We admit to being a Reddi-Wip fan. The last time we looked, there were four varieties: Original, Fat Free, Extra Creamy and Chocolate. But now, the brand calls these four flavors the Classics. Reddi-Wip is on top of all the food and beverage trends. Now, beyond the Classics, there are:
The only problem: Finding them! Our supermarket had only the Classics.
In the 1940s, during the food rationing days of World War II, Aaron S. “Bunny”* Lapin, a clothing salesman in St. Louis, invented a product called Sta-Whip, as a cream substitute. It was made from light cream and vegetable oil.
He turned to selling Sta-Whip, which still had to be whipped in the kitchen.
In 1946, the Crown Cork and Seal Company introduced the first seamless, lined and lithographed aerosol canister, the Spra-tainer. Mr. Lapin became one of its first customers, and Sta-Whip was packaged in the aerosol cans.
In 1948 he invented Reddi-Wip, using real cream.
Initially sold through milkmen in St. Louis. A great convenience food, distribution quickly expanded throughout the United States and Canada.
A Whipped Cream Millionaire
Within five years, Mr. Lapin was worth millions. Aerosol Age, a trade publication, wrote, “He bought Cadillacs two at a time and lived in Gloria Swanson’s furnished mansion in Hollywood” [source].
Next, he developed a new nozzle more suitable for dispensing whipped cream: the fluted valve that creates a pattern and tilts to preserve the propellant (nitrous oxide, which easily infuses into the cream, whipping it as it comes out of the can). He received a patent for the nozzle in 1955.
The iconic red-and-white label was designed in 1954. In 1998, Lapin received a mention in Time magazine as one of the century’s most influential inventors [source].
Lapin sold the company in 1963. In the early 1980s, Amaretto and Butterscotch flavors were introduced, but didn’t take off.
After several corporate owners, the brand is now owned by Conagra. It’s the number-two brand of whipped topping in the U.S., after Cool Whip.
*Lapin is the French word for rabbit, engendering the nickname “Bunny.”
†Whipped Lemonade Recipe. Ingredients for 4 servings: 3 cups ice, 2 cups Reddi-Wip, 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 4 lemon slices, additional Reddi-Wip to garnish. Pour the ice, Reddi-Wip, sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice into a blender and blend until mixture is slushy. Add up to 1/4-cup water if needed to help it blend. Pour the drink into glasses, garnish with lemon slices and top with Reddi-Wip.