Archive for July, 2011|Monthly archive page

Fuller Surprises

In Cuba Street Wellington, Delicatessen, Fuller Fulton Stores, Fuller Lipton Stores, Poplar Stores, Self Help Stores, Woolworths on July 25, 2011 at 10.46

From the 1920s onwards a revolutionary new way of shopping was introduced – the “self service”. Traditionally orders would be placed by you at the grocer’s counter and employees would weigh and pack for you, as you pointed to the shelves behind them to indicate what you wanted from the available stock. It was also fairly traditional to bring your own containers to refill. Throw-away packaging simply didn’t exist in the way it did later on.

It was a radical idea that took quick hold and grew phenomenally, in tandem with social and economic factors such as the end of rationing, a post-war yearning for freedom and leisure, and subsequently a market flooded with new product to fulfil demands for convenience. In the mid to late 1920s there were few chains – such as 4 Square, AG Stores, and Self-Help. It’s possible, and certainly true in the instance of Self-Help at this time, that you selected your own goods- but still took them to the counter to be packaged, in somewhat of a transitional compromise of tradition.

Fuller-Lipton’s Ltd. was situated at 101 Cuba Street, Wellington – half-way along the eastern side of Cuba Mall. By 1934 the company appears in publications heavily promoting their wares. If you look around in newspaper archives you can find plentiful adverts for their various products, which are pretty over the top; often with comical cartoons illustrating the butter, smallgoods, candy and other products.

It wasn’t long before the name has switched from Fuller-Lipton’s to Fuller-Fulton’s; I am not sure what the desire behind the name change was, but I know how it came about – it was a public competition to rename the store in 1935. It was likely a publicity gimmick to promote the business, much in the way that MGM held a competition to name a new starlet ( the winning moniker was Joan Crawford).

It also seems like Fuller-Fulton’s may have got themselves in a spot of bother over it:

Nevertheless, the name became synonymous with exotic treats – It was one of the largest delicatessens in Wellington and had a reputation amongst European migrants as being the place to go to buy all sorts of interesting foodstuffs at a time when the selection was fairly conservative and bland.
“The thing I particularly remember was the distinctive smell of all the cured hams and salamis and such-like, wafting through the door”, remembers one Wellington regular.
Says Eric Kearney: “I was transferred there in the late 1940’s and remained until 1960. It was a most interesting grocery. The influx of European immigrants searching for foods they were familiar with, together with a wonderful manager, Norm Saunders, meant the importation of many of these foods. The enterprising immigrants who made bread, cheese, and wurst etc., meant that here was an outlet (for their home-made product).” Says another who worked through the late 1970s and early 1980s: “I learned so much about other countries without leaving cuba street; it was a wonderful community ”
It certainly doesn’t make a big deal of a fanciful gourmet aspect in the ads, heavy on the butter, eggs bacon and chocolate, really quite standard fare (or seems very much so to us now) – so it’s interesting to get an insider’s perspective.

He also states that Self-Help (then Co-op, now Sutherland Trust) acquired Fuller-Fulton’s. I am sure there was a small chain of stores by the late 1930s, certainly more than one as far as I recall from ads I’ve seen. Self-Help  most likely acquired it by the end of the 1940s – they had at least 200 stores by the end of WWII themselves, so a company to be reckoned with. Yet I haven’t actually seen any evidence to back up this claim thus far; and there’s no mention of it that I’ve seen in the company history of the Self-Help organisation.

In the mid fifties Fuller-Fulton’s converted to a supermarket but still retained the service delicatessen, and then a few years later doubled it’s floor when a bank vacated the building.

Eric Kearney later mentioned to me that Self-Help purchased the store when it was Fuller Lipton’s and held the competition for the name change, so 1935.  He says:  “Self-Help owned many stores under other names. such as Poplar Stores  just up the road from us, but Fuller-Fulton’s had a reputation par excellence”.  As Self-Help were acquired by Woolworths in 1971 and phased out pretty quickly as far as I know, Self-Help obviously jettisoned Fuller-Fulton’s or part thereof at some point as Fuller-Fulton’s survived, or at least the main store did – surprisingly late in the game – with one person remembering working there as late as 1986. He says: “After the sale by National Distributors and the Self-Help Trust, the premises became a shoe store”. So it still doesn’t supply an answer. Anyway, I wonder what happened after that, between that late sixties and the late eighties? There’s a few unanswered questions, no photos as yet, and no doubt some more to this story. so until then, I’ll leave you with this retrospectively completely inappropriate poultry ad from 1934!




