Archive for the ‘Snack Foods’ Category

Hart Foundations

In Desserts, Frozen Foods, Harts Frozen Novelties Ltd, Harts Ice Cream Ltd, Ice Cream, Leo Francis Hart, NZICMA, Robert James Hart, Snack Foods, The New Zealand Ice Cream Manufacturers' Association on December 5, 2013 at 10.46

Harts Ice Cream Ltd 152 Greenlane Road Auckland  half gallon tin EDIT copy

A half gallon Harts ice cream tin, probably dating from the mid-late 1970s.


This unusual Auckland ice cream tin came up on Trade Me today which prompted me to do a bit of looking into it.

I was able to eventually crack this one as being established around WWII or just before by a Leo Francis Hart, who was born in Inglewood, Taranaki in 1900 to James Hart and Catherine Elisabeth Campbell.

He probably established the brand in the late 1930s – he first appears at 136 (now 136-138) Greenlane Road in 1935 with his wife Ivy Maud (nee Bell) – and gives his job as “dairyman.” Clearly there was a residence there originally – now long since gone and replaced with a building housing a “Nosh” food market. From the mid-Nineteenth Century Greenlane was known as excellent pasture land for successful dairy herds and crops, but once grand country houses on farms – it was beginning to disappear by the time the Harts arrived on the scene.

152-154 Greenlane Rd 136-138 was adjacent Hart's ice cream factory probably blue building house edit copy

152-154 Greenlane East today: The blue building is probably the original factory, and the lemon house to the left may have been the later family home.


By 1943 Leo had joined The New Zealand Ice Cream Manufacturers’ Association (NZICMA) as “Harts Frozen Novelties Ltd.”
Leo bought the adjacent land at 152, 154 and 156 over 1944-1945 from three owners – Noel Edward Stewart, Raymond Joseph Goold, and Alton Garnett. By the mid 1940s the business name was “Hart’s Delight Ice Cream Ltd”, and then in July 1948 it was finally changed to “Hart’s Ice Cream Ltd’, which stuck – but without the apostrophe on the packaging.

Robert James (Bob) Hart, his son, was born 1931 and had joined him in the business by the late 1940s. Leo then added more land to his holdings bought from Walter Louis Castaing in 1949 (probably number 150 at the road front). Their given domestic address changed from 152 to 154 Greenlane Road this year so clearly they built a new house and moved into it.

At the same time Leo also did a number of transactions for property he owned, as well – he had sold some other land to two Auckland parties; Central Stores (Pine Island) Limited and Evelynne Dadley.

136-138 and 152-154 Greenlane Rd Hart's ice cream factory copy copy

Aerial map of Greenlane East showing the Hart family’s holdings: Lots 136-138, 150-152, and 154-156. The factory appears to have been down a drive at the back taking up most of  Lot 152.


The Auckland Council have on record a contract that Onehunga Council made with Harts in 1954 to supply ice cream to them. No doubt they also supplied local business like the 1920s-era Lido Cinema (which still operates to this day) as well as Greenlane Hospital.

Leo travelled numerous times over the years, taking trips to Southampton, England (1958), also Port of Spain, Balboa, Papeete, Suva, Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Fremantle, Durban, Cape Town and Las Palmas.

1966 seems to be the last mention of any association with NZICMA that is on record. Leo died in1967, and the business seems to have gone on until 1978, around the year his widow Ivy passed away. Perhaps the inheritor(s) decided to call it a day. I’d place a bet that like just about every smaller (or even larger) ice cream business, it was probably snapped up by General foods and subsumed.

1957  Leo Francis & Robert James Hart 152 Greenlane MAUNFACTURERS edit copy

Electoral roll showing the Harts working as well as residing at 152 Greenlane Road, in 1957. Previous to this Leo had continued to describe himself modestly as “dairyman.”


