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“It’s a Food, Not a Fad”

Whenever the word ‘Amscol’ is mentioned to an Adelaide raised baby boomer, their eyes glaze over and they seem to drift off with sweet memories of hot summers and an ice cream cone at the beach, an Eskimo Pie at the pictures or the special ‘once-a-week’ luxury of a slice of Amscol ice cream from the brick after tea.

Photo from a recent eBay advertisement. After the brick came the tins and then the plastic containers of our favourite ice cream Amscol

Photo from a recent eBay advertisement. After the brick came the tins and then the plastic containers of our favourite ice cream, Amscol

Even as I’m writing this, I’m immediately transported back in time to being a kid again, and Friday nights, when sometimes as a special treat we had takeaway fish and chips, and then dad would carefully slice the brick of ice cream into six equal proportions served with mum’s preserved peaches from our own peach tree.

It’s not hard to understand why we still have such a soft spot for Amscol, it was the ice cream we grew up with and people today still swear it was creamier and had a far better flavour than anything currently on the market.

The Amscol factory in Carrington Street, deolished in the 1980s

The Amscol factory in Carrington Street, deolished in the 1980s

Amscol stood for Adelaide Milk Supply Co-Operative Limited which took over the premises of the Beauchamp Brothers in Carrington Street in the city in 1922. It was an extensive business and produced bottled milk, ice cream, cream, cheese and butter.

The ice cream brick was first introduced in the 50s when refrigerators started to appear on the market. Most brands in those days had a small rectangular freezer compartment inside the body of the fridge itself and the brick was made to fit snugly inside. Later, as fridges were made with larger freezers, Amscol introduced tins, and finally plastic containers for their famous ice cream.

Amscol also supplied the milk when the Government introduced the ‘milk for school children’ programme back in 1950. They produced special third-of-a-pint bottles of milk and although we loved the ice cream, many people have less pleasant memories of trying to chug down the warm, sour milk at recess time.

Some memories from the ARW Facebook page about Amscol included going to the corner shop on a Sunday to buy a brick of ice cream to have after lunch with ‘pudding’. “They wrapped it in lots of newspaper so it wouldn’t melt on the walk home”.

Others recalled the different flavours, including Rainbow, Dutch Treat, Honeycomb and Strawberry.

Dandies and Eskimo Pies were sold at the pictures on Saturday nights by tray boys, usually dressed in a semi-formal military style uniform; “and you had to line up to get them before they

Dairy Chocs, Dandies and Twin Chocs....."It's a Food Nat a Fad"

Dairy Chocs, Dandies and Twin Chocs…..”It’s a Food Not a Fad”


Amscol’s milk processing works and factory remained in the same city location right up until the company ceased trading in the 1980s and was eventually sold off, demolished, and the land used for housing. Many will recall I’m sure the retail outlet off the side street where it was possible to purchase the full range of Amscol products.

Amscol may be gone but it’s certainly not forgotten….”It’s a Food, Not a Fad”.


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63 Responses to “It’s a Food, Not a Fad”

  1. Andrea October 23, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    My grandfather used to be the “amscol man” who did all the deliveries in kadina , south Australia. That’s when it used to get delivered to ur home too

    • Tina April 21, 2017 at 6:28 am #

      Hi Andrea. I dont suppose you have any photos of that Kadina Amscol factory tina

  2. les trestrail October 24, 2014 at 5:22 am #

    I remember amscol very well I worked there in my twenties as did my late feather andthree of my uncles

    • Pommy steve August 6, 2017 at 6:57 am #

      My dad worked there in 1956/57.
      I can still remember the commercial on radio.
      Give me Amscol ice cream please sir,
      its a food and not a fad,
      It’s been south Australia’s favourite,
      Since my papa was a lad.

      Then when he left and went to SA railways at Tailem Bend he still used to make it for us at home.
      But blue in colour just because he could.

      • Rose October 5, 2020 at 2:32 am #

        Do you remember making a tropical ripple icecream tub? I loved it as a child and can’t find anything on it, please.