Research Sucks: Woolworths and the Advent of American Style

In Food Fair, Foodtown Supermarkets, Lynn Mall, Progressive Enterprises, Woolworth's Food Fair, Woolworth's stores, Woolworth's supermarkets, Woolworths on July 17, 2011 at 10.46

This is a recent Trademe purchase – a vintage box of “Super-Sip” brand drinking straws made by Woolworths. As it turns out, I have since discovered they were also produced in Australia; albeit in a different main colour scheme of dark red – as opposed to blue. I love the graphics which are different on all sides, and it still has most of the original green and yellow straws inside. These were the days when they used to actually put some effort in, and remember, a lot of it had to be done by hand!


It’s a common misconception that Woolworths Ltd in the Antipodes is part of the F.W. Woolworth Company in the United States. It has no connection. Woolworths had been present in Australia from 1924 (Her Majesty’s Arcade, Sydney, was the first store) and in New Zealand from 1929 when it was founded by Percy Christmas , at which point the Oz and Kiwi interests were separated.


The Wikipedia page for Woolworths claims that its first food store opened in Auckland in 1956, and supermarkets in 1971.

Then it also goes on to state the first supermarket opened in Henderson, West Auckland (which was the nearest town of significance to my home as a child) in 1967. The discrepancies are confusing. Depending on if and how the “Woolworths Food Fair” stores actually differed from a “Woolworths supermarket”, and when the actual “Food Fair” banner was phased out for good, would deem whether either of the dates provided is correct, if at all.

We know that Wikipedia is a little unreliable to say the least, and as far as I know this information is for the most part incorrect. The first Woolworths “Food Fair” (food supermarket, as opposed to “Variety Store”) was opened at Panmure in 1956; and then the next one in  New Lynn, West Auckland – not Henderson, on 30 October 1963. “Lynn Mall” was the first “American Mall”-style shopping centre in New Zealand. The Lynn Mall “Woolworths Food Fair” was the second separate, dedicated food store with cash register checkouts, trolleys, automated doors  and parking like the supermarkets we know today.

Further to that, the Progressive Enterprises site recently started claiming in their history section that Woolworths opened the first Food Fair in Panmure in 1956. This is technically correct, however up until 1963 “Food Fair ” was more or less a department within “Woolworth’s Variety Stores”, as told to me directly by Lance Bates who worked for the company for a number of years:

“Woolworths had a number of “Food Fairs” around Auckland and I guess other places as well. Each of the two main city stores in Queen Street had one tucked away in the back; and the Karangahape Road store, too. Taupo had one I know, as I have a photo of it.  As for the Lynn Mall Food Fair, what I wrote about it is correct. It was within the first drive-in shopping centre built in NZ and opened in 1963. The other Food Fairs were  just sections of the variety stores and no parking other than on-street parking”.

So far I reckon that the Progressive company information is a bit of a cockamamie history amongst a shoddy timeline where I’ve spotted several mistakes including a glaringly funny one; Progressive claim that the second Foodtown of 1961 had a below-cost opening special of Weet-Bix for 19 cents, Wattie’s peach slices for 21 cents, and potatoes for 29 cents per ten pounds. They even provide a clipping although amazingly…decimal wasn’t introduced for more than six years! Enough said.


I’d say there’s not much doubt I have the story right, as I consulted with the very person who set up and managed the first supermarket when I was compiling the post “Snap ‘Em All” in February on “Lynmall” and Woolworths Variety/Food Fair.


So, Lance was able to give me first hand facts as he was right there, and provided photographic proof. I guess all this research and blogging isn’t entirely useless after all!


Advertisement for Wellington Woolworths Stores, 1934.

Given the information I was in possession of, I was sure of my estimate of the mid 1960s for this item. It does look like it could be a bit older than that and now – it’s hard to say.



Addendum late August 2012: Based on some information that came in this week I may have to eat my Woolworths (Variety Store) crepe paper party hat and rewrite this article. It seems Woolworths may actually be able to claim their Panmure store as the first New Zealand supermarket proper, depending on definition.  According to my source, it was a freestanding building with Woolworths split into two under one roof; a Woolworths Variety Store, and a Woolworths Food Fair, which was the first instance a food store was separated as opposed to being  a department  the general variety format. So there you have it. And hopefully that’s final! (but I get the feeling it’s not).

