Archive for September, 2011|Monthly archive page

A Product Shines Again

In Desserts, Jellies, Jelly Crystals, Sunshine, Tucker on September 7, 2011 at 10.46

I recreated this Sunshine jelly crystals box below quite a while back but haven’t had enough time to post it, along with quite a lot of other stuff that is backed up including a 1971 set of boxes in six different flavours.
I previously wrote about W. F. Tucker & Co and the Sunshine brand here:


Although Tucker were around for a long time, they started using “New Zealand Sunshine ” in the late 1900s as a slogan in conjunction with the company name, then dispensed with everything else around 1926-1927 when they segued into the Sunshine brand as a stand-alone name.

Trademark registry tells me this design dates from 1951 and it was still being used on these coupons for The Big Swap competition* in 1954 – although they overhauled the packaging with regularity throughout the brand’s  life span and changed it up every few years. I have pictures of other designs that date from the 1940s and I am looking forward to breathing the life back into them eventually.

I made this design from a very grainy, low resolution photocopy from the IPONZ archive which I had stashed for a long time, until I came across a colour picture included in the coupons below and thus had all the references and motivation I needed to bring it back to life.
Definitely plenty more to come on the Sunshine brand before the end of the year.

* The Big Swap competition colour coupons from 1954. I don’t know the details of what it was exactly; the ad is digitised in the Alexander  Turnbull pictorial collection but the print is too fine to read. I assume the coupons were published in various magazines and booklets, you had to collect the set (there appear to have been about 30 different designs), swapping if need be to get a full set- to qualify for entry in the cash prize. Occasionally they come up for auction, about once a year or so; but rarely a full set for obvious reasons.

Sugary Strategies And Delicious Devices

In Dairy, Dairy Products, Desserts, Fonterra, Frozen Foods, Ice Cream, Peter Pan ice cream, Tip-Top on September 5, 2011 at 10.46

I previously wrote about the Peter Pan brand initially here in April 2011 https://longwhitekid.wordpress.com/2011/04/11/neverbland/ and then here again https://longwhitekid.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/petering-out/ in June 2011.
Until now I have had little to work with, but today came some big breakthroughs on finding information – and it seems like the brand may have been around for quite a while before Tom and Hayden Denne became famous for their ice cream. Ah, the pitfalls of research. Time and again I’ve experienced that just one missing letter can make or break, when it comes to tracking down historical data. I guess it’s not my fault that I didn’t guess Haden actually had a Y in it since the information was passed from someone else who knew them both.

I’ll post some more soon when the dots are joined – but in the meantime , here is yet another poster I have recreated from the low res photos of the 1960s Peter Pan series that someone was auctioning off on Trademe a while back.
Peter Pan seemed to have cornered the market in kitschy novelty product in their day, and one gimmick was moulded candies ( “honey bunnies” and “dolly lollies”) impregnated inside the confection such as here with the Hello Dolly product.

A friend remembers having one of them as a child, recalling a blue-coloured iceblock or ice cream –  placing the time in the early to mid-1960s. In the case of this particular product and its accompanying promo material, it would have been produced to profiteer off the back of the movie starring Audrey Hepburn which was released in 1969.

More on the Peter Pan brand and my ongoing series of recreations later in the year.

Band of Old

In Biscottes, Biscuits, Four Square Supermarkets, Red Band Biscottes, Snack Foods on September 1, 2011 at 10.46

Red Band Biscottes seemed to have been a very popular product for Four Square stores; otherwise I imagine they would not have advertised it along with their best-selling mainstream products like Crest, Nugget, Weetbix and Marmite. It is my conjecture that they were a NZ brand created in the 1950s to cater to immigrants, rather than importing product – which means there must have been a demand.

A variety of searches in Papers Past show no references for biscotte products at all (although I am sure I have seen them advertised at least once as for sale at Fuller-Fulton’s, MacDuffs, or a similar store in the 1930s). This shows with a fair degree of certainty that although rusks were a common snack, biscottes weren’t really a pre-WWII thing and probably arrived and grew in popularity with the great influx of European post-war arrivals – in particular the Dutch who came to NZ in droves looking for a new life, just like my mother and her family did after years in the Japanese POW camps in Jakarta.

The biscotte were in a special tall tin like these, which I am guessing may be an earlier version of the Red Band product (the seller said there were no markings as to brand or manufacturer), noting several similarities which tip me off including the shape of the container.
There’s nothing much else to tell since I haven’t been able to find anything about the brand at all. I do remember the biscottes we had being in a crackly clear cellophane wrapper and probably a red and white print on the package. They may have been Red Rose, Red Tulip, or perhaps Red Band – it’s a long time ago now and I am not sure.

We always had biscottes in the house, up until the early 1980s. Especially with Dutch heritage we always had foreign treats like speculaas, caraway infused cheese, appelstroop and of course biscotte slathered with butter and sugar hail – tiny yellow, orange and pink fruit flavour sprinkles; or aniseed coated in pink and white sugar . This is a traditional breakfast topping in Holland known as “Muisjes” (translates to “little mice”). This was a sentimental childhood favourite of my mother’s. Interestingly I ran across a snippet that the orange, lemon and raspberry Muisjes were the first bread topping that the De Ruijter company exported to the Dutch soldiers stationed in Indonesia, in 1946. So it was probably my mother’s first taste of luxury and the “outside world” after years of starvation, and likely holds very fond memories.

I took the image at the top of the post and reconstructed it from a Four Square snap set that appears to date from the late 1950s, and was one of a myriad of promotional products the company issued over the years. Apart from this reference I cannot find any other mention of it although I am sure there will be more to the story to come.

Addendum: Some new information has surfaced today. The image and slogan for Red Band was registered by Henry Hughes in February 1961, had lapsed by July 1968, and was never renewed. A legal representative of the trademark owner, Henry Hughes of Wellington, are attorneys specialising in patents and trademarks – and still going today. This  places the snap cards into a specific time frame of 1961-1967 that will only be further narrowed down the more I find out about other products in the set (which is, so far, zilch so not proving very easy). I hope these dates are accurate, and I think they are, but I know from IPONZ that their database is not always complete for products. 

photo of Muisjes courtesy of http://ethnicidaho.blogspot.com and copyright © Nicole Holten