longwhitekid

Fishy Buzzness

In Biscuits, Cadbury Confectionery Ltd, Cadbury Fry Hudson, Cadbury Schweppes Hudson Ltd, Chocolate, confectionery, Cookie Bear, Griffin’s, Hudson's Chocolate Fish, Hudsons, Hudsons Buzz Bars, Pascall, Schweppes on February 6, 2012 at 10.46

Frozen Buzz Bars poster 400 dpi  colour adjust

Buzz Bars point-of-sale cardboard poster recreation,  probably late 1970s-early 1980s.  

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OK, I’m not sure what else they would be frozen with if not a freezer, but thanks for letting us know. Ah, the joys of vintage advertising. They just kept it simple, even if that meant leaning towards scratchings of complete irrelevance.  None of this baffling us with quasi-organic blatherings.

Anyway, I definitely remember these Hudson’s Buzz Bars from my childhood in the 1970s – they were made of marshmallow dipped in caramel,  then covered in chocolate. They were extremely popular along with the ubiquitous Chocolate Fish (a seafood shaped, milk chocolate covered raspberry or vanilla marshmallow treat that are often whacked in there with all the other popular Kiwiana icons).

Buzz Bars point-of-sale counter box, probably early 1960s.  

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One of my favourite childhood memories is my grandmother’s tenant when I was a toddler; I think her name was Janet or Janice, I can’t quite recall. She just adored me (well, I was very cute) and every once in a while she would leave Chocolate Fish in Nanna’s letterbox for me, sometimes with a Little Golden Book.

Of course to my generation Hudson’s was also the propagator of the famous “Cookie Bear” . Who didn’t get their annual birthday postcard from him? (parents would sign you up and the Hudson’s company would send you a birthday greeting from their mascot every year, replete with paw print. Well, to a small child it seemed like the real deal at the time). Of course later on he suddenly became the Griffin’s mascot, which was a little confusing for those that grew up with him, I touched on it in one of my first few, now seemingly rather amateurish posts, on the blog here. http://longwhitekid.wordpress.com/category/hudsons/

Back of Cookie Bear birthday postcard from Hudson’s, issued 1979 

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I recreated this poster at top, which looks to be a card point-of-sale ad of the type that would be hung up in a dairy (known as a milk bar in Australia, or Drug Store in the U.S. – same thing) from a very low res, shoddy photo that accompanied an on-line auction a few months ago and the design looks to date from the early 1980s.

Chocolate Fish point-of-sale counter box, probably mid 1960s.  

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I wrote out the company history for this post but quite frankly it’s a bit too heavy-going with all the complicated twists and turns, mergers and buy-outs – so I am just going to give you a potted history:
Richard Hudson arrived in Dunedin in 1868 and set up a bakehouse that same year in Dowling Street churning out biscuits and pastries. By 1884 he had established a cocoa processing and chocolate manufacturing plant, thought to be the first in the Southern hemisphere (Kiwis triumphant over the Aussies yet again!), so chocolate and other confections were being produced from then on. In 1930-1931 Hudson’s merged with Cadbury, (or some sources say Cadbury Fry) of Britain and that is how the first Cadbury chocolate bar came to roll off the production line as opposed to being imported. That’s another whole story we won’t get into right now.

Chocolate fish, photo courtesy of  Kim Baillie, Wangi’s Famous Lolly Shop, Lake Macquarie, Australia.a

Things chugged along nicely until around 1969 when Cadbury Fry Hudson conglomerated internationally with Schweppes to become Cadbury Schweppes Hudson Ltd. In the late 1980s onwards things start to get really messy with Griffin’s coming into the picture in some capacity, or maybe entirely – and some brand swapping back and forth as well. And moving some Hudson products under the Pascall brand, just to confuse things. See what I mean? I’m sparing you this time around. Basically what was left continued under Griffin’s from thereon although there have been at least three different corporate owners between that period and now.

Buzz Bars are actually still being made today, at this time under the Cadbury brand. whatever scraps are actually left of the original Hudson’s company confectioneries are now back under the jurisdiction of Cadbury Confectionery Ltd.
I’ll get back to the Hudson’s Cookie Bear, Cadbury and Griffin’s later on in the year, or maybe the following. There’s certainly a lot of ground to cover.


Buzz Bar, photo courtesy of Kim Baillie, Wangi’s Famous Lolly Shop, Lake Macquarie, Australia.

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All content of Longwhitekid copyright Darian Zam © 2014. All rights reserved.

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  1. Not really sure how I stumbled across this blog, but its amazing! Ever thought of doing a book? This is the eptiome of everything I am interested in and love. Graphic design, New Zealand nostolgia. Brilliant.
    Do you know anything about the Moggy Man ice block?? I contacted Tip Top once and they reckoned they had an old poster in their archive. As I live in Australia, its a bit hard to go there and have a look.

  2. Thanks for your comment Ann, I appreciate it. I don’t seem to get many! I suppose it’s a very niche area and I haven’t focussed too much on the very pop Kiwiana brands (Tip-top, Edmonds, Bell, Griffin’s, Weetbix, Four Square etc) until lately – which I am intending to make my way through over the next few months – I think that’s what people seem to be most interested in because they relate to it, obviously.
    For some reason things from the blog seem to come to the top of many Google searches, I am not sure why but that is a good thing!
    Same, I’m in Australia so it is hard for me to get access to a lot of stuff like archives, especially anything post-WWII. I have a lot of work planned for later in the year, I get a feeling I will be spending the bulk of my time in museums, libraries and company archives rather than with family and friends. I’m sure I’ll be popular!
    What I understand of Moggy Man is that he replaced the Tip-Top TT-2 which was around from some time in the 1950s. Flavours I know of were Star Strobe, Red Rocket (Peter Pan also had a “Red Rocket”), Concorde Orange and Lemon. It became “TT2 Moggy Man” in the 1960s and then in 1968 they dropped the TT2 f bit off the name altogether. Richard Wolfe who has written a slew of books on Kiwiana which you’d be aware of and is considered kind of the authority (debatable), has an obsession with TT2 so you may find something on them in his books.

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