Did Panmure have the proper set-up with parking around the store, trolleys and cash register check-outs? I suppose I am trying to verify, if Woolworths Food Fair Panmure can claim the title of the first proper supermarket as we more or less know them today, in comparison to Foodtown of Otahuhu in 1958, which definitely was a stand-alone building and had parking and trolleys, air conditioning, automated doors and cash register check-outs.It all comes down to those details I think because the difference is previously there was self-service to a degree, no matter how insignificant – but not all of the features, of what would be termed “American style”. (I am excepting having your groceries taken to the car, which was probably a new advent and can be disqualified from impeding the definition).

It was partly the  McKenzies chain of stores who were responsible for the introduction of the “‘American style” features in the shopping experience in Aotearoa after founder John  R. H. McKenzie observed the rise of the five and dime store-style experience after a 1928 trip to the U.S., and upon returning to New Zealand, promptly relocated and restyled every one of his twenty plus stores modelled after this format. Although McKenzies really was in the “variety store” category of selling general merchandise, so the award may go to a store, or small chain of stores, named Fletcher’s of which there has been rumblings of  acknowledgement as being the first one  to offer any sort of “self service” –  it’s possible this refers to stores owned by J. Fletcher who had a small number of stores in the Ohakune and Raetihi, (Manawatu-Wanganui) and Matawhereo, Gisborne areas in the 1900s-1910s. The last mention I can find is 1920 and they seem to have disappeared by the following decade. But it is more likely to be Fletcher Bros who were  running general stores based in Christchurch and Ashburton areas in the 1890s-1910s.   Self Help established in 1922 strictly falls into the grocery store category and  of course was well known for popularizing the personal shopping experience, hence their name…although for quite some time customers only selected their groceries and bought them to the counter to be weighed out and packaged by the storekeeper (so not much of a change, really, except less use of ladders, probably). But still, none are food markets as such. Although Wardell’s had a supermarket in Wellington by 1956, again it was not completely self service so is also removed from the running.

Unless the Panmure Food Fair had all the “new” features I list earlier to qualify, then Foodtown will probably keep it’s claimed title of “the first American-style supermarket in New Zealand”. And Food Fair of Lynn Mall relegated to ” the first dedicated  supermarket in an American-style mall”.

And thus it goes… Anyway, apologies to Progressive for dubbing you “cockamamie” – it was Wikipedia’s fault…honest. If in doubt blame a Wiki I say…any Wiki. That said, someone linked the Woolworths page to this article and some asshat immediately deleted the information. Companies really don’t like it when you “mess” with their “history”. And I am still waiting for death threats from someone over the Iced Vovo thing. 

 Woolworths Ltd of Levin, November 1949, National Library NZ  collection.



Addendum early September 2012: I’m sad to say that one of New Zealand’s longest running chains, Woolworths, is over in New Zealand. When the Woolworths NZ business, under the auspices of Progressive Enterprises (Foodtown, Countdown, (ex) Georgie Pie etc) was acquired by Woolworths Australia Ltd in 2005, a decision was made to phase out the brand and move to the Countdown banner by 2014. This happened a lot faster than anticipated; by 2010 all South Island stores were gone. By the end of 2011 all North Island stores had been changed over. Technically there is just one store left in Mount Manganui, Auckland. However  but for all intents and purposes, the Woolworths brand is defunct.



Addendum early September 2012: As I said I was pretty sure this whole thing wasn’t over yet. I was right! It’s come to light that Woolworths Food Fair Panmure did not have parking. It also  apparently did not have trolleys – but hand baskets.  So the tally is now as follows…

Woolworths Food Fair Panmure was the first separate food market in New Zealand but was not a stand-alone building, and did not have the complete American-style features. Disqualified!

Foodtown Otahuhu was the first stand-alone food market with all American-style features.Therefore it was the first supermarket in New Zealand in 1958

Foodtown Takanini was the second stand-alone food market with all American-style features.Therefore it was the second supermarket in New Zealand in 1961.

Woolworths Food Fair in New Lynn was the first dedicated food market in New Zealand with all American-style features in an American-style  mall . So technically, it was the third supermarket in in New Zealand, but the first supermarket in a shopping centre. 

No, really, I am done now!



