People
BEST NEW ZEALAND CANDY
Of course, there’s also delicious New Zealand sweets.
I’m a candy fanatic, except when I go off all sugar because I can’t stop any other way.
But when we travel in New Zealand, all bets are off.
I’m eating all the classic NZ lollies and kiwi confectionery.
No one is stopping me, not even myself!
NZ confectionary is, without doubt, some of the best in the world.
BEST NEW ZEALAND CHOCOLATE
Here’s a list of the best chocolate from New Zealand, just for starters.
- Cadbury Chocolate Fish
- Perky Nana bar
- Moro Bar?
- Kiwiland Choc Honeycomb
- Original Pixie Caramel
- Pineapple Lumps
- Whittakers Peanut Slab
- Whittaker’s Chocolate blocks (some of the best chocolate in NZ!)
There’s lots more NZ chocolates to add to your ‘taste testing’ list, including the most popular chocolate bar in New Zealand.
Find this, plus a list of the best chocolate brands NZ has to offer, in our guide to the BEST NZ Chocolate.
Image credit: PX here public domain
MAORI FOOD LIST SNACKS
No.1: Rewena Bread
Rewena (Maori sourdough bread) is one of the most common Maori foods made today.
Rewena bread is an authentic New Zealand food that’s a little like Australian damper.
Cover a slice with a heap of butter and jam or golden syrup.
It’s also often eaten as a savory side with soup or stew.
No.2: Maori Hangi
Another traditional Maori food is the hangi.
This is where chosen meats and root vegetables like kumara sweet potato are cooked underground for long periods until they are hot and delicious.
A hangi is usually also a community gathering, where friends and family come together to eat while enjoying each other’s company.
While not a ‘traditional’ snack, it remains one of New Zealand’s most popular ways to cook a meal when time permits.
NEW ZEALAND SNACK BOX (Kiwi Treats Box)
Now you have this monster list of NZ snacks, you can make up your own New Zealand Food Box to take home!
Or contact Kiwi Crate for ready made New Zealand snack boxes.
Or pick up any of these New Zealand Kiwi snack food bulk packs.
Toadstool Rating – Best NZ Snacks
Looking for Things to Do in New Zealand with Kids?
Taking a trip to New Zealand anytime soon? Bookmark these fun things to do in New Zealand with kids.