Welcome to the very first themed week here at SA Rocks.
I say the first because Product Week is going to be followed up by various themes. Some that I have in mind are Politics Week and Culture Week to name but two.
For now let’s get down to the product for today.
I have decided to take us back some time to a product that every South African should know and love. Chappies.
You’ve gotsta love you a Chappie. Who doesn’t love Chappies? I don’t know a single person. The education value alone is enough to insentivise anyone to purchase just one.
And who could forget any parent in SA saying that “When I was young a Chappie only cost me 5c.” Now, hell, Chappies cost a lot more.
Here is all you could ever hope to know about Chappies Bubblegum:
Chappies chewing gum was created in the 1940s by Chapelat, the largest confectionery manufacturer in SA. The company, whose products included Sunrise Toffees, Sweetie Pies and Frutus, wanted a bubblegum product to challenge Wicks, the only single-piece chewing gum on the market.
Chappies took off in the 1950s when marketing and sales manager Arthur Ginsburg took over responsibility for the brand. His innovations helped establish and entrench Chappies in the market. The first innovation lay in the business model. Each piece of bubblegum was smaller than that of arch-rival Wicks – but you could buy two pieces for 1c. This inspired move led to Chappies gaining value as a currency as shopkeepers used the squares of gum instead of giving change in half-cent and 1c pieces.
Ginsburg’s second innovation was the introduction of the “Did You Know” questions on the inside of the wrapper.
By the 1970s Chappies had a 90% market share and began exporting to other countries in the sub-Saharan region. At the same time, Chapelat was sold to Cadbury, which was looking to expand the