9 May 2019

A celebration of Arcoroc mugs

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 1:25 pm on 9 May 2019

The Arcoroc mug has been ubiquitous in this country for decades but how much do we know about them and why are they such an enduring symbol in New Zealand?

Author and journalist John Summers has been putting some serious thought into how and why a small brown mug has united a nation – and has published them on The Spinoff.

Arcaroc mugs in the RNZ kitchen

Arcaroc mugs in the RNZ kitchen Photo: RNZ

We got an unprecedented amount of feedback about Arcaroc mugs. Here's a selection:

"I remember as a tween visiting an old university friend of my parents in Wellington in the early 80s - she served coffee in Arcoroc clear cups and I was in TOTAL AWE of her UNBELIEVABLE STYLE"

"I bought our first Arcoroc things - mugs and plates, from a small gift shop in Courtenay Place in Wellington in 1962"

"Reminds me of my youth. From the UK we always used to spend our summer holidays in Spain (in the 80s), and the hotels always had those memorable cups. Always smokey ones."

"The arcoroc mugs used to be on the Fiordland DOC boat. They would get thrown around in the cup storage slot on the open sea for a long time until they exploded .... when the 'Indestructible' wore off. I had some blue ones... They were larger, That's what you need, Jessie."

And some people reported issues with explosions!

"I had guests for dinner one night and had out some hot gravy in a cup which then exploded and glass went into every plated dinner and was all ruined!!"

"Hi Jesse ArcoRoc: I have experienced them shattering, including while holding them. They seem to store up shocks and then fail catastrophically!" 

"They smash into smithereens...don't have a cuppa in the bath ! But a friend drove over one in his ute and it did not break"