  3. Barry Ruxton October 24, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    I was lucky enough to work for AMSCOL in the early 70’s until it’s demise when it was eventually taken over by Streets Icecream. The Beauchamp brothers were fantastic people to work for. I worked as a junior clerk originally and was responsible for giving every employee a free bottle of milk at the end of the day to go home with. I also use to take school tours and delighted in watching the looks of the kiddies faces when they were told they could eat all the Icecream they wanted at the end of the tour. They were fantastic times.

    • Denise Mcleod June 12, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

      Hi Barry, I am putting a little book together about the history of AMSCOL. My Dad ( Bill Brown) worked there too. I would love to include some stories from people who worked there. If you are happy to share with me it would be great! My email is I see this is an old thread but hope you get this message.

    • Amanda Hunt June 25, 2021 at 9:07 am #

      You don’t remember a lady called Gay Hunt do you? She worked there around that time.

      • Trevor Steven Beckett April 15, 2022 at 10:31 pm #

        Just came across your site whilst I sit in my flat in Dumfries Scotland.
        I grew up in Adelaide and well remember amscol strawberry milk, egg nog and iced coffee. They were practically food groups.
        You’d moan if you had to settle for dairy Vale.
        Took the school tour of the factory and loved every minute.

  4. marjorie brown October 24, 2014 at 10:52 am #

    Your article on school milk brought back memories of in the 1940s when in grade 2 it was delivered to the Infant school at Thebarton. Being wartime ..we littlies had to be nourished! While most memories of those who had school milk in the 1950’s are generally that it was always “warm” mine and unappetising, ours was packed in Ice and it was so cold when you drank it it hurt when it hit the roof of your mouth! You can’t please us all.

  5. Steve November 1, 2014 at 6:10 am #

    Peters made Eskimo Pies, Amscol produced Dairy Chocs. Otherwise a great article.

    • John January 3, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

      As previously stated Amscol made Dairy Chocs. My dad and uncle occasionally called them Eskimo Pies but they were much more often referred to as Choc Ices. At the Adelaide Oval you would here the tray boys calling out “Choc Ice and assorted sweets” Still the best ice cream I have ever tasted. Great memories

      • Bill Kane December 3, 2016 at 11:06 am #

        I was one of those tray boys for years at Adelaide Oval. Sold a choc ice to Arthur Ashe and to Neil Kerley and Alan McGilvray. I even got summoned up to the interior of the scoreboard once. Amazing view. I knew every inch of Adelaide Oval. Most Saturdays we made $2 but in a final I used to get $10 which was a lot back then in the sixties. Actually we yelled out “chocolates choc-ice and assorted sweets” but the assorted got changed to “sordid”. We worked for Haighs Chocolates and had round trays that curved around one’s waist. Potato chips were 10 cents and choice-ices started at 6 cents and I remember it went to8 cents later in my illustrious career. People would call you to the top of the grand stand for a joke and then not buy anything but a lot of people were very kind and said keep the change. I remember Neil Kerley being incredibly kind.
        I would be there every day for Sheffield Shield and the footy for years. Thinking back I have incredible fond memories. Oh yes we had dry ice to keep the choc-ice cold and we used to put coins on it to watch it sink into the ice. It was a different world back then but how can anyone not love Adelaide?

        • Andy January 21, 2018 at 6:40 pm #

          I worked at Haighs Chocolates, it was my first job in 1968. I worked in the chocolate room where we made proper chocolate from cocoa beans and other good ingredients. It was a secret recipe. We even roasted the beans, and coffee beans too. Even though it was/is the best chocolate, I found out that there is such a thing as too much chocolate!
          They also made cordials and some of the older men, my boss the chocolate man included, would be drinking orange cordial all day, and were often very happy by the end of the day. I found out that they put a bottle of vodka in a big jug of cordial every morning!
          I used to go with the delivery man sometimes and deliver great big slabs of chocolate to Amscol in Carrington Street. We always took some “rejects” with us and swapped them for “reject” Amscol ice creams.
          The good old days indeed.

