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Sealtest Dairy was a division of National Dairy Products Corporation (predecessor to Kraft Foods, Inc.) of Delaware. It produced milk, cream, ice cream, and lemonade. The Sealtest brand was also later used by various companies in Canada under licence (now held by Agropur).
Sealtest also sponsored an ice cream store at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida named Sealtest Ice Cream Parlor and Sealtest Ice Cream Wagon. At one time, the advertising agency on record, Young & Rubicam, wanted to reintroduce the brand as "Now with Natural Vanilla." Consumers responded that they believed the brand to be "all natural" already and the effort to increase brand spending was ended before it went to market.
Sealtest had milk and ice cream plants across the midwestern and northeastern part of the United States, with large operations in Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, LaCrosse, Wisconsin, Huntington, Indiana, Rockford, Illinois, and Philadelphia, as well as New York City. Its Mid-South operations were based in Nashville.
The Milwaukee operation was purchased from a family-owned dairy operation, Luick Dairy, in the late 1940s or after. The Sealtest brand was originally a franchise, much like the 'Quality Chekd' dairy brand - local milk bottlers bought the rights to the Sealtest name in their market areas. Luick and presumably all the other franchisees were bought up by National Dairy Co.
Sealtest Dairy Company was founded and operated by Vernon F. Hovey. After his death, the company was turned over to his two sons. They ran the business in the state of New York, before selling the business.
The Sealtest brand was ultimately acquired from Kraft (along with Breyers) in 1993 by Unilever, which retains the underlying rights to the brand. Sealtest milk products are currently produced and packaged by Milkco, Inc. of Asheville, North Carolina, a subsidiary of Ingles Markets, Inc. The brand name is licensed under the Good Humor-Breyers subsidiary of Unilever. All Sealtest ice cream products have been discontinued.
In Canada, the Sealtest brand name arrived in 1961 when Dominion Dairies Limited came under the control of National Dairy Products (later Kraft). In 1981, Ault Foods of Toronto, Ontario acquired Dominion Dairies, and with it the licensing rights to the Sealtest brand name. At the time, the Sealtest name was used on dairy products including milk and the Parlour brand of ice cream, primarily in Ontario and Quebec. The Sealtest plant in Toronto took over operations of Silverwood Dairy, another local dairy, in the 1980s.
Ault was broken up in 1996 and 1997, with rights to ice cream products including the Sealtest Parlour line being acquired by Nestlé, Ontario fluid milk products purchased by Agropur (and ultimately absorbed into its Natrel division), and the remainder of the company (including Quebec fluid milk products) acquired by Parmalat.
- Sealtest Ice Cream Parlor at Walt Disney World - WDWHistory.com
- Unilever. "Breyers History". Retrieved 2012-06-17.
- Canadian Intellectual Property Office. "CANADIAN TRADE-MARK DATA: Registration Number TMA129722". Canadian Trade-marks Database. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
- Milkco, Inc., Retrieved Apr. 16, 2015.
- Daily Press - Sealtest Brand Of Ice Cream Discontinued by Pernell Watson and Elizabeth Joines (February 17, 1999), Retrieved Apr. 16, 2015.
- "Dominion Dairies Ltd". Quebec Dairies. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
- "CONSOLIDATION IN THE CANADIAN DAIRY INDUSTRY - THE PROCESSORS". The Ram's Horn. Summer 1997. Retrieved 2012-06-17. Republished by Ecological Agriculture Projects, McGill University.