The ice cream today known as Magnum was developed in Belgium at the Ola laboratory (Baasrode) in cooperation with the Belgian chocolate producer Callebaut and launched in Germany in January 1989 as an upmarket ice cream for the existing Nogger brand. It was originally manufactured by Frisko in Denmark. The original Magnum (later rebranded as Magnum Classic) consisted of a thick bar of vanilla ice cream on a stick, with real chocolate coating. As there was no real chocolate which could stand the temperature of −40 degrees Celsius, an ad hoc chocolate had to be developed.The original Magnum had a weight of 86 grams and a volume of 120 mL)
The company also started selling Magnum ice cream cones in 1994 and an ice cream sandwich in 2002.
Starting in 1992, the company added Magnum Almond, Double Chocolate, and other flavours. In 2002, Magnum branched into frozen yogurt with their raspberry fruit swirl covered in milk chocolate. Moments were introduced which were bite-size ice cream treats with caramel, chocolate, or hazelnut centres, followed later in the year by "mini", "crunchy" (with almonds), and "light". Late 2002 saw the launch of Magnum Intense, a chocolate truffle center enveloped in ice cream and covered with chocolate, and the limited edition 7 Deadly Sins series of ice creams, whose flavours were named after the seven deadly sins. Sins was followed by another limited edition range in 2005 in which each flavour was named after one of the senses: Magnum Aroma, Magnum Touch, Magnum Sound, Magnum Taste, and Magnum Sight.
In 2003, Streets, the brand under which Magnum is sold in Australia and New Zealand, brought out a limited edition series of ice creams known as The Sixties Nine featuring sixties-related names: John Lemon, Wood Choc, Jami Hendrix, ChocWork Orange, Peace ManGO, Cinnaman on the Moon, Cherry Guevara, Candy Warhol and Guava Lamp.
them off to gain a free Magnum T-shirt. The extreme popularity of the ChocWork Orange resulted in Streets selling it as the "Chocolate Orange" Magnum for some time after the remainder of the range was discontinued. Similarly, the Peppermint Envy of the Seven Deadly Sins range became "Peppermint" and is still available in Australia today.
In Greece, the Magnum brand name is owned by Nestlé, so the Unilever ice cream uses the name Magic.