1936-2019

Discover the rich history of Tip Top over the last 80 years.

1930s
1936

  • Albert Hayman and Len Malaghan start the company by opening a store at 36 Manners Street in Wellington, the first to specialise in Ice Cream & Milk Shakes. The company is so successful that within a couple of years a string of similar stores are dotted round the lower half of the North Island and the top of the South.

  • In July 1936 the Tip Top Ice Cream Company is registered as an official company and manufacturer.

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1938

  • Tip Top launch their Auckland business, initially a completely separate company to their base in Wellington.

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1949

  • Tip Top Wellington launch the company's first refrigerated trucking operation which later becomes Refrigerated Freight Lines Ltd.

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1951

Tip Top Auckland take over Peter's Ice Cream NZ Ltd, one of its larger competitors

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Early 1950's

  • Tip Top launches its first novely ice cream on a stick, a chocolate coated vanilla ice cream called Topsy. Rumour has it the ice cream was named after one of Len Malaghan's favourite cows.

  • The Jelly Tip is born soon after in 1951.

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1953

  • Tip Top Wellington open a new factory in Johnsonville.

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1954

  • Linked to the take over of Robinon's in 1953, Tip Top Auckland pick up the licence to manufacture the Eskimo Pie. The ice cream would become a mainstay of Tip Top's novelty range, and is still going strong after 90 years.

  • Tip Top launch the Strawberry Toppa - Vanilla ice cream on a stick, coated with a shell of strawberry water ice.

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Circa 1957

  • Tip Top register the TT-2 trademark to brand a new line of ice blocks. They prove extremely popular and a wide range of colourful TT-2 blocks are launched over the next decade.

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Late 1950's

  • Moggy Man launches as part of the TT-2 brand and becomes a familiar face on Tip Top packaging and advertising for the next 10-15 years.

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1960

  • The Wellington and Auckland Tip Top ice cream businesses merge to form a new company, General Foods Corporation (New Zealand), with Len Malaghan as Managing Director.

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1961

  • A new ice cream standard is established. Tip Top return to a minimum butterfat content of 10%. The use of any fat other than milk fat is prohibited.

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1962

  • Prime Minister Keith Holyoake officially opens Tip Top Corner, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest and most advanced ‘centre for ice cream excellence’. Tip Top Corner, overlooking the Southern Motorway at Mt Wellington, instantly become an Auckland landmark. The factory, which costs $700,000 and initially just produces ice cream over the Summer months, includes staff houses and 20 acres of farm land.

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Early-mid 1960's

  • The TT-2 Moon Raider is a popular choice among ice cream fans.

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Late 1960's

  • Tip Top is acquired by Watties Industries.

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1968

  • Tip Top opens its new South Island ice cream factory on Blenheim Road in Christchurch. The factory remains open till 2007.

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1970's

  • Tip Top launch the Popsicle band. With each rocker representing a different flavour, the band reaches six at its peak.

    • 1980's - Introduction of the band along with the slogan “The coolest and most refreshing band in the land”

    • 1990's - The slogan shifts slightly to appeal to older kids - “The coolest band in the land” and “Do yourself a flavour”

    • 2000s - The Popsicle band record their own song "Straight Up"

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Late 1970's, early 80's

  • The R2D2 space ice block hits stores to celebrate the release of Star Wars. It's soon joined by new flavours to celebrate the release of Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

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1980's

  • Fruju's famous "Ohh! Ahh! Ooh!" TV commercial airs.

  • The Fame ice block launches to celebrate a film that will become an instant classic.

  • Popsicle Lipstick - an ice blocks for "girls only" - is a popular choice around the country.

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1985

  • The famous VW Beetle Trumpet ad first appeares staring a 16 year old Rachel Hunter.

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1987

  • Tip Top merges into Goodman Fielder.

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1991

New Zealands's favourite flavour

Tip Top launches the Boysenberry Trumpet, today's top selling flavour.

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1997

  • Tip Top launches the Gooey Caramel Memphis Meltdown, a world-first for our ice cream technologists. The ice cream, using technology patented in the US, features a "triple-dipped" ice cream with a caramel sauce layer between double-coatings of real milk chocolate.

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2001

  • Tip Top joins Fonterra Co-operative Group, signalling a new period of growth.

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2010

  • Tip Top produce the world's first novelty ice cream wrapped in marshmallow - the Memphis Meltdown Rocky Road.

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2011

  • Tip Top celebrate their 75th anniversary with massive celebrations including the modernisation of Tip Top corner.

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2013

  • Following a global trend towards synthetic colours and flavours in the late 20th century, Tip Top goes back to its roots, making a commitment to return to all natural colours and flavours.

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2015

  • Collaboration leads to some delicious new products. "Jelly Tip July" a month-long joint promotion, sees Jelly Tip chocolate launched by Whittaker's, and Jelly Tip biscuits launched by Griffins. A Whittaker's limited edition run of 850,000 x 250g blocks, intended to last for the month, sells out within two weeks.

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2016

  • Tip Top celebrates its 80th Birthday, releasing a limited edition flavour - Birthday Cake Swirl - a delicious combination of cake and raspberry ice cream, infused with real cake pieces and sprinkles.

  • For the first time in decades, Tip Top Corner temporarily closes for the day on Monday 31 October as staff celebrate.

  • That year, Tip Top produces more than 55 million litres of ice cream, around 4 million Jelly Tips, up to 13 million Trumpets, and nearly 8 million Popsicles.

  • The most popular flavours of the 80th year are:

    • Vanilla (935,000 litres)
    • Boysenberry (313,000 litres)
    • Chocolate (302,000 litres)

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2018

  • In another successful collab, The Tip Top Whittaker's Ice Cream is launched to the tagline - You Can't Fake Delicious with Pop-up giveaways in Auckland and Wellington. With three indulgent flavours - Vanilla & Cashew Praline, Coffee & Cacao, and Chocolate & Pretzel - the ice cream is designed as the ultimate treat for Chocolate Lovers.

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2019

Thanks for exploring
our timeline

Did you know... Tip Top produces more than 55 million litres of ice cream, around 4 million Jelly Tips, up to 13 million Trumpets and nearly 8 million Popsicles every year. That’s some serious treat eating going on there. Remember there’s always something exciting happening in the world of ice cream and the next thing could be just around the Tip Top corner.

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