Mr Whippy or Mister Whippy (in the United States) is the name used by various manufacturers, distributors and sellers of ice cream and frozen yogurt around the world. Mr Whippy originated in the United Kingdom in 1958, selling soft serve ice cream to the public from mobile vans. The brand merged with Wall’s in 1964. Other companies with the same name operate in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Germany and the United States.
Mr Whippy commenced operations in Australia in 1962 and in New Zealand in 1964. The company’s operation in Australia continued until the mid-1970s, after which the mobile fleet was sold to private operators. Approximately 200 UK built Commer Karrier vans were imported to Australia and 50 Austins were imported into New Zealand.
In 1982, the trademark “Mr Whippy” was registered in Australia by ice cream parlour company Mr Whippy Pty Ltd, though the name “Mr Whippy” continues in common parlance to refer to soft serve ice cream served in a cone. Today, the Franchised Food Company owns the brand.
In New Zealand, there are around 36 Mr Whippy franchisees operating 58 vans. General Foods Limited (subsequently Tip Top) acquired the master franchise rights for NZ in the early 1980s. The Isuzu Elf became the standard Mr Whippy van and an orange and white colour scheme replaced the original pink and white. In early 2000, Tip Top sold the master franchise to Peter Woodhams, the Waikato Mr Whippy franchisee, who in turn sold the master franchise to Flying Kiwi Holdings (a business owned and run by Nick Cairns, Scot and Geliana Graham) in 2006. The Mr Whippy vans became modernised, including Ford Transi’s, Fiat Ducato’s and various Fuso varients and Tatua replaced Fonterra Brands NZ as the provider of the Mr Whippy UHT ice cream mix.