longwhitekid

Archive for the ‘Anchor’ Category

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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Bite Size: Blossom Dairy

In Anchor, Butter, cheese, Dairy, Fonterra, Goodman Fielder on August 8, 2011 at 10.46


The Anchor brand was born in 1886 in a dairy factory at Pukekura, created by Henry Reynolds who arrived from Cornwall in 1868. By the 1880s he was dairy farming in the Waikato and established a small dairy factory. The brand name was allegedly inspired by a tattoo on the arm of one of his workers. It has become one of this country’s longest-lived and best-known trademarks – for cheese, dried milk and yoghurt products, and even at one point dried fruit and baking powder – as well as the famous butter.

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A highly innovative and efficient approach, based on farmer-owned co-operative companies, enabled dairying to grow into New Zealand’s most important industry. The production of butter and cheese flourished and by 1920, there were 600 dairy processing factories throughout New Zealand of which approximately 85% were co-operative-based.

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The milk brands from the New Zealand Dairy Group, the original long term holders, is now owned by Fonterra, which owns, well- just about every brand that Goodman Fielder doesn’t have, it seems. So it’s fitting that GF own the butter and cheese brands. Ah, butter and cheese….Fonterra and Goodman Fielder. You know what they say about the lesser of two evils.

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Two of these cardboard point-of-sale posters were listed on Trademe last week and I’ve recreated it from a low res snapshot. I love the strong, clean graphics and bright colours. Anchor is yet another iconic New Zealand brand with a large story which I will no doubt take up again at a later date.

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