          • Penni December 5, 2020 at 9:21 pm #

            hi andy. In 1968 i worked in the Haigs outlet shop in Port Adelaide. We sold all the boxes and a range of individual chocs, milkdhakes and expresso coffee. Not sure if we made sandwiches. Mrs Muller was the manager.

    • ken August 5, 2017 at 8:21 pm # check it out.

    • Lyn Barnes October 12, 2021 at 10:10 pm #

      You are so right., Amscol did not make Eskimo Pies. Peters did. My dear Dad worked at Amscol for many years and when growing up he forbid any other icecream in the house other than Amscol.

  6. David January 28, 2015 at 5:34 pm #

    My Uncle Eddie was the chief electrician for yonks and a day at AMSCOL and he helped me get casual work there on high school holidays and weekends in the mid 70’s. I remember it was like having “the Golden Ticket” up in the attic there were really old advertising material and various ice creams made out of foam 🙂 . The basements were a bit nasty especially when a sump Pump had stopped and the 2+ foot deep dank water with all sorts floating and touching your calves was like the “garbage crusher on the Detention Level” The production floor well ….. samples had to be tested 😉

  7. George March 30, 2015 at 7:59 pm #

    My father worked for Amscol in the 70s. He was a fitter and turner. My mum also work there on the production line. She had a tub of ice cream by her side. Lucky her! I enjoyed my visits to Amscol seeing my parents work, going up to the recreation room playing pool and table tennis and of course the complementary ice cream. Great memories.

    • Amanda Hunt June 25, 2021 at 9:09 am #

      I wonder if they knew a lady called Gay Hunt who also worked on the production line at that time?

  8. Colin hills June 24, 2015 at 2:51 pm #

    I was a van salesman in early 70s and have lots of fond memory’s .I guess a reunion would be a great thing one day love to catch up

  9. GT July 25, 2015 at 1:19 am #

    The Amscol ice cream I can remember most were the ‘Footy Colour’ iceblocks from the 70s – all different flavours in SANFL team colours. Even though I didn’t barrack for Centrals, I used to think their version was the best as it had a milky kind of cream coating at the top of the red and blue flavour stripes.

  10. Ian Runcie October 11, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

    I started as an office boy with AMSCOL in 1974 and moved into credit control.. I remember Frank Beauchamp very well. One of the best managers I have ever worked for, a true gentleman. One Saturday morning job I remember very well was cleaning out old cupboards and finding memorabilia from WWII. Yes I remember the free bottle of milk, the world’s best milkshakes from the AMSCOL shop. I also remember their first computer system (card based). My favourite ice cream honeycombs fudge.

    • Denise Mcleod March 2, 2016 at 5:40 pm #

      Hi Ian

      My Dad worked at AMSCOL at that time his name was Bill Brown. He worked as a driver then moved into telesales supervisor. My uncle Bob Clark also worked there.Your mention of the computer cards reminded me that sometimes I would go with Dad into Amscol on a Sunday when he had some work to do and he would show me the computer and the cards. I am putting together a little book for my Dad about AMSCOL as it was such an important part of his life. If you have any more anecdotes or memories to share that would be great!

      • Martin Parker June 13, 2018 at 10:05 pm #

        i worked with Your father in the mid 70,s My father was his drinking budy at the 7 stars hotel

  11. James Perrett February 8, 2016 at 1:30 am #

    Does anyone remember Snips (Chocolate,Strawberry and Iced Coffee). Tuckshop favourite.
    1970-1980 ? Does anyone have a photo of a snip. Tried Google/Bing

    • Andy January 21, 2018 at 6:17 pm #

      Yes, I remember Snips. They were very good!

  12. Scott Caust August 7, 2016 at 11:40 pm #

    Well i grew up with Amscol icecream as well and like everyone else here still think it was the best icecream ever made. If anyone is driving on main road Coromandel Valley look for the Amscol sign on the side of the fodder shop. Too bad streets dont break out the old recipe and make some old Amscol favs.