Leo’s son Robert James Hart had married Shirley Rose in 1958, and they were living at 11 Lochinver Rd, Papatoetoe for many years (up until then he had lived with his parents). From the mid-1950s he had always described himself as “manufacturer” like his father. However from after Leo’s death he henceforth gave his profession as “manager.”

Robert had moved to Main Road, Paerata near Pukekohe, around 1978, and then to Paerata Road by 1981 – where he had clearly left the ice cream gig for good, and was now in the gardening business. He passed away in October 2011, seemingly taking the history of Harts Ice Cream with him. They did have at least one child so perhaps one day someone will see this article and add some information to it. It would be nice also to have any kind of advertisement, to add to the story for interest.

At the back of a car park, that takes up most of the area fronting onto the street at numbers 150-156 Greenlane Road today- there is still a modest mid-century house, now an office, next to an older-style, slope-roofed building. No doubt this was once the factory where the Harts made cold, creamy treats for nearly forty years.

Credits: Thanks to Karen Ruane from The New Zealand Ice Cream Manufacturers’ Assn (Inc), http://www.nzicecream.org.nz/, and also Chris Newey from Foodworks On-line – the New Zealand Food & Beverage Directory http://www.foodworks.co.nz/
All content of Longwhitekid copyright Darian Zam © 2013. All rights reserved.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


Bite Size: Hot Chips and Microchips

In Arnotts, Arnotts Biscuits, Aulsebrook's biscuits, Chips, Denne Brothers, French Fries, Frozen Foods, Frozen Vegetables, Iced VoVo, Marmite, Peter Pan Frozen Foods Ltd, Peter Pan ice cream, Sanitarium Health Foods, Snack Foods, Wattie's on March 22, 2012 at 10.46

Far out, even my plans to get ahead have fallen behind. My quickie post on Aulsebrook’s Iced Vovos versus Arnotts  at the end of February caused a storm in a teacup off-site. If you think that deconstruction was irritating, wait until I shatter your illusions on the history of Marmite and the perception of it as a New Zealand brand; you may be surprised to discover that technically – Kiwiana it sure ain’t. This week is really the perfect time to tackle it with the shortage furore going on, and cracked out New Zealanders trying to sell opened jars of it for up to two hundred dollars on Trademe, but I don’t have time to stop and do that too. (I’ll refrain from elaborating on delusion and stupidity of people trying to pass off trash as treasure in the collectables category, I think everyone knows my feelings on the majority of the traders that ply their utter rubbish on there for hiked up prices). Anyway that brief piece was meant to be a mid-week catch up to get me back on track to a post every week, that’s at least 48 posts a year. That’s actually quite a goal as it turns out – especially with my seeming inability to keep things both simple or brief.

As it turns out endless computer problems have kept me offline and out of the loop for the best part of a month. Yes, the house is very clean, and everything is organised, a sale pile has been created. However I am now more behind than ever! You can’t win. I’ve got big stories coming up on the Sunrise Cordials brand and the Gallien Chemist enterprise, and also the next, and most significant instalment of the Peter Pan Frozen Foods story.
Meanwhile, here’s another recreation I have done some time ago of the Wattie’s packaging I featured here in “So Cool, So Fresh” back in December 2011:


I actually completely invented the cooking instructions text, because I can’t read it at all in the original photo. I tried to use current products as a guideline for accuracy. I’m trying to avoid posting too much more on Wattie’s, but it is one of the country’s all time biggest and most successful brands, so I guess that’s just how it plays out. I’ll be back in a few days with the Denne Brothers again, so until then.

Bite Size: Gone But Nut Forgotten

In Brittania Foods NZ Ltd, ETA Chicken Chips, ETA Foods, Fonterra, Four Square Supermarkets, Griffin’s, Peanut Butter, Snack Foods on January 21, 2012 at 10.46

Here’s the third instalment of the Four Square Stores promotional snap set that was an issue sometime between 1979 and 1981 (there were two other sets I know of that I have now pinpointed to being produced in the early 1960s).
I have previously posted on this item here, and here, and here on ETA Chicken Chips so many of us remember from the 197os and 80s:

I am still working my way through restoring this set digitally (they are quite damaged) and will post them in separate families of four until I get through them all. The set is missing one card from the Savlon family, “Miss Savlon”, but I’ll deal with that when I get there.

