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Archive for June, 2012|Monthly archive page

Coupon Conquest

In Competition, Coupons, Crosse & Blackwell, Fropax frozen foods, Griffin’s, H. H. Brandon mail order, Kiwi Bacon Company, Linella Delight, Linnell & Co Ltd, Lushus Jelly, N W Stevens Ltd, NZ Big Swap, Rattray & Sons Ltd, Roma tea, Steelo, Sunshine, Sunshine Jelly, Taniwha laundry soap, Tiger Tea, Trinidad fruit juice, Tucker, Velvet laundry soap, Woppa Swappa on June 23, 2012 at 10.46

I previously wrote about “Big Swap” coupons here in September 2011. Finally I was able to purchase my own set a couple of weeks ago, after missing out numerous times over the past five years – and get a really good look at them. I didn’t realize that the Lushus Jelly coupon was missing from the set when I bought them until I was about to post – so I had to quickly recreate the artwork for it to match the rest of them.

North Island mail order catalogue from company H H Brandon, advertising the N Z Big Swap, 1954. Courtesy of the Turnbull Library collection, Reference Number: Eph-B-RETAIL-1954-01-16/17

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There’s some products that have become classics in the time that has lapsed over the decades (such as Griffin’s biscuits) and also some I have never seen before . Trinidad Juice was a new one for me. It appears that it’s still going – a Trinidad and Tobago-based brand that was launched in 1930. I can’t find any information on Linella at all – perhaps it was their one and only product and disappeared off the market after a few years. Linnell & Co Ltd were a Hawera-based company and the product, containing butter and eggs – was essentially that Antipodean classic lemon cheese, except Linella came in Orange and Banana flavours as well as Lemon Delight. That’s all I know.

It’s possible the “Big Swap” competition was the promotional brainchild of mail order company H H Brandon, but not entirely – as squinting I can make out that the endeavour was sponsored by “The Auckland Public Relations Office” (office of what it doesn’t specify). Previously I stated that these were “Big Swap” coupons from 1954, but in fact when I take a closer look at these and compare them to what’s in the Alexander Turnbull manuscript and pictorial and collection – they may not be.

Some of mine are the same (Steelo, Sellotape, Lushus, Taniwha) as the “Big Swap” set, and some are different (Berger, Kiwi, Gilbey’s). So I am afraid that what I wrote previously may be incorrect – it seems upon closer examination the ones I have purchased may not be the same, they were possibly called “Woppa Swappa”, and were issued for a similar competition. Linnell states on the back of their advertising coupon, a competition for their company closing on the date January 14, 1955 – so that pretty much solves the mystery about any dates – they must have been issued later the same year as the “Big Swap” competition. It will be interesting to see if any other versions turn up. Still, it’s a nice little snapshot of some of the household products of the time.

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Addendum early Sept 2012: After having an on-going “maybe I’m wrong again. No, actually, I think I AM right…no, maybe not, after all…” conversation with myself for some time, I actually discovered that my theorizing is in fact RIGHT. Since I wrote this article I have turned up at least two more competitions that issued some, or all, as well as additional coupons during  that decade. There was a  promotion in 1957 that was called “The Big Y Swopper” and was sponsored by the Optimists Club of the YMCA in Christchurch. Also, again in 1954 – was a competition named  “Jaycee Swap’em”, under the auspices of the  Wellington Junior Chamber of Commerce. I have never seen another example of these yet. The full sheet set of the latter, totalling 44 coupons, is in the Turnbull manuscript and pictorial collection in Wellington:

“Jaycee Swap’em” competition, by Wellington Junior Chamber of Commerce, 1954. Alexander Turnbull Library. Ref: Eph-D-RETAIL-1954-01

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Addendum mid Jan 2014: A Dunedin collector and reader of this blog kindly sent these images to me as a contribution the article. These arrived some months ago and I haven’t had time for quite a while to do all the updates I need to get around to. This is a set of coupons from the “Swoppers” competition, published in Christchurch in 1957 (Possibly this is “The Big Y Swopper” mentioned earlier). This set again has some repeat designs of others, proving that all the competitions were somehow linked, but what exactly the common factor associating them was, apart for the obvious fundraising/charity aspect- I am not sure. However this set is more focussed on local business but does showcase a few household products.

The only exception is the Forestry Service “Keep New Zealand Green” coupon which is yet another missing one from my “Big Swap” set at the top of the article. I just placed it in the middle of the “Swoppers” set to keep things kind of tidy.  I wonder how many others there are that I don’t know about? And how many other competitions there were around the country during that period? Like the “Jaycee Swap’em” coupons, I’ve never seen another example of the “Swoppers.” Whereas, more regularly Big Swap” coupons come up for auction, and by “regularly” I actually mean about once a year or so (but rarely a full set).  All following images are courtesy of Owain Morris collection.

Swoppers coupons - Christchurch 1957  2 copy Swoppers coupons - Christchurch 1957  3 copy Swoppers coupons - Christchurch 1957 1 copy

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Addendum mid June 2015: Evidence that people were actively swapping in an organised manner, to complete collections. This clipping from the Otago Dunedin Times, December 1 1973. Image courtesy of Owain Morris collection.

Whopper Swappers ODT Otago Dunedin Times December 1 1973

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All content of Longwhitekid copyright Darian Zam © 2014. All rights reserved.

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All content of Longwhitekid copyright Darian Zam © 2014. All rights reserved.

