longwhitekid

My Just Desserts

In Desserts, Gregg & Co, Gregg's, Instant Desserts, Pudding on November 14, 2011 at 10.46

Operating since 1861, Gregg’s is one of New Zealand’s oldest food companies and certainly one of the largest.
I have logos that go back to 1895 for canned coffee, The Club brand was one of Gregg’s most enduring products. In the early days they were also manufacturers of pepper and spices, starch, cigarettes and wax vestas.
In the 1920s the operations were moved to Forth street in Dunedin where in part they remain today in the form of coffee manufacturing plant.

During the 1930s to the 1950s the range expanded dramatically to include a variety of products including Seameal, a type of pudding that irrespective of it’s unattractive name, was extremely popular for many decades. Amongst other products were culinary essences, soup powder, canned fruit and juices, fruit cordials and instant drinks, salad dressing, food colourings, and malt extracts. Instant coffee products followed from the 1950s onwards.
Who from my generation isn’t familiar with Gregg’s jellies and instant puddings? …“full of detergent!” my greenie grandmother announced as a warning against consuming it – well, too often, anyway. Truth be told they weren’t really that appetising and my mother made a much better one herself – with a Gregg’s raspberry flavour jelly whipped with Nestle evaporated milk she had dubbed “Pink Poodle Puff”. It really explains a lot about me, one being the reason why I can blame my parents for so many things.

These two instant pudding packets are recent Trademe purchases. Well actually I only got the lemon one, and edited it to make it look like the raspberry box (which I missed out on) from a picture. A little more work than it looks like in reality. I am very sure I remember these and I think it probably dates from the early-mid seventies. The inclusion of grams is a solid clue as to a fairly narrow date (metric weight was finalised as law in December1976 but  commenced to be introduced from as early as 1969, and the main change over occurred from 1971 to 1972).

Actually I wasn’t expecting this to turn up at all, since after a month it wasn’t to be seen, my seller had disconnected everything and moved overseas, and I had given in and chalked it up to yet another in a long list of lost Trademe purchases courtesy of New Zealand Post. I was pretty surprised to find it on the doorstep to say the least.

I have heaps of material, and I’ll do a more intensive post or two on the Gregg’s company in the coming months.

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  1. Well hope u do because I worked for Gregg’s for 10 years and I worked on the machines that produced instant puds and jellies and I remember THAT packaging and the next generation to follow.

  2. Thanks Rhelma, sometimes I need a bit of a push! I’d be interested in chatting with you about your time at Gregg’s.

  3. I remember that in Christchurch until the early 70s. We used to buy unmarked bottles of pop that were apparently Ballins. Ballins also brewed beer and were a company started by the Jewosh Ballin family. I do find the Jamaican thing rather racist, with the tar black skin, outsize lips that make fun of blacks. This type of coon art was common in the states until the 1950s, but this ad looks 1960s and even possibly 70s. I am not surprised though as growing up in Christchurch in the 1980s, I found the city to be deeply racist.

  4. As you say it was common in the U.S. but not so common here. It seems a bit outrageous from where we sit now, given that from around 1950 the government published a magazine especially tailored to the Maori population, so a lot less racist than other countries such as Australia, who had Piccaninny Polish, and Nigger Boy Liquorice as well as others!

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