Addendum early November 2015: More additions than any article I have written yet, I think. However this is not in relation to the supermarket history – but back to the original subject – which was the Super-Sip box. This wax paper cup has popped up on the Te Papa site recently. I immediately recognised the illustrations on it as being the same as the straw packaging that was sold in New Zealand and Australia. The cup was made by Frank Winstone Ltd of Auckland, a grain and seed merchant that had been around in Quay Street since at least the 1900s and later segued into cardboard/packaging items; they had the licence for the American Lily brand to make cups and straws, their own very successful ‘Super-Sip’ brand, and a contract to make school milk straws until that scheme was phased out in 1967. They no doubt made items for many chain supermarkets and variety stores, such as Woolworths, of course.
When I say ‘made’ I mean Winstone created and distributed the cups. But they were actually manufactured by Carton Specialities Limited, which I wrote about this year in my article on the Uncle’s fast food takeaway chain here.  (like CSL Winstone also had a Henderson, West Auckland branch).  So we can assume the cup below was also made under the Super-Sip brand for Woolworths stores. We don’t have the original packaging so we may never know for sure, but I feel confident to make this leap. Further to that this revelatory matchy-matchy item means the straws box, which I thought may be as far back as the mid 1950s- quite possibly dates from much later – the 1970s. 

Cup disposable wax Frank M Winstone (Merchants) Ltd (distributor), c1970s Carton Specialities Ltd. (manuf) Auckland TePapaGH024337


Disposable wax paper cup by Winstone, 1970s. Image courtesy of the The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa collection, ref  GH024337.


Bite Size: Repear

In Canned Goods, Desserts, Wattie's on July 14, 2011 at 10.46

This is, again, a label that was sold from part of a collection that went on the market  in early 2008 which I mention in this post.

This was just before I came on the Kiwiana scene and was an archive kept by an ex-marketing manager who had worked at Wattie’s through the 1950s to the 1970s.


It was snatched up by two or so buyers, I am told, who are now releasing bits and pieces from it. All in all, I probably managed to get about ten from two different sellers this year so far, but it’s obvious they are not the best stuff – and these earlier and rare ones which I think date from the mid-late fifties, were way out of my price range.
It took me over a day of work to recreate this from a snapshot, painting the illustration digitally. There is a whole bunch of them in this fruit/fruit juice range but it’s such painstaking, time consuming work that it’s going to take me a long time to get around to finishing all of them. Anything with an illustration takes forever to do.
But there’s something quite satisfying about bringing back a long-gone piece of art from the dead that may otherwise never be seen again, once it’s gone to a private collector.


I previously posted on a little of the history of the Wattie’s company and the Frimley’s brand here, but there’s more to cover – as well as history of the other brands that it eventually acquired: Kirkpatrick, K, Playtime, Thomson & Hill, and Oak to name some well-known labels of the past that were snatched up and assimilated.

Bite Size: Beats me

In AllBlack, Beatall, Chocolate, confectionery on July 12, 2011 at 10.46

 As you can see I now have a logo for my new “Bite Size” posts which are hopefully going to be short and sweet with any luck. Perhaps I’ll change it from time to time however for the time being it has been based on last week’s post about the Tip-Top boy. There’s less to know on this product than anything I’ve posted on previously, I think. It’s a counter display box, and I bought it in an antique shop in Ponsonby, Auckland around 1989. I had totally forgotten I owned it and found it whilst cleaning the cupboard when I flipped it open to see what was inside. So this paper panel is on the inside lid of the box, and the outside had no more clues to speak of. There’s no address or company name beside “AllBlack” which was a reasonably generic name sort of like “Acme” and covered everything from corn cures to gloves. As was “Sante”, a sure fire seller everyone from Whittaker’s (whom I think were the instigators) to Nestlé had their own at some point.

a a

The only thing I turned up was in the NZ Intellectual Property records – There were trademarks registered for “Beatall” cocoa (1923), “Beatall”  skim milk (1933), and “AllBlack” in the same goods classification (1931) which were never renewed at any point and are all expired since the 1980s. Of course this information does not help a great deal. This box could date anywhere between the early 1920s and the late 1950s but I am going to estimate between 1945 and 1955. Reason being the late Deco style of graphics, which was used well into the middle of the 1950s, would set a rough frame, combined with the fact that I was not able to turn up a single reference to either “Beatall” or “AllBlack” in any newspaper at all. This would tell me that it was post war (the news archive do not go beyond 1945 at this point in time). Perhaps when Papers Past go forth with everything after WWII, it will shed some light on the history of this company and its products.



