The link covers long forgotten ice cream patent wars in the 1920s and 1930s.Link
PS, about the decorated products:
Making food products with applied decorations is much harder than molding. This is why the Korean fish looks so good, but the ice cream treats are entirely random.
The process is not unlike traditional printing, except that there is little chance for registration when the food items are printed with rapidly applied strings of sugar/frosting.
The tolerances on existing equipment are very loose - almost +/- .25", and there is little guarantee that the applied decorations will go where you expect.
When the jobs are setup, everything looks great - but 8 or 9 hours later, the jobs tend to drift and move from thermal changes.
Quality control is pretty much limited to taste (and you know how random that is) and trying to keep the products frozen.
Anything else is irrelevant - it only has to be attractive when you provide a production sample to the guy that orders 10,000 bulk cases of pirate pops.
Kids will eat anything, especially if the wrapper/label is shiny and features a recognizable character. Thus, there is no incentive to make each item perfect.
Items which are extrusion or cold molded with colors do somewhat better, but again, it's just ice cream.
Sadly, with food, quality doesn't seem to pay as well as quantity!
Previously on Boing Boing:
• Expertly produced Korean red bean ice cream fish
• Tweety Bird popsicle doesn't look like Tweety Bird
• Bugs Bunny popsicle
• Turtle popsicle reflects pride in workmanship
• Popsicle parody ad