Food advertising shanghai 1930s

Hazelwood Ice Cream

Brands of products in Old Shanghai have long been of interest to me (See post “Brands of Old Shanghai” for more details. After recently been interested in Coca-Cola and Aquarius drinks brands and advertising, I was sent the above ad by a friend. This probably a newspaper cut or a flyer. Although it displays numerous brands I got particularly interested in Hazelwood ice creams.

Hazelwood Ice Cream was made and sold in Shanghai by American merchant Henningsen Producing Company, Ltd. which was founded in 1889 by Danish businessman Fred Henningsen and his four sons. On April 6, 1919, a report stated that the American Haining Company sold imported milk in Shanghai. In 1926, Haining Yanghang’s ice cream products were launched in large numbers, with the English brand name “Hazelwood” and the Chinese name “Lotus” brand.

Hazelwood factory in Shanghai

Above sketch by German artist David L Bloch, shows the Hazelwood factory in Shanghai, with the brand written on the delivery trucks. Although it displays profiles Shanghai landmark such as The Great World, Grosvenor House, the Cathay Hotel and Bank of China on the Bund, it’s probably not a reliable indication of the factory location, that is unknown.

Hazelwood was distributing cooling equipment to ice cream resellers, just like today. The above machines were ready for distribution. (picture source for above and below pictures: Tong Bingxue Twitter account).

The introduction of a full set of cold beverage production equipment from the USA allowed to mass produce multi-price products, adopting new-style refrigeration equipment and popular marketing methods. The brand name was also changed to “Beauty” brand. The products quickly occupied the market and achieved an absolute monopoly in the ice cream industry in Shanghai. It was sold in Nanjing, Suzhou, Hangzhou and other places. In 1938, the North American Refrigeration Company also produced “Miracle” ice cream.

Hazelwood ice cream ad from 1938

Henningsen Production company was later changed to Shanghai Yimin Food No. 1 Factory, 上海益民食品一厂 that is still active today.

3 thoughts on “Hazelwood Ice Cream”

  1. Thanks for these fascinating details about Hazelwood. I’m curious to know about its relationship with Meidi (or Meidea) 美的冰淇淋公司. My grandfather-in-law Frank Dzu-wu Tan 譚祖武 was Asst. Manager of the Hankou office of Hazelwood in the 1930s, but the family always called it Meidi. Are they one and the same company? Was it also related to a brand call Beauty Ice Cream 美女牌冰淇淋? Do you have any information on the manager of the Hankou office of Hazelwood in the 1930s, L.K. C. Yoh? When I first visited Hankou in 1981 it wasn’t hard to gather a dozen elderly people who still lived in the neighborhood and remembered the Meidi factory, but regretfully I hadn’t prepared useful questions to ask them! Any info you might have will be greatly appreciated.

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