Advertisement for Betta peanut butter, from January 1955 , publication unknown
Mike Davidson is one of the better known Kiwiana collectors around or rather, he is one of the handful that choose to be known. As such, he actually shares his passion for collecting the genre with others . His moniker on Flickr is Kiwigame and you can see some of his collection of here.
He also has a fairly extensive collection of New Zealand tumblers, specifically the ones that were printed with ceramic designs.
Plastic tumbler for Kraft cheese spread, sold in NZ, likely 1940s
Prior to the early 1950s, perhaps as far back as the thirties there were some tumblers produced by Sanitarium and Kraft, in colourful speckled Bakelite or plastic. They were seemingly an identical shape, bar the imprint on the base denoting the company.
From then onwards these glasses were produced, mostly by Christchurch’s Crown Crystal Glass for Sanitarium, Chesdale, Kraft, Airborne Honey and Sunshine. Filled with product, often peanut butter, preserves and honey, they were to be reused, when the jar of whatever was in it – was finished.
Like so many accompanying gimmicks, they were issued in collectable sets to promote sales of the brand. I do recall some of these from my childhood; I remember some of the Sanitarium bamboo designs in my grandparents’ cupboards. But I am sure that every house in the country had at least a couple so saying I remember them is stating the rather obvious; so ubiquitous were they.
Ceramic-print tumbler for ETA peanut butter, sold in NZ, likely late 1960s
Although clearly many more products than the few companies featured here produced glasses for popular and much loved Kiwi brands, Mike has focussed on the specifically New Zealand-founded companies. As it turns out the tumbler above ended up in Mike’s collection at auction close and he says “I found it interesting as it has “Auckland NZ” printed on the label. Before I found this one it was assumed this series of glasses were completely Australian in origin due to the design on the glass being of Koala Bears and Australia having a long history of these glasses”.
It seems that at some point in the 1960s, likely 1962 – ETA opened operations in NZ, or licensed the brand to someone like Sanitarium. Without any public news archives available after WWII right now it’s really hard to get a picture of a lot of the history just from random ads or collectibles that turn up. I’m building a database of NZ brands, and according to what I have so far there were not that many peanut butter labels; Betta/ Sanitarium and Tucker/Sunshine
were the main ones, and also McLaren’s which I know nothing about and may have been imported. I have ads for ETA from the 60s on. Definitely by the time I was young in the early 1970s they had a huge and well-advertised range of products in NZ.
Mike has compiled a compendium on this page here: http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~pinwhiz/glassindex.htm