An Icy Blast From The Past: Old NZ Ice Cream Brands

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In the “good old days” there seemed to be a dairy on nearly every New Zealand street corner, and just as many ice cream brands. The ice cream display freezer was full of treats and names, many of them now long gone. So, for old time’s sake, here is an icy blast from the past. How many of these brands do you remember?

  • Aurora. This New Plymouth brand was manufactured at a factory in Liardet Street, and a Bedford delivery truck supplied frozen products, cones, cups and cartons.
  • Barlows. This Te Aroha ice cream company was more famous for its slogan than its product. “It’s Often Licked, But Never Beaten” was later used by Tip Top.
  • Blue Moon. This famous Hastings ice cream was made in a small factory behind The Blue Moon dairy on Heretaunga Street East. The brand was sold to Devon Dairy Products in Tauranga in 1984.
  • Country Club. This ice cream was a nationally known product rather than a small town treat. The reason for its fame was that it was Tip Top’s “budget brand”
  • Kerridge’s. This one is remembered with fondness by moviegoers as Kerridge’s manufactured their own ice cream to supply its nationwide cinema chain.
  • Lucky. This ice cream was the pride of the West Coast until it was taken over by, you guessed it, Tip Top in 1961.
  • Manda. This Invercargill brand was made by the Simons family in the deep south before being sold in 1978. Fittingly, the Simons launched Deep South ice cream in 1979.
  • Meadow Gold. This Auckland brand was born after the amalgamation of Snowflake and Oasis ice cream companies and developed quite a following until the late 1960s.
  • Mel-O-Rich. One of the more famous “forgotten” brands, this Miramar company made ice cream on the site now occupied by Weta Studios.
  • New American. This brand was one of the better-known names in ice cream back in the 1980s and 1990s, with Goody Goody Gum Drops being one of their flagship flavours.   
  • Peck. Owned by Jay Peck, son of the original owner of New American ice cream. Peck’s big claim to fame was they made Choc Bombs under contract to New American.
  • Perfection. This Christchurch company was a Canterbury favourite until the late 1960s. Notable for having a 50 person capacity air raid trench installed in the factory during World War II.
  • Queen Anne. A well-known chain of cafes and shops (Adams Bruce and Queen Anne) run by Ernest Adams and Hugh Bruce sold Queen Anne ice cream and chocolates.
  • Rob Roy. With its Scottish name, it’s no surprise to report that this was a Dunedin company with a very loyal following.
  • Rush Munros. A Hastings institution and one of New Zealand’s oldest surviving ice cream brands, having been established in 1926.
  • Walls. One of the biggest names in New Zealand ice cream, Walls went on to become the second-largest ice cream manufacturer in the country, with a full range of novelties and national coverage.    

That is just a small taste of the ice cream brands found in ice cream cabinets, shops and supermarkets right around New Zealand in the years when nearly every town and city boasted their own brand. Given that Kiwis consume more ice cream per capita than any other nationality, should we be surprised that ice cream was made nearly everywhere back in the day?

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