This ETA logo was registered in 1935 by Griffin’s to market “condiments, including mustard; nuts, including peanuts and almonds; confections containing nuts; and other nut products, including nut paste and nut butter”.

It seems that at some point in the 1960s – likely 1962 – ETA opened proper operations in NZ; or Griffin’s, which the brand was licensed to , opened a manufacturing facility (this seems to coincide with the Australian ETA factory in Sunshine , Melbourne being demolished in 1962 and new factories also opening that year in Baybrook , VIC and Marrickville, NSW – ergo signalling a large Australasian restructuring of the company).

This ETA peanut butter jar was found recently on a historic farm site in the South Coast NSW I was surveying, and probably dates from the late 1930s, definitely no later than 1950.

I’ve positively identified packing boxes for ETA chips in an early Woolworths NZ store in 1964. ETA actually began in 1923 – a small family company in Australia producing mustard, fruit syrup, compotes and jams. I already knew the brand was established much earlier in Australia as I have found ETA jars going back to the 1930s on historic sites  so it’s likely products were exported to New Zealand up until the time the domestic factory launched. However the ETA brand had been registered in New Zealand by Griffin’s (primarily famous for their biscuits) from 1935 onwards to market.

This point-of-sale cardboard poster would have been from a dairy late 1970s-early 1980s and is courtesy of Mike Davidson (Kiwigame on Flickr) and edited by me to bring it back closer to original form.

ETA was another one of those brands like Sanitarium, Frosty Boy, Woolworths, and many more – which although started off or remained as the same company – more or less separated their trans-Tasman concerns early on and from there developed fairly independently.
ETA seems to have remained under Griffin’s wing until recently when Brittania Foods NZ Ltd, an Indian-based company which entered into a dairy concern partnership with Fonterra starting in 2001, acquired the brand. However according to the official site the product is still being manufactured by Griffin’s to date, probably under a licensing deal.

Band of Old

In Biscottes, Biscuits, Four Square Supermarkets, Red Band Biscottes, Snack Foods on September 1, 2011 at 10.46

Red Band Biscottes seemed to have been a very popular product for Four Square stores; otherwise I imagine they would not have advertised it along with their best-selling mainstream products like Crest, Nugget, Weetbix and Marmite. It is my conjecture that they were a NZ brand created in the 1950s to cater to immigrants, rather than importing product – which means there must have been a demand.

A variety of searches in Papers Past show no references for biscotte products at all (although I am sure I have seen them advertised at least once as for sale at Fuller-Fulton’s, MacDuffs, or a similar store in the 1930s). This shows with a fair degree of certainty that although rusks were a common snack, biscottes weren’t really a pre-WWII thing and probably arrived and grew in popularity with the great influx of European post-war arrivals – in particular the Dutch who came to NZ in droves looking for a new life, just like my mother and her family did after years in the Japanese POW camps in Jakarta.

The biscotte were in a special tall tin like these, which I am guessing may be an earlier version of the Red Band product (the seller said there were no markings as to brand or manufacturer), noting several similarities which tip me off including the shape of the container.
There’s nothing much else to tell since I haven’t been able to find anything about the brand at all. I do remember the biscottes we had being in a crackly clear cellophane wrapper and probably a red and white print on the package. They may have been Red Rose, Red Tulip, or perhaps Red Band – it’s a long time ago now and I am not sure.

