Good Humor ice cream is a brand with a history of being loved by Americans since its inception in 1920. It all began with Harry Burt, an entrepreneur from Youngstown, Ohio. He invented the world’s first ice cream on a stick.
Burt’s inspiration came from observing a boy struggling to eat ice cream while walking down the street. He knew there had to be a better way to enjoy this sweet treat. That’s how the Good Humor ice cream bar was born.
Burt named his new creation “Good Humor” because it brought joy and happiness to people’s lives. He began selling his ice cream bars from a fleet of white trucks. Each was equipped with a bell (later recorded music) to let kids know that ice cream was coming. Millions of people of a certain age still salivate when they hear “Turkey in the Straw”.
Good Humor ice cream bars became wildly popular. Soon Burt was franchising his business across the country. By the 1940s, Good Humor had become a household name. The company was selling over 100 million ice cream bars a year.
What’s in the Truck?
Here are some of the other items that were commonly sold from Good Humor trucks:
Ice Cream Bars: Good Humor is best known for its signature ice cream bars. They were made from creamy vanilla ice cream and covered in a variety of coatings, including chocolate, coconut, and fruit flavors. The bars are served on a stick and are a classic American treat. Among them were the Toasted Almond Bar and the Strawberry Shortcake Bar. The company also introduced a line of frozen treats for adults. They were called “The Silhouette,” which featured low-calorie ice cream bars and desserts.
Ice Cream Sandwiches: In addition to ice cream bars, Good Humor also sold ice cream sandwiches, which were made from two soft cookies with a layer of ice cream in between. The sandwiches were sold in a variety of flavors, including chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and fudge.
Frozen Fruit Bars: For customers looking for a lighter, healthier option, Good Humor also sold frozen fruit bars. These bars were made from real fruit juice and were available in a variety of flavors, including strawberry, lime, and orange.
Popsicles: While Good Humor is best known for its ice cream bars, the company also sold Popsicles. They were a popular frozen treat made from flavored ice on a stick. Popsicles were made by another company.
Novelty Items: In addition to the classic frozen treats, Good Humor also sold a variety of novelty items, including toys, stickers, and other promotional items that were popular with kids and collectors alike.
Good Humor had several competitors in the ice cream market over the years. Some of the most notable competitors include:
Popsicle: Popsicle was a frozen treat brand that was introduced in 1923, just three years after the creation of Good Humor. Like Good Humor, Popsicle was sold from ice cream trucks and featured a variety of flavors and styles, including the classic Popsicle stick and the more upscale Creamsicle.
Eskimo Pie: Eskimo Pie was a chocolate-covered ice cream bar that was created in 1920, the same year as Good Humor. While the two brands were similar in many ways, Eskimo Pie was sold through grocery stores and other retail outlets, rather than through ice cream trucks.
Klondike: Klondike is another well-known ice cream brand that has been a competitor to Good Humor over the years. Like Eskimo Pie, Klondike ice cream bars are sold in retail outlets rather than from ice cream trucks. The brand is known for its signature chocolate coating and creamy ice cream filling.
Magnum: Magnum is a premium ice cream brand that was first introduced in 1989. Like Good Humor, Magnum ice cream bars are sold from ice cream trucks and feature a variety of flavors and styles. However, Magnum is marketed as a more upscale, indulgent brand, with a focus on high-quality ingredients and unique flavor combinations.
Good Humor has had several headquarters and production facilities over the years. Here’s a brief timeline of the company’s history and locations:
In 1920, Harry Burt invented the Good Humor ice cream bar in Youngstown, Ohio.
In the early years of the company, Burt and his son, Richard, manufactured the ice cream bars in a small factory in Youngstown.
As the company grew, Good Humor established additional production facilities in other parts of the country, including New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Good Humor was headquartered in Chicago, where the company’s executives oversaw operations and managed the brand.
In 1961, Good Humor was acquired by the food and consumer products company, Unilever, which is headquartered in London, England.
After the acquisition, Unilever consolidated Good Humor’s production facilities into a single plant in Hagerstown, Maryland
Good Humor Ownership
Here is a brief overview of the changes in ownership of Good Humor ice cream:
1920: Good Humor ice cream is created by Harry Burt and becomes a popular brand in the United States.
1961: Unilever, a multinational consumer goods company, acquires Good Humor. Sales eventually move to grocery stores.
1993: Unilever merges with food and beverage company, Bestfoods, and Good Humor becomes a part of Bestfoods Ice Cream.
2000: After buying Popsicle, Klondike, and Breyers, Unilever acquires Bestfoods, and Good Humor becomes a part of the Unilever Ice Cream division.
2018: Unilever sells the rights to the Good Humor brand in the United States to Wells Enterprises, a family-owned ice cream manufacturer based in Iowa.
- Year Started: 1920
- Year Ended: 2099
- Origin Of Name: Eating ice cream puts you in a good humor.
- Location Sales: Worldwide
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: N/A
- Owner Original: Harry Burt
- Owner While In Use: Several
- Owner Successor: N/A
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Dove Bars
- Naics Code: 311520
- Location Headquarters: Youngstown. Ohio, USA