You’ve been SnackJacked

In Chipstix, Jack's Snacks, Reid Foods, Snack Foods on February 12, 2011 at 10.46

This bag came up on Trademe quite some time ago, perhaps as long as three years. I remember it from my childhood around the mid 1970’s although the design was already pretty dated then. I bid and lost the auction, but I kept the image intending to eventually recreate the graphic, which I have done here.

As usual, curious, I started researching the brand and company and I am afraid to say that this time I have turned up zilch. I just can’t find any information on Jack’s or Reid Foods in New Zealand at all…

however I did run across this, which is interesting. It is a POS from the very extensive collection of Dan Goodsell, artist and creator of the Mr. Toast character. A Flickr “pro”, his images number over 7,500 and most of that is vintage packaging from his collection, making him one of the biggest authorities on the genre.

There are many points about the branding that make it clear there is some relation – the name, the colours, font and layout – It’s really the same logo except instead of the human chef it had a bird wearing the hat. so I asked him what he knew of it.

“I think Jack’s was a 1950’s local California Chip company. Probably it has no relation to the New Zealand brand. Most of the US potato chip brands were just small local manufacturers. Only later in the 1960’s and beyond did larger companies consolidate and take over or push out the smaller guys. So I would guess it is no”.

I wonder if it was made legitimately under a licensing deal? or just “ripped off”? Dan’s answer makes me think that it was very closely inspired… lifted,…well let’s just call a spade and say it’s been jacked, figuratively speaking.

In my Google travels I located this company in Costa Rica that is still making a product called “Jack’s” today. Interesting how similar the logo is….what do you think? I’ll stick with the “appropriated” scenario in both cases! I am sure eventually more information will turn up but until I am delivered more clues by the research gods, I’ll just have to be satisfied with what I’ve got.

Check out Grickily’s (Dan Goodsell) photostream on Flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/60585948@N00

  1. If anyone who has subscribed can let me know if notifications are coming through ok…

  2. hi I used to work at Jacks Snacks Reid Road Dunedin if you want info on the company
    my email is stujross@gmail.com

  3. As a boy, I remember eating Jack’s crisps in Hull, England in 1975. The logo was almost certainly the same as the bird in the chef’s hat that you recreated, so I don’t think this was necessarily an NZ company. I remember sending an empty packet away for a free gift (a cardboard mask of some sort). It took about six months to arrive – after I had given up all hope! Perhaps these are the empty packets ending up on e-bay!

  4. Let me set everyone straight on Jack’s Snacks. The original company is from South Bend, Indiana. My wife’s Grandmother’s father started the company back in the 1920’s. Her grandmother took over the company in the 1930’s and ran it through the 1950’s. They sold the company to an investment group. She was the inventor of the Cheese Puffs and the banking process back in the 1940’s long before Cheetos (which ending up owning the process). The products and process was licensed throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. How do I know all this, her grandmother just passed away this year at over 99 years old and she told me the whole history of Jack’s Snacks.

  5. Give me your email. I have found lots of info. It was Jacks Tasty Snacks Corporation, from Oneida, NY. The merged with Bachman’s Pretzels in 1956. They changed names in 1962 to Bachman-Jacks. The company recently changed to Savor Street as there name, but still produces snack foods. Founds lots of cool stuff. Became interested after seeing an ad in a 1950s TV guide.

  6. My Dad John Gale was the founder and manufacturer of Jack’s Snacks, we were base in Dunedin, New Zealand on Reid Road then moved to Stone Street, about early 1990 my father sold the company to ETA and they still manufacture Munchos.

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