longwhitekid

Thinking Inside The Box

In Biscuits, Griffin's Snax crackers, Griffin’s, Nabisco, Nabisco Chicken In A Biskit., Nabisco Ritz crackers, Snack Foods on November 20, 2012 at 10.46

A recreation of the Nabisco-inspired version of the packaging.

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This week I had the urge to be creative, instead of putting together a long-winded researchy kind of article because -I seem to have done a stack of them lately. I feel like I am starting to build up a good body of work here for people to flick through so there isn’t such a pressing sense of urgency to pump out a post every week. Plus I need some variety. Oh, and did I mention busy – yeah, busy! Anyway, when I feel like that I get back to my no-brainer list of long-lost packaging pieces I aim to recreate. And yes, “researchy” IS a word – because I say so.

Griffin’s Snax biscuit box. K E Niven and Co: Commercial negatives. Ref: 1/2-209798-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. 

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I’ve been wanting to cobble this Griffin’s Snax box back together for a while but it just sort of “happened” in quite a fortuitous way. First I found a stack of vintage product pictures that somehow in my travels over the last couple of years I’ve missed. There were lots of great things, and a good picture of this box was amongst them, I get the feeling they were done for Woolworth’s advertising, but it’s hard to know. This Snax box is probably a version somewhere between the early to the mid 1960s – more of the former. Unfortunately none of them have any dates.

An advert from NZ Pictorial magazine, Feb 1954 issue.

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Then this week, I missed out on a TradeMe auction of a magazine with a Griffin’s ad in it that I really wanted (weirdly, for such a big, long-running brand it is quite hard to find Griffin’s print stuff, but not as hard as Hudsons and some other unexpected things). I tracked down the seller all frantic and asked if I could possibly get a scan of it. “Guess what?” they said, “you’ll never believe it but we have an extra copy of the exact same issue here.” Sold! It does pay to chase people around persistently, I’ve learned over time.

A 1934 American version of Nabisco’s Ritz crackers box.

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The Snax box is a fairly simple design but quite striking. Also, it’s uncannily similar to Nabisco’s Ritz (I think done by Kraft in Australia, or was). It was definitely “inspired by” Nabisco after they came along. However before Nabisco turned up on the scene – they were in a tin or a bag that was pretty much the same as every other Griffin’s product. Snax have been around since the 1930s, and neither they nor Ritz have changed very much over the decades – same cracker in the same basic red, yellow and blue box.

A Ritz Crackers box, by Nabisco UK, 1960s. Image courtesy Jason Liebig collection.

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Nabisco owned Griifin’s for some time, from 1962- and introduced quite a few American products onto the Kiwi market (or tried) – like Magic Puffs, Giggles, Little Crackers, Little Pizzas, Hostess, and Chicken In A Biskit. I don’t know if they ever introduced Ritz crackers – there was probably no point messing with a good thing, apparently New Zealand’s “best selling cracker”, if you believe the marketing, by foisting a product onto the marketplace that was basically looked and tasted like the same product. This was the best way to impose their pre-existing brand on an established, successful product and simultaneously give it an identity of its own. It’s still around today on supermarket shelves and although the design has been updated, it’s still fairly similar.

A 1950s version of the Snax tin. I remember my grandparents having one of these in the cupboard. The version of the cellophane bag from circa 1959 can be seen in this earlier post here.

https://longwhitekid.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/bite-size-unfinished-project/

All content of Longwhitekid copyright Darian Zam © 2012. All rights reserved.

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  1. Hey contact me. I have a griffins and sons ltd nelson round tin clock.

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