Biscuit maker Griffin's turns 150

  • Breaking
  • 05/05/2014

The Kiwi biscuit maker Griffin's turns 150 this month.

The company is constantly updating its biscuit lines, but it is the old favourites like Gingernuts that keep us coming back.

Innovation is usually key to keeping a business rolling, but Griffin's relies on the tried and true.

"Griffin's makes nine of the top 10 biscuits, and of those nine biscuits Griffin's has been around for decades, so they're the iconic Kiwi biscuits, such as the Gingernuts and the ToffeePop and the MallowPuff," says Griffith's sales and marketing manager Josette Prince.

When John Griffin set up business in 1864, the New Zealand Wars were in full cry, the first settlers were arriving in Hamilton and Marlborough was enjoying a gold rush.

Now Griffin's has 750 employees.

"I feel like I'm the Willy Wonka of Griffin's," says Shelley Bannam, in charge of dreaming up new recipes.

"Anything we put out our customers are willing to give it a go, and hopefully our products will be around as long as the Gingernut."

That really is the toughest nut to crack. Although we crunch and dunk nearly 300,000 of them a day, strict secrecy means no one has got close to replicating them.

"We do want to protect that, just like KFC protects its recipe," says Ms Prince.

Griffin's makes close to 1 billion biscuits every year, more than 90 percent of which are eaten in New Zealand. Kiwis eat 206 biscuits annually. In terms of cookie munching we're second only to the British.

And although biscuit consumption is on a slow decline here, Griffin's is making up for it by selling in 21 overseas markets.

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