The New Zealand Ice Cream Association
The New Zealand Ice Cream Association

The History of Ice Cream in New Zealand

By Chris Newey


1800 - 1910

- The First Ice Cream?
- The Ice Age
- The Ice Cream Hawker
- The Problem With Sunday
- Early Manufacturing
- The Ice Cream Parlour

1911 - 1930

- The Beginnings of the Ice Cream Industry
- The Marble Bar
- Home-made Ice Cream
- Ice Cream Quality and Standards
- Ice Cream Novelties
- The Eskimo Pie
- Home Refrigeration Arrives and the Ice Cream Industry Booms
- Ice Cream Manufacturers Join Forces

1931 - 1950

- The Frigidaire Effect
- Timeline: the 30s
- Ice Cream, The Health Food
- The Modern Milk Bar
- Tip Top Ice Cream Co.
- Ice Cream Goes to War

1951 - 1970

- Technology & Scale
- Food or Dairy Product?
- Hokey Pokey Ice Cream
- "Take-home" vs. "Bulk"
- New Food Regulations
- Tip Top Corner
- Treats on Sticks

1971 - 1990

- The Dairy Industry Awakes
- Wall's
- The Rebirth of New American
- Timeline: the '70s and '80s

1991 - 2010

- Taking on the World
- New Zealand Natural
- The Ice Cream Awards
- Lick or Spoon?
- The Ice Cream Code Of Practice
- Gelato & Sorbet
- The Dairy Industry Returns

2010 - now

- Ice Cream Awards Expanded
- Probiotic Ice Cream
- Tip Top Turns 75
- Ice Cream with a Social Conscience
- Timeline: 2010s
- Legends of the Industry

Ice Cream Brands from the Past
- A list of more than 100 ice cream brands that have disappeared over the years.

- A Christchurch brand that was active from the 30s to the 60s.

- Fondly remembered by those who grew up in Devonport in the 40s and 50s.

Frosty Jack
- Wellington's dominant brand in the 30s, 40s, and 50s

Ice Cream Charlie
- A Christchurch institution since 1903.

- The Waikato's first ice cream manufacturer, established 1922.

- Christchurch's biggest brand from the 30s through to the early 60s.

Phantazzi, Newjoy & Manda
- Phantazzi, Newjoy, Manda & Deep South ice cream brands - all part of the Simon family legacy.

Queen Anne
- The iconic national brand built by a legendary baker.

Rush Munro
- A Hawke's bay legend that started out in Auckland.

- For over 80 years, the favourite treat of West Coasters.

- One of Nelson's favourites from the 40s and early 50s.

- Out of Timaru, an ice cream company that also pioneered frozen food technology.

Tip Top
- Our biggest, and now our oldest ice cream business - an iconic brand.

Trans-Tasman brands
- The incredibly complex story of how ownership of some famous trans-Tasman ice cream brands evolved.

Top photo: Ice cream parlor, Stafford Street, Timaru, 1915.
- Ref: 1/2-107025-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

1911 - 1930

About the History of Ice Cream in New Zealand:

Sources, references and related sites:

Archives New Zealand:

Auckland Libraries

Christchurch City Libraries

Devonport Historical Society and Museum collection.

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography:

Dominion Post.

Ferrymead Heritage Park

From ice to refrigerators, by Nigel Isaacs. BUILD magazine.

Kete West Coast

Longwhitekid - history of Peter Pan, Tip Top, Meadow Gold, Wall's, Hokey Pokey, and much more:

Lost Christchurch:

Massey family - personal communications.

Mudcakes & Roses, April 2008 issue, Tasman District Council

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

National Library

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision.

NZ Ice Cream Manufacturers Assn. archives - ' The Frostee Digest', journal of the NZ Ice Cream Manufacturers Association, 1941-1972.

New Zealand Ice Cream Manufacturers' Association (NZICA) Oral History Project; held at NZICA archives and Alexander Turnbull Library.
- Shona McCahon, Oral historian.

New Zealand Natural Premium Ice Cream

Papers Past (National Library of New Zealand digitised newspapers database):

Queen Anne:

Rush Munro's:

Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand

The Early Tip Top Story, Tip Top archives

The Gourmet Ice Cream Company

The Nelson Provincial Museum

Tip Top Ice Cream Co. archives:

Till the Cows Came Home, Clive Lind, Steele Roberts.

'Town Milk - A history of Auckland's town milk supply' by Alec Brown (Auckland, N.Z. : New Zealand Milk Corporation)

Special thanks also to the many individuals who have contributed information and advice from their own ice cream industry experience, knowledge and expertise:

Sandi Bulmer
Rod Dennis
Max Dunn
The Massey family
Susanna Mayer
Peter McCracken
Owen Norton
Tanya Reid
Brian & Jeanette Simon
Murray Taylor
Darian Zam

About the Author:

Chris Newey, FNZIFST

Web designer and NZICA website custodian. A food technologist who has been in and around the ice cream industry, and involved with the NZICA, for over thirty years, initially in product development, then supplying ingredients and providing technical service, and later, building and maintaining websites for ice cream manufacturers and ice cream consultants.

About the material:

Special thanks to Jenny and Karen at the NZICA executive office, Shona McCahon, Darian Zam, Steve Williams, Rod Dennis and the many individuals and organisations who have generously provided information and material, and permission to reproduce photos, signage, packaging and graphics.

Sources for individual items are identified wherever possible. Please let us know if any are incorrectly credited or captioned.

Wherever possible, permission has been obtained for the reproduction of photographs and images in this publication, but in all cases, ownership remains with the individuals and organisations credited in the associated captions. Images are not the property of the NZICA. For permission to reproduce any image, please contact the credited owner.

All written content however is copyright © of The New Zealand Ice Cream Manufacturers Association (Inc.,), PO Box 9364, Wellington, NEW ZEALAND.

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                Ice Cream Legends

A list of over 100 ice cream brands that have disappeared over the years, magical names from our childhood, representing pioneering ice cream entrepreneurs and iconic companies now gone forever ...
Ice Cream Brands from the Past

Crowd eating Snowflake icecream at the 1930 Greymouth A&P Show.
Still from newsreel film, "The Greymouth Gazette", by L. Inkster, 1930.
- Nga Taonga Sound & Vision.

And in more detail, the people, the products and the stories behind some of our best-loved ice cream brands from days gone by:

Apex Ice Cream, Christchurch

Eldora Ice Cream, Devonport

Eskimo Pie
Eskimo Pie

Frosty Jack, Wellington
- Steve Williams.

Frosty Jack

Ice Cream Charlie, Christchurch
Ice Cream Charlie


Perfection Ice Cream, Christchurch

Phantazzi, Newjoy & Manda

Queen Anne Ice Cream,  Wellington
Queen Anne

Rush Munro's Ice Cream Garden
Rush Munro's

Snowflake Ice Cream, Greymouth

Sunshine Ice Cream, Nelson

Sunshine Ice Cream, Nelson

Tip Top
Tip Top

The first Trumpet
The first Trumpet

Peters Ice Cream,  Newmarket
Trans-Tasman brands

Copyright © The New Zealand Ice Cream Association (Inc.)
PO Box 9364, Wellington,
Telephone +64 4 385 1410.
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