In Switzerland, a popular tri-colored popsicle goes by three names: Rakete (German), Fusée (French) and Razzo (Italian). Translated to English, they all mean “Rocket.” When I first saw this frozen treat, I assumed it was a knock-off of the American Bomb Pop. However, the Rakete has a history all its own. How well do you know this Swiss culinary symbol of summertime? Here are 10 facts about a product that evokes childhood memories.
Did you know…
1. NASA’s Apollo 11 mission inspired the creation of the Rakete in 1969. Almost immediately following the successful American moon landing, the Frisco company in Goldach, a municipality of Rorschach in the canton of Saint Gallen, launched a new popsicle. Its design mimicked the shape of this famous spacecraft. Over 50 years later, it remains one of Switzerland’s most popular frozen treats.
2. The Rakete has three flavor components. The popsicle itself has two layers: an orange-flavored red base and an almost translucent white-colored pineapple layer above it. The tip of the popsicle gets dipped in chocolate, creating a thin, almost crunchy cap.
3. Unlike in the past, today’s “rocket” popsicle contains 100% all-natural ingredients. The Frisco company has said that the recipe for this popsicle has not changed much over the years, although it no longer uses artificial coloring. Here’s the list of ingredients: water; sugar; lemon juice from concentrate; glucose syrup; coconut oil; sunflower oil; guar gum; safflower, carrot, lemon and pumpkin concentrates; cocoa powder; natural flavorings and sunflower lecithin.
4. Each year, Frisco produces around 8 million Rakete popsicles. At the factory, it takes roughly 10 minutes to produce one of these beloved treats. This includes packaging the product and quality control.
5. For more than two decades, the Frisco brand has been affiliated with Nestlé. This multi-national corporation first acquired a major stake in this Swiss ice cream manufacturer in 1980 and officially incorporated the brand as part of its portfolio in 1998. Since 2016, Frisco has been part of the UK-based Froneri Group, a license partner of Nestlé.
6. You can buy this frozen treat for about CHF 1.30. If you buy a box of 12 Rakete at a Swiss supermarket, you’ll pay approximately 63 centimes per popsicle. In comparison, when Frisco first introduced them in 1969, they cost 30 centimes each.
7. Frisco is not the only company making rocket-inspired popsicles for Switzerland. Migros also sells its own version. Made with similar ingredients and a nearly-identical shape, Migros calls it the “Delta-Jet.” In addition, the Lusso Rocket has almost the same shape, but it lacks the chocolate-coating on top.
8. Not surprisingly, people especially enjoy the Rakete during the summer months. Apparently two-thirds of these popsicles produced each year are consumed during the months of May to August.
9. You can try making them at home. Perhaps you’re missing this iconic summer treat from Switzerland? If so, you should check out this recipe from Coop’s FOOBY, in case you can’t get the real thing.
10. Rakete has influenced the creations of Swiss artists and designers. A Swiss textile and fashion designer Carla Rickenbacher has created scarves emblazoned with Rakete. Fidea Design has produced post cards. In 2013, a poster by Louis Wälti featuring the Rakete won a competition organized by the Swiss children’s museum in Baden.
- “50 ans après son lancement, la “fusée” suisse rafraîchit toujours les palais,” RTS – Radio Télévision Suisse (June 8, 2019).
- “Die Preis-Explosion bei der Rakete,” Blick.ch (September 11, 2018).
- “Frisco Rorschach produziert jährlich acht Millionen Raketen,” Nau.ch (June 28, 2019).
- “Switzerland and the first Moon landing,” Swissinfo.ch (July 20, 2019).