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Preserved Fruit

In Canned Goods, Documentary, Fly Creative, NZ Icons, Wattie's on June 14, 2012 at 10.46

Here is a variety of Wattie’s fruit label recreations I’ve been working on over the last few weeks:
First up, the clingstone peaches label dates from 1936 and was used by Fly Creative for their website when they did their successful 2006-2007 “NZ Icons” merchandise project in conjunction with some of new Zealand’s biggest Brands including Fresh Up, Chelsea, Fleming’s and Bluebird as well as Wattie’s. This comprised of T-shirts in custom designed tins, as well as a set of postcards for all these companies. This is probably the earliest label I have seen from this brand.

The jam label comes from footage of the Wattie’s archive made by Auckland historian and documentary maker Peter Michel – who worked for them creating a documentary  to celebrate their 75th anniversary just a couple of years ago:

http://www.familydvd.co.nz/videos/watties-75th-anniversary

He was kind enough to lend me some images to work with that he gathered during the research process; and as well as that he generously gave me a copy of the film. I used the background (to recreate that fruit illustration would usually take days of work) and remade the harder-edged graphics over it to clean it up and bring it back to its former glory. A gorgeous design. I’m guessing it dates from the late 1940s to early 1950s. I know for sure it was in production in 1954 or earlier.

The prune can label is one of the last ones that I am putting up from part of the alleged former merchandising manager’s collection which I most recently covered here in late April:

https://longwhitekid.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/canny-conservation/

That post tells the story as I know it of the collection that was on offer early last year on Trade Me, and my deduction on its origins. Thankfully, for a change this label was rather painless to recreate. Small mercies and all that. It’s from the same range that I can definitely verify were in use and on the supermarket shelves in 1963-1964. I imagine they were around a bit longer than that, though.

Hopefully I’ll be back on the weekend with another post to try and catch up on things here.

The Shopping Cart Cartel: IGA Stores

In Anchor, Choysa Tea, Creemee Icecream, Davids Metcash Trading Limited, Fielder's Cornflour, Gregg's, IGA Stores, Independent Grocers Alliance NZ Ltd, Kornies cereal, O-Tis oatmeal, Oak, Palm corned beef, Red Band Biscottes, Shreddo cooking suet, St. George, Suntang Tea, Vita-Brits cereal on June 10, 2012 at 10.46

IGA, which stood for Independent Grocers Alliance (NZ Ltd), launched in the Antipodes in 1955. Originally, it was an American concept founded in 1926. IGA was started when a group of 100 independent retailers in Poughkeepsie, New York, and Sharon, Connecticut, led by J. Frank Grimes, organized themselves into a single marketing system. This group quickly expanded, and by the end of the year there were more than 150 IGA retailers in the U.S. In 1930 there were over 8,000 grocery stores using the IGA name. Today IGA is still the world’s largest voluntary supermarket chain with over 4,000 independent stores in 41 different countries.

IGA, Glen Innes. Constructed by The Fletcher Construction Company 1959, Courtesy of the Fletcher Trust Archives, 19599078P-35

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IGA was brought to Australia by Davids Holdings in the late 1980s when 10 stores initially became members of IGA. This company is now known as Metcash Trading Limited, which has the rights to use the IGA name in four Aussie states as well as New Zealand – for the wholesale distribution of goods to all IGA stores.

Not much else is known about the history of the original IGA in New Zealand – although it appears that the concept entirely bypassed Australia and made its way straight there.

 Recreation of a  paper grocery bag design from a Dunedin IGA, apparently phased out some time in the 1960s.

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Jacqueline Crompton Ottaway writes an interesting story here about her grandfather’s Freeman’s Bay store from the 1950s-1970s:

http://www.nzine.co.nz/views/iga_store.html?Rcat=History&Tcat=Growing_Up_In_NZ

Although, it doesn’t mention any brands per se, excepting Palm corned beef.

IGA board game circa early 1960s.

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IGA seemed to be around until the mid 1970s as promotional tea towels festooned with their wares attest (IGA, like Four Square, had a number of promotional items like calendars, games, and the aforementioned kitchen helpers) . The last reference I can find is a Dunsandel, Canterbury IGA store operating in 1974.

IGA advertisement, circa late 1960s

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Some of my recent Trade Me purchases of the last year or so which I have featured here include this board game with a neat ad for their self brand of tea “Suntang“. I’d never heard of it until I saw this (or Instant Toddy for that matter – and I still don’t know who was responsible for manufacturing it, perhaps like Suntang it was an IGA self product, but usually chains stuck to the household basics for their own brands; tea, cornflour, soap, jelly crystals, baking powder, butter, custard, etc ). Also featured are some of their most popular products including Gregg’s, St George, Choysa and Anchor – as well as Red Band biscottes which I wrote about here previously

https://longwhitekid.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/band-of-old/

I’d date this item at around 1961.

IGA advertisement, circa late 1960s

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Today IGA in New Zealand stands for Independent Grocers Australia. The Ocker version launched in 1988 – Much like Peter’s Ice cream which was popular in the 1930s and didn’t reappear in the land of the long white cloud until the 1990s – IGA returned in time as a completely new version.

Frontage of E.G. Roberts’  IGA grocery store, Himenoa Street, Birkenhead. Courtesy of Auckland Council, Local History Online, Image ID T7554.

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Interior of E.G. Roberts’ IGA grocery store, Himenoa Street, Birkenhead. Courtesy of Auckland Council, North Shore History Online and Takapuna Library, Image ID T7557. Both images are dated as 1952, although this cannot be possible since IGA was not introduced to the country until three years after that.

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Addendum September 2012: Somehow I missed a bunch of material whilst researching my IGA story which would have told me, as it turns out, that IGA was launched in New Zealand under by G.U.S. Wholesaling (G.U.S, UNA, and Target brands) and later re-branded to SuperValue amongst other banners. See the article here: 

https://longwhitekid.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/product-puzzle-una-and-the-grocers-united-stores/

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