We always had biscottes in the house, up until the early 1980s. Especially with Dutch heritage we always had foreign treats like speculaas, caraway infused cheese, appelstroop and of course biscotte slathered with butter and sugar hail – tiny yellow, orange and pink fruit flavour sprinkles; or aniseed coated in pink and white sugar . This is a traditional breakfast topping in Holland known as “Muisjes” (translates to “little mice”). This was a sentimental childhood favourite of my mother’s. Interestingly I ran across a snippet that the orange, lemon and raspberry Muisjes were the first bread topping that the De Ruijter company exported to the Dutch soldiers stationed in Indonesia, in 1946. So it was probably my mother’s first taste of luxury and the “outside world” after years of starvation, and likely holds very fond memories.

I took the image at the top of the post and reconstructed it from a Four Square snap set that appears to date from the late 1950s, and was one of a myriad of promotional products the company issued over the years. Apart from this reference I cannot find any other mention of it although I am sure there will be more to the story to come.

Addendum: Some new information has surfaced today. The image and slogan for Red Band was registered by Henry Hughes in February 1961, had lapsed by July 1968, and was never renewed. A legal representative of the trademark owner, Henry Hughes of Wellington, are attorneys specialising in patents and trademarks – and still going today. This  places the snap cards into a specific time frame of 1961-1967 that will only be further narrowed down the more I find out about other products in the set (which is, so far, zilch so not proving very easy). I hope these dates are accurate, and I think they are, but I know from IPONZ that their database is not always complete for products. 

photo of Muisjes courtesy of http://ethnicidaho.blogspot.com and copyright © Nicole Holten

Bite Size: Piccin’ Bones

In Foodtown Supermarkets, Popcorn, Snack Foods on August 13, 2011 at 10.46

Not so long ago, I wrote in my entry about Huia Cheese “When Lactose Goes” https://longwhitekid.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/when-lactose-goes/ as following: “Sadly, sometimes my attempt to uncover information about a long-lost brand just simply reaches a dead end, before it’s even started”.


Well, this one is really going to make that post look like a novel. What do I know about “Picanniny (sic)” popping corn? Just about nothing. I have searched high and low for any lead, and there’s nada. It looks like American food company Conagra (Peter Pan Peanut Butter, Reddi-whip, Banquet Dinners, Chef Boyardee etc) registered some trademarks here for popping corn but there is no further information as to dates or really anything that makes my antenna go up as to a relation.
I feel quite confident in saying that this product was not from the U.S., for Americans would not make two spelling errors in the word “Pickaninny”. Nor would they have tolerated such a grossly racist and offensive stereotype so late in the game – I stole this from the family kitchen in the late 1980s and I remember it was available at Foodtown supermarkets back to the 1970s. The design looks mid 1960s. I do remember that the packet was a thin clear plastic and how the colours were laid out more or less, which I have reproduced to the best of my ability. In fact “Picanniny” seems to be a particularly Australasian corruption of the word and Papers Past contained several images of Maori children labelled as such.

Auckland Star, 15 November 1897, page 3

I also found this; a Bycroft biscuit brand which I am sure is no relation yet it is spelled in the exactly same strange way. It seems, however, that “Picanniny Biscuits” didn’t actually stand the test of time as claimed since they were advertised for two years and seemingly disappeared after 1898; just a drop in the 90 year long history of that company’s life which ended with the birth of the heritage movement in NZ via the demolition of Partington’s Mill (you win some, you lose some).


I recreated the graphic from a very shoddy copy on acetate, that I’d made twenty years ago obviously intending at some time do something with it …back in the olden days when I used to do everything by projector. I assumed I had probably kept the original packet but I haven’t seen it around last I sorted through my archives. There’s a chance I have and there may be some more information as to the manufacturer, but I think I probably just cut out the front panel. I won’t gripe again regarding lack of newspaper records post 1945, and just say C’est la vie, instead.

