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11 BEST NEW ZEALAND SNACKS & DRINKS YOU MUST NOT MISS!

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. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, we may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you.

new zealand snacks and drinks - Lemon_and_Paeroa

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.


RELATED: Ultimate Guide to NEW ZEALAND Grocery Stores

lemon and paeroa logo pic

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.

raro drink NZ

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
  • Blackcurrant
  • Lemonade
  • Lime
  • Passion Orange
  • Pineapple
  • Pineapple orange
  • Strawberry Passion
  • Raspberry
  • Sweet Navel Orange, and
  • Tropical

choysa tea pic

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.

royal crown draft cola NZ pic

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! 

image - teza iced tea

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.

Try: 

  • Teza Mango and Ginger
  • Teza Peach and Passionflower
  • Teza Lemon and Mandarin

image - hansells make a shake drink

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. 

image - thriftee lime cordial

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

image - eta ripple cut chips

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)

image - eta chocolate peanuts

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

Try:

  • Kettles sea salt chips
  • Honey Soy chicken
  • Sea salt and vinegar
  • Thai chilli and wild lime
  • Sweet chilli and sour cream

image - new zealand cheese balls

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. 

image - snacka changi chips

No.7: Snacka Changi chips

It’s the vintage packaging that we love! 

  • Chicken
  • BBQ
  • Salted
  • Salt and Vinegar
  • Sour cream, chive and onion

No.8: Eta Tortilla Chips

In original, nacho cheese and tasty cheese versions. 

image- grainwaves chips

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.

image - bluebird twisties

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.

So good! 

PIN 1 New zealand snacks shop guide

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.

image - bluebird biguns snacks

No.6: Bluebird Biguns

Similar to Cheezels, but HUGE in size! 

image - bluebird curlies chips

No.7: Bluebird Curlies

New Zealanders love a good cheese snack.

This is another, in a soft popped curly shape.

image - bluebird poppa jacks

No.8: Bluebird Poppa Jacks

These flavoured wheat snacks are at every birthday party gathering you’ll ever go to!

image - bluebird green onion chips

No.9: Bluebird chips

Last but definitely not least, their range of chips is good too.

Choose from:

  • Bluebird salted chips
  • sour cream and chive
  • chicken
  • 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!)

new zealand snacks onion dip

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

Step 1:

Mix 1 can (250g) of NESTLÉ Reduced Cream, with 1 packet of Maggi Onion Soup, and 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice.

Step 2: 

Cover and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.

Step 3: 

Grab that bag of crisps and dig in!

(Guaranteed, this NZ snack won’t last long).
 

image - krispa cool crisps

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. 

crispy noodles pic

No.2: Crispy Noodles by High Mark 

Try these New Zealand noodles in traditional or chicken flavour.

new zealand snacks lolly cake
Image credit: Sean Neakums via Wikipedia CC BY-SA 2.0

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.

Get the recipe here. 

image - caramel slice by alpha

Image credit: Alpha via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

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. 

the great new zealand baking book

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!

New Zealand Afghan Biscuit pic by monica shaw
Image credit: Monica Shaw via Wikipedia CC BY-SA 4.0

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!

image - sultana pasties

Popular Biscuits in New Zealand

Here’s a list of the other best biscuits in New Zealand:

  • Sultana Pastie
  • Shortbread
  • 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

RELATED: Click here for the Ultimate Guide to New Zealand Markets and Farmers Markets

New zealand snacks Krispie biscuit by erik Kennedy  

Image credit: Erik Kennedy via Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0

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.

griffins biscuits pic

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

griffins marshmallow puffs 

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 biscuits pic

No.4: Healtheries

Healtheries Milk Biscuits come in these varieties:

  • vanilla
  • banana
  • strawberry, and
  • chocolate 

the great new zealand baking book

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.

image - tip top hokey pokey ice cream

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! 

image - kapiti ice cream

No.2: Kapiti Ice Cream flavours

But if you are looking for unique New Zealand ice cream, Kapiti Ice cream is your go to.

Try:

  • Kapiti Black Doris Plum & Crème Fraiche
  • Kapiti Passionfruit & Lemon
  • Kapiti Summer Nectarine

rush-munros logo

Best New Zealand Ice Cream Brands?

You can also look out for:

  • Dairyworks
  • 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

new zealand snacks box by scott
Image credit: Scott via Flickr CC BY-2.0

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. 


RELATED: The Ultimate List of the Best New Zealand Lollies & New Zealand desserts. 

new zealand chocolate by martin criminale
Image credit: Martin Criminale via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

BEST NEW ZEALAND CHOCOLATE

Here’s a list of the best chocolate from New Zealand, just for starters.

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.

new zealand snacks hangi meal

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. 

perky nana bar pic

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 

new zealand snacks review

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.

BEST NZ CHOCOLATE? ALL THE SECRETS OUT IN THE OPEN!
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