    • Kent Fuller November 12, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

      As an old Adelad now living in Victoria I also remember how great Amscol vanilla icecream tasted. I reflect happily that as as kid how much of it I must have eaten, with fresh strawberries, in summer.
      It’s a shame when large corporations simply buy up existing companies to obtain their market share but do not continue to manufacture their formulated products. Unilever also did that with Sennitts icecream in this State. Streets isn’t bad but it has always been inferior to Amscol.
      The good news for Victorians is the current availability of ‘Bulla Creamy Classic’ vanilla icecream. I have long suspected that this is the old Amscol recipe. If it’s not it’s the closest you will find in our country. It’s certainly not full of the usual alginates and gelatinous thickeners/ extenders that although harmless, make make many cheap icecream products tasteless and chewy.
      Life is too short to deny oneself great full cream icecream – fat police take note!

  13. Ian Pascoe August 22, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

    My fondest memory if the Amscol icecream shop on Pulteney St was Tutti Fruti ice-cream. I have not been able to find anything that comes close to it in the last 40 years.

    • Lindsey February 28, 2018 at 6:51 pm #

      Oh yeah I remember Tutti Frutti ice cream. My dear old dad used to come home from a big day at Hills on the Port Road ready to take us for a well earned swim at West Beach. On the way home we would stop at the small grocery shop, Food “””” something & he would order double icecreams for us. Tutti Frutti had chunks of cherry in it and he would get a mint choc, they were so delicious after a swim. Oh, the good old days indeed.

  14. Leonie Howells October 4, 2016 at 1:05 am #

    The name Amscol has great memories for me as my father and uncle worked there from the early 50’s through to the 70’s. Best memories, we all use to get Ice Cream cakes for our birthdays and of course all the ice cream and ice lollies and milk on tap…There names where Andy and Cyril Thompson

  15. neil ALLAN November 7, 2016 at 10:19 pm #

    My grandfather, Don ALLAN.,worked at AMSCOL for 45 years.,

    He began work as a Dairy Technician,& finished as the Butter & Cheese dept. manager.

    They won many prizes at the Royal Adelaide Show,for butter & cheese.

    My father ,Peter ALLAN,also worked,for a few years, there as a van delivery / salesman.

    I particually remember the cinnamon ice cream Christmas puddings,only made in small numbers

    just before Christmas !

    • Colleen June 23, 2017 at 10:48 pm #

      Hello cousin Neil, Pauline aka my Mother in law has talked a lot about her Uncle Don over the years.I am not sure if you would have been told but he lived with Eric & Elsie as a boarder for quite some time before he married Chrissie.He was working at Amscol back then.Your Aunty Rae also lived there as a boarder after her Mum aka your Grandmother died. I never knew that Peter worked at Amscol.I was only ever told that he was in the Navy.

  16. Roger glazebrook January 29, 2017 at 4:46 am #

    I lived in salisbury north in the fifties I remember the amscol lyric I’ve been back in England for 60 years ive never forgotten just like hop Harrigan and Clancy of the over flow good times and great icecream

  17. Wesley Jacquier March 10, 2017 at 10:05 am #

    There was a better Ice cream than Amscol and that was in Port Adelaide known as ALPINE ICE CREAM, made by the De giglio family

  18. Jefferson Welsh June 13, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

    I used to go into Amscol Ice Cream factory with my father in his truck when I went to work with during school holidays, also got free ice cream, or chocolate milk.

  19. Peter July 8, 2017 at 6:40 am #

    I remember Amscol it was the best. Lived in London for the last 10 years still nothing comes close. I also remember my dad driving us past the factory on the way to victor.

  20. John December 1, 2017 at 6:36 pm #

    Great memories we lost the best chocolate ice creams in particular eskimo pies and my wifes favourite dutch treat nothing made today comes close.

