Monday, April 14, 2014

Vintage wrapper for a Milk-Nickel

Here's a vintage wrapper for the "Milk-Nickel," which was produced by Meadow Gold back in the day.1 The wrapper is six inches long with an opening at one end. These are the ingredients, as listed inside one of the folds:

Ice milk on-a-stick covered with an imitation chocolate coating containing: vegetable oils, sugar, cocoa, non fat milk solids, lecithin, salt and vanillin (an artificial flavoring).

Here are some memories and tidbits about the Milk-Nickel that I uncovered:

  • Monterey County Herald: In a January 19, 2014, article in the Herald, columnist Phil Bowhay writes:
    "If you are mature enough, you might remember Milk Nickels, chocolate-covered ice cream on a stick. Unless you swallowed it fast, which we usually did, it tended to melt all over your hand. Fun to lick it off, or let somebody else do it. The big deal with Milk Nickels was the free stick gimmick. Every hundred or so sticks were marked 'free,' and so it was for the next Milk Nickel. (Without the free stick they cost a nickel...5 cents.)"
  • Fourth Ward Store: This essay, by Leo and Edna Loveridge, contains the following excerpt:
    "The little Fourth Ward Store was started around 1930. It started right in that neighborhood and was around about thirty years. ... We would buy a 'Milk Nickel' as they were called — chocolate coated ice cream on a stick. They came in a box of 24, and there was a free one in each box. They could tell which one was free. Years and years later he asked, 'Did you ever wonder why you got a free one every time you came in and I waited on you?' I said, 'No, I just thought I was lucky.' Even back then he was giving me free ice cream. She was a cute little gal. I guess even at that early age I must have been deeply attracted to her."
  • Midlife Crisis Hawaii: This blog has a June 2010 post titled "Old Time Cold Summer Treats." The post is not about Milk-Nickels, but there are 117 comments2, including these that refer to Milk-Nickels:
    • "In the late 70s when I moved to my first apt, a 7-11 popped up on the corner and they had a sale on Milk Nickels 10 cents each. My neighbors and I pretty much cleaned out that freezer of Milk Nickels. lol They kept replenishing and the sale lasted over a month… boy were we happy!"
    • "Thinking about 'milk nickels' there was this other ice cream bar we’d get in school. Just like a milk nickel but better. It had lil crispies in the chocolate coating. I stayed up almost all night trying to figure out its name as I don’t think they’re made anymore. And THEN……it came to me…..'Dixie Doodle'. And I can now live life again as that mystery’s solved."
  • Duke University Libraries: Milk-Nickel billboard, circa 1930s
  • Untitled list of school memories from Hawaii: Lynn Knudsen Fragas recalled: "Lani Moo at Meadow Gold Dairies in Niu Valley and her yearly birthday party, where you had to get
    on stage and sing to get a half pint of chocolate milk or a milk nickel."

Meadow Gold dates to 1897 and is still around3, making products such as TruMoo chocolate milk, Espresso Fudge Pie Premium Ice Cream, blue raspberry drink and guava nectar. There are also many kinds of ice-cream bars, though no Milk-Nickel. The company's standard ice-cream bar is probably the closest descendant of the Milk-Nickel.

Related post
1972 wrapper for Eskimo Slush Stik

1. Most other online references refer to them as Milk Nickels, without the hyphen. But I'm going to use the hyphen, since there's one right there the wrapper.
2. Yes, I'm jealous. Y'all should comment more on Papergreat.
3. I found a couple of different Meadow Gold websites, and I'm not sure which one is the most current. They are (which has a nice history page) and, which is focused on the company's presence in Hawaii. Meadow Gold is also listed as a "brand" of Dean Foods on this page.


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  2. I remember eating Milk-Nickels up to the late 60s. Loved 'em. But the event I couldn't wrap my third-grader mind around was when they raised the price to 7-cents. It wasn't a Milk-7-Cents at was a Milk-NICKEL!