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.