  21. Alan of Brisbane December 29, 2017 at 12:00 am #

    I remember Amscol icecream in a square metal tin. I used to collect the tin lids and make body armour out of it a la Ned Kelly. Tutti Frutti was great – had nuts and dried and glazed fruit in it. The school milk did get quite warm on hot summer days, but I never remember it tasting sour.

  22. Cathy Groot January 8, 2018 at 3:26 pm #

    I would love to find the old strawberry snips. Such a great childhood memory. Does anyone know if you can still buy them. I know sunny boys are still around.

  23. Robert March 16, 2018 at 1:40 am #

    Q. Why did parents buy their children Amscol ice cream?

    A. Because it kept them off the Streets!!!

    • Jan Thompson April 14, 2018 at 3:18 pm #

      I love the comment, had a good laugh, yes AMSCOL was the best ic cream

  24. Jan Thompson April 14, 2018 at 3:17 pm #

    I have great memories of AMSCOL, 3 members of my family drove the delivery trucks, they are Andy Thompson (Dad), Cyril Thompson (brother) and Noel Thompson (Nephew). I used to go on the round with my Dad (Andy Thompson) on most Saturdays (winter only, shorter day), I did this for a number of years, and loved it, ice cream/block on tap whenever I wanted one, got to know some of the shop keepers and drivers, one driver in particular I remember is Les Bromilow, lovely guy, caught up again with him and his wife in 1982.

    • Peter strongman October 14, 2023 at 3:04 pm #

      Hi Jan I worked for amscol for 37 years and new Andy Cyril and Noel ,i did clerical work including paymaster for over 500 employees and when the computer took over I became a salesman on the ice cream trucks , yes I knew les bromilow great person as were all the amscol people it was like one big family
      I have many fond memories of those days , it was sad to see a massive business be taken by a multi national giant streets ,I live south of Adelaide and in days of amscol the south run used to top the sales in ice cream every week , in the last three years we seen streets ice cream truck twice ha ha , loved reading your notes Peter.

  25. Joe lanzon August 2, 2018 at 6:13 pm #

    Hi my father worked for AMSCOL in the late 1950,s and we lived across the road from AMSOL In Eden street, I recall when I was a kid I jumped onto the back of a truck that was leaving the factory, silly me I licked the pipe work that was on the back which was covered in ice, my tongue got stuck to it, true story, good old days.

    • Rob Holdsworth August 24, 2018 at 3:38 pm #

      I lived in Regent st back in the fifties and nearly every night I would go around to Amcol’s and get some rejects of Eskimo pies They were great old times I also remember when Moore’s burnt down my father and I stood up at Victoria Square watching the huge flames and on the way home stopped of at Amscol’s and got some free ice creams Choc ice I remember that day Joey I was with your bother Francis and Romeo. Feather’s was my auntie………

  26. Patrick Sparks September 18, 2018 at 3:28 pm #

    My dad worked for News Ltd. He was one of their truck drivers. Every year dad would drive the borrowed News truck into the Adelaide Hills for the work social club picnic, us kids would ride in the back with the trestle tables and beer kegs. We would stop at the AMSCOL outlet in Adelaide to pick up boxes of Dandy ice-creams packed in dry ice. At the end of the day we loved nothing more than throwing the dry ice into the puddles of water made by the melting ice in the beer cooler and tubs of softdrinks to watch the water “boil”. Well there was something better,eating those delicious tiny tubs of white frozen pleasure!

  27. Rob Burness September 26, 2018 at 2:10 pm #

    I worked at Amscol as a boiler attendant, refrigerated engine driver after it had been sold to Streets.
    We looked after an ammonia refrigeration system, largely run by reciprocating compressors (they did have a small ‘screw’ compressor). The reciprocating compressors had 2 pistons. The way they were made, they introduced oil into the ammonia and it had to be drained regularly. We opened valves to drain into large 44 gallon drums of water to stop any ammonia gas from coming straight up at us.
    It was a very dangerous site to have ammonia on. If there had been an explosion or fire in the building, a large part of the CBD would have been gassed with ammonia – which from the few times I got exposed to it, was horrible and potentially lethal. It induces massive amounts of phlegm….
    Great place to work though and our own freezer in the boilerhouse stocked with ice creams (which were provided free of charge, along with some specialty items whos carton had somehow mysteriously been hit by a forklift.

