Peters Drumstick was launched in Australia in 1963. It wasn’t invented here though. Like its predecessor the Eskimo Pie, the ice cream was invented in the United States. Drumsticks are now sold in the USA, Canada, Malaysia, Hong Kong and elsewhere across the world. The Drumstick name is owned by Froneri and the product is sold under the Nestlé brand in the US. There have been many variations on the original format of vanilla ice cream in a choc-lined waffle cone, with a chocolate and nut topping.
According to Nestlé, the ice cream was invented in 1928. Their American website says:
At the 1904 World’s Fair, an ice cream maker ran out of bowls. He asked a nearby waffle vendor to roll waffles into cones, turning them into a finger food.
In 1928 the Parker brothers took this great invention even further by adding chocolate coating topped with nuts. One of the brothers’ wives said it looked like a fried chicken leg, thus the “Drumstick” was born!” Today Nestle® Drumstick® is America’s #1 sundae cone.
Yes, it took 35 years for the Drumstick to reach Australia but, with Aussie ingenuity, we managed to make it better. One of the favourite things about the ice cream is the blob of chocolate at the bottom of the cone. It seems this was invented in the Peters factory in Queensland as a way to solve the problem of leaky ice cream cones. In 2020, Peters doubled down on the idea by introducing a range of “Mega Tip” varieties, with twice as much chocolate.
The ownership of the brand caused some problems in Western Australia, where, for five years in the early 2000s, you couldn’t buy a Drumstick. Instead, you had to ask for a Trumpet. (The Trumpet had previously been seen on the east coast as the Toppa Trumpet – another Drumstick look-alike.) When Nestlé bought the Western Australian Peters Ice Cream operation in 2009, the Drumstick returned.
The Streets Ice Cream competitor to Drumstick has a much shorter history. The Cornetto has an Italian-sounding name for a reason – the cones were first produced in 1976 by Spica, an ice cream company based in Naples. Unilever, which owns Streets, bought Spica and began to market the product under their various brands in Europe and around the world.