Addendum March 2012: In my visual and research travels over the last few months I have come across two more minimal references to the Beatall brand; one below from an ad for the Star Stores (the National Economy Stores chain of the 1930s-1940s ), and another from Richard Wolfe and Stephen Barnett’s book “New Zealand, New Zealand!”, above, which gives no further explanation – even a mention as to this brand – or what this item was from. It looks like the sticker from the outside of  POS box (point-of-sale item, in this case designed for counter display) which is what the panel I focused this post on is also from. I doubt that an off the shelf box would come in a ten pound weight! This indicates it’s from an era when the grocer would still measure out your selection for you, so it would probably date from the 1930s in all likelihood. That seems to tee up with the other dates I’ve found. I still haven’t turned up any other records yet. I am starting to wonder if there is a possibility Beatall was turned out of the National Economy Factory, along with the Orchid and Crystal brands – likely self lines for their own shops.



Addendum July 2015: Recently, this interesting item popped up for sale in Australia;  a  paper label from a ‘Beatall’ brand cocoa tin.  According to the seller this item was produced some time between the 1930s and the 1950s. I’d say the former would be more accurate. This brand was produced by the Nestlé and Anglo-Swiss  Condensed Milk Co., who had already been established in New Zealand for decades by this time. Was  the All Black/Beatall brand made by Nestlé?  It is very possible, given the above registration records indicate production of powdered milk as well as chocolates; obviously both items the company was renowned for; and that Nestlé  also did make sante style chocolate for a time. Although, I still suspect that  the actual All Black/Beatall chocolate brand was probably made by a smaller, more obscure company. I guess time will tell. 


Australian Products Labels BEATALL Cocoa NESTLE seller says 1930s-50s edit copy

More Ice Age Than Frosty

In Dairy Products, Desserts, Frosty Boy, Ice Cream, Tip-Top on July 7, 2011 at 10.46

tip top tub boy SMALLER WATERMARKED copy

Note: Due to repetitive theft by those who take my intellectual property from this blog without my permission, and reproduce it as merchandise for sale on sites such as Ebay, Redbubble and Trade Me,  I have now watermarked this image. If you are interested in purchasing merch of this image you can head to my personal Redbubble store.

Something very interesting came to light a few days ago when fellow collector and Flickr member Steve Williams aka stevepwnz uploaded an ice cream cup from part of his collection, an old Tip-Top container featuring a character that I’ve never seen before, certainly it wasn’t widely used that I am aware of.


I’ve recreated the graphic as best I can from the photos, which he very kindly put up an extra of – after I requested I’d like to see more of it.
It immediately struck me of the similarities with the famous Frosty Boy brand character. We had a brief discussion opining on the resemblance between the two.


Note: Due to repetitive theft by those who take my intellectual property from this blog without my permission, and reproduce it as merchandise for sale on sites such as Ebay, Redbubble and Trade Me,  I have now watermarked some images. If you are interested in purchasing merch of my designs you can head to my personal Redbubble store.

Frosty Boy resonates with most New Zealanders of my generation as a brand they remember well from their childhood, but in actual fact Frosty Boy is not really a Kiwi – he was created in Australia in 1976. I mentioned recently that there are quite a few “cross-overs” in the Australasian market. Frosty boy remained as an Antipodean whole until Bonlac purchased the company from Australian Dairies in the 1990s and split it across the two countries.

The logo has changed very little from inception. Here’s a piece of a milkshake cup I cut out and kept from the late 1980s. The brand is still going strong today and the product range has expanded to include a surprisingly large selection: frozen yoghurt, milkshake syrups , toppings, analogue cream  (layman: mock) powder, Belgian chocolate powder, Chai Latte, slushies, gelato, gourmet syrups, Frappés, jellies, cones, as well as of course their famous soft serve ice cream.
Given the retro/rocker stylings I always assumed, by the time I was aware of and appreciated such things in my late teens, that Frosty Boy was much older than he actually is -from circa mid 1950s to mid 1960s I imagined. But in fact it would have been inspired, like products such as “Fonzies” (see previous post) to cash in on the mid seventies revival heralded by “Happy Days” and “Laverne & Shirley”.
side by side comparison SMALLER WATERMARK copy

Let’s compare the two characters side by side shall we? Hmmm. Interesting.
I definitely think that this Tip-Top cup is the real deal from the first half of the 1960s though, so it preceded Frosty Boy by quite a few years at the least.

Do I think that the Frosty Boy character was an entirely original concept after seeing this? No, I don’t. There’s just too many similarities for it to be a coincidence.