Update, late March 2015: I suspect that I may be onto something as far as Picanniny popping corn’s origins. As I theorised, I felt it probably was a Kiwi brand even though it was very American in appearance.
A few months back, this tin can for Fun brand popping corn appeared online. It was made by Fla-Va-Tru, a company originally based in Masterton that I’ve been aware of for a number of years.
They were most well-known for a host of exotically-named food flavouring essences from the early 1940s onwards, as well as chop suey sauce, icing sugar, maple syrup, and milkshake flavourings.
This is probably the earliest example I’ve seen of DIY popping corn. In the 1940s-1950s there were brands like Hi-Pop, Onehunga Popcorn, and Bango but these ones all appear to be pre-popped, most likely for cinema consumption.
It’s the graphics of the can that convince me there’s a connection – both style and colour convey that there is a relation between Fun and Picanniny. Well, I can see it anyway.

add to Piccaniny story Fla-va-tru  Popping Corn Matai Street MASTERTON  edit copy

You’ve been SnackJacked

In Chipstix, Jack's Snacks, Reid Foods, Snack Foods on February 12, 2011 at 10.46

This bag came up on Trademe quite some time ago, perhaps as long as three years. I remember it from my childhood around the mid 1970’s although the design was already pretty dated then. I bid and lost the auction, but I kept the image intending to eventually recreate the graphic, which I have done here.

As usual, curious, I started researching the brand and company and I am afraid to say that this time I have turned up zilch. I just can’t find any information on Jack’s or Reid Foods in New Zealand at all…

however I did run across this, which is interesting. It is a POS from the very extensive collection of Dan Goodsell, artist and creator of the Mr. Toast character. A Flickr “pro”, his images number over 7,500 and most of that is vintage packaging from his collection, making him one of the biggest authorities on the genre.

There are many points about the branding that make it clear there is some relation – the name, the colours, font and layout – It’s really the same logo except instead of the human chef it had a bird wearing the hat. so I asked him what he knew of it.

“I think Jack’s was a 1950’s local California Chip company. Probably it has no relation to the New Zealand brand. Most of the US potato chip brands were just small local manufacturers. Only later in the 1960’s and beyond did larger companies consolidate and take over or push out the smaller guys. So I would guess it is no”.

I wonder if it was made legitimately under a licensing deal? or just “ripped off”? Dan’s answer makes me think that it was very closely inspired… lifted,…well let’s just call a spade and say it’s been jacked, figuratively speaking.

In my Google travels I located this company in Costa Rica that is still making a product called “Jack’s” today. Interesting how similar the logo is….what do you think? I’ll stick with the “appropriated” scenario in both cases! I am sure eventually more information will turn up but until I am delivered more clues by the research gods, I’ll just have to be satisfied with what I’ve got.

Check out Grickily’s (Dan Goodsell) photostream on Flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/60585948@N00

from Trashed To Treasured

In Chicken Chips, ETA Foods, Grocery Archaeology, Snack Foods, Supermarket Anthropology on January 3, 2011 at 10.46

This is as good an example as I can show of how I go about recovering artwork for long-lost household product, when there isn’t a lot to work with. Last week I found this wonky photo – not even the original poster – with some of the old ETA products from my childhood; only a fragment of the chicken flavour chips package, and it was hidden behind the others.

I really loved this even back in the day as it was already retro-looking then, having not been revised for a very long time, or at least – very out of step with the current graphics trends of the 1980’s. I wasn’t able to find any references at all which I thought was amazing for such a popular product over the years. So with a lot of work with Adobe programs, and some imagination as well,  I was able to reconstruct the design.

ETA chicken chips bag reconstruction smaller WATERMARKED copy

Note: Due to repetitive theft by those who take my intellectual property from this blog without my permission, and reproduce it as merchandise for sale on sites such as Ebay, Redbubble and Trade Me,  I have now watermarked this image. If you are interested in purchasing merch of this image you can head to my personal Redbubble store.

I’m not sure about the vignette that says “tasty” – I can’t at this point in time find out what the word was – so until the moment comes I just used creative license. So it’s not 100% accurate but I am pretty happy with the results!