    • Sheri Bly August 19, 2019 at 8:51 am #

      Hello, what is a refrigerated engine driver? My great grandfather had this listed as his occupation on the 1891 census.

  28. Forestvillean January 13, 2019 at 3:12 pm #

    As I remember, certainly the inner suburbs and at Glenelg, there was a sort of “Holden v Ford” thing with ice cream: – Amscol vs Alaska.
    (BTW We were an Alaska family)

  29. Mal Hossack January 25, 2019 at 3:25 pm #

    I worked with Bill Brown as a driver and later in the office spent a few lunch breaks together at the Seven Stars.Amscol was a great place to work

  30. Helen Woolford March 6, 2019 at 8:12 pm #

    Hi all my husband Darryl worked at Amscol as a driver from 1970-77 he was managing Naracoorte when Streets took over! Loved the Amscol days!

  31. Gail June 11, 2019 at 6:23 am #

    Sounds like you all have very find memories of AMSCOL ice cream.
    Can anyone tell me why they sold out to Streets ?

  32. Robin Hill October 18, 2019 at 1:27 pm #

    I was the Marketing Manager for the Ice Cream Division from 1973 to 1977. I can tell you why Amscol was taken over by Streets (Unilever). Amscol was simply not making any profit for its shareholders who were mainly members of the founding families and dairy industry people. They became increasingly impatient and when they were made offers that were too good to ignore, they sold their shares.

    Amscol senior managers failed to respond to the Whitlam inspired recession of the early to mid 1970’s with rigorous investment aimed at reducing product cost. Instead, we were misdirected into spending hugely on programmes to increase market share for a product that was not making a profit. Great … we won the Australian Hoover Award for Marketing, and sent the Company broke.

  33. Kristine October 18, 2019 at 4:21 pm #

    How can we people living say Edwardstown heading to the city and onwards get Amscol icecream without having to travel to Colonades? Would love to try it now and see if it is as good as it used to be in the good old days.

  34. David Lloyd November 24, 2019 at 1:43 pm #

    The ditties live on as we sing the Amscol Icecream and Woody Woodroofes songs at our annual Adelaide Boys (1960s) Xmas lunch in Sydney. I will be looking to bring some Amscol back to Sydney on my next visit.

  35. G CHURCHETT May 14, 2021 at 6:14 pm #

    I have a can that contained cream, NOT ice cream and can not find it shown on any AMSCOL site
    Can you give me any info re this.
    Can send a photo if requested. My uncle was a milkman and I have his churn, measures, bottles and invoices.

  36. Jackie Clarken July 27, 2021 at 8:24 pm #

    Whilst researching Glenelg 1950s I came across a picture of myself advertising amscol ice cream. I have a clear memory of the day, my parents operated the large kiosk near the merry go round….Jackie Clarken. (Jacqueline Mahon)

  37. Brian February 5, 2023 at 10:17 am #

    I worked there, in maintenance, in the early 70’s having just arrived as a new migrate from Canada. One day I decided to decorate the outside of the large stainless steel brine tanks with decorative “swirls” using a sanding disc. I thought it look awesome….took me hours ! The boss ( who’s name I cannot remember) wasn’t impressed.

  38. JT May 26, 2024 at 6:38 pm #

    I remember I guess it must have been around 1972 from where we lived, mum buying Amscol in a carton. I reckon it was maybe violet and gold carton if I recall corerectly made from waxed card.
    Then at primary and high school the Snips.
    I recall there was a coffee Snip, which was ,my favourite, but they dissapeared and then it was only chocolate and strawberry.

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