Addendum September 2011: Interestingly, it has come to my attention via a museum that a New Zealand  ice cream concern named Barlow’s was first using the slogan “Often Licked, Never Beaten” probably in the 1930s. It was then used by the Dunedin-based Royal Ice Cream Co. in the 1950s. It‘s  also recalled it was perhaps used by the Snowdrop Ice Cream brand  in Dunedin in the 1950s (possible, but doubtful). This  was later picked up and used by Tip Top for a time – probably by way of Royal brand which it acquired (along with every other Kiwi ice cream business that didn’t just eventually fold under pressure from them). Now synonymous with the Frosty Boy brand. Yet another “coincidence”? 

Bite Size: My Goodies

In Maycey's, Whittaker's on July 6, 2011 at 10.46

I came up with an idea for briefer posts which I am going to call “Bite Size” from now on; as opposed to the longer, researchy type of posts I do that take quite some time to put together – as I’m going to find in the next few months I’m not going to have that sort of time on my hands. When I have a moment I’ll put together a logo for it.

On that note, today I got my order from Kiwi Fine Foods in Queensland;

Black Knight’s  Liquorice Assortment

Rainbow’s Feijoa Creams

Empire’s Liquorice Bars

Maycey’s Glo-Harts

Empire’s Feijoa drops

Whittaker’s K Bars, every flavour

I found Kiwi Fine Foods on-line while I was researching Maycey’s products and I couldn’t help myself – many of these products I haven’t tried for thirty years. And this is probably the closest I am going to get to Feijoas in the forseeable future too (except for a couple of months ago when a friend in Melbourne was complaining about a bumper crop that she didn’t want – but flatly refused to post any to me!)

I last recall having Black Knight when I was five years old,  so I really can’t wait until tonight to tear this open! Although the box seems about two thirds the size I recall…everyone always says that , don’t they?

I know it’s childish to be this excited about candy, but you know – cheap thrills and all that.


Gettin’ it Twisted

In Bluebird, Bluebird Foods Ltd, Fonzies, Twisties on July 2, 2011 at 10.46

I finally found this stashed away Twisties bag that I have been promising a couple of people I would post up. This dates back to 1986 and I kept it because the design was still really old-fashioned even then and I liked it and pinned it to my bedroom wall for “ideas” (I don’t know what kind of idea I was expecting or if, indeed, I ever had one).

Most people would be familiar with the advertising campaign “Life’s pretty straight without Twisties!” for this product – apparently “the number one extruded snack brand”.  Using the word “extruded” in my opinion isn’t the most marketable expression to use for your product, but anyway…they date back to 1950 when they were introduced by General foods in Australia, and Bluebird Foods Ltd  in New Zealand (I think it was still stand-alone and not part of behemoth Goodman Fielder – yet.)

With a lot of these brands there is cross-over as the markets were pretty similar and in fact, Oz being much larger they obviously had more products created there -that were in turn introduced onto the Kiwi market. A lot of things I see as memories of classic New Zealand brands – such as Twisties, Frosty Boy, Riviera’s Fags, Woolworths, Mello Yello – are actually Australian or were introduced simultaneously. It’s kind of inextricable.


A couple of these older Twisties bags have come up for sale on Ebay down under and I’m unable to date them but I’ll guess late 1950s – early 1960s. The packaging was probably more or less identical in New Zealand so I think it’s safe to say, that’s what it looked like back then too.

An early-mid nineties example from stevepwnz‘s flickr collection:


This shows that the packaging has somewhat lost its old-fashioned charm by this time, which is pretty exemplary of what I’ve dubbed “the decade that style really forgot” (it’s not actually the 1970s as most people say).


Interestingly, Twisties are produced in Italy under the brand name “Fonzies”. In the mid 1970s, General Foods and Bluebird, on the back of the success of the T.V. series “Happy Days” and the resulting 1950’s retro/ Greaser style revival that resulted – did a licensing deal with Paramount Pictures and marketed a cheesy snack product named “Fonzies”, for actor Henry Winkler’s character “The Fonz”, which was the epitome of cool to boys at that time and much impersonated.


Inside each packet was one from a set of collectable stickers often seen on school bags and books. They apparently tasted “more like Cheetos than Twisties” according to another collector. I used to eat them but can’t remember much detail about the flavour, however I remember these snacks well from school days along with ETA Chicken Chips, and Jack’s Chip Stix, which you can see both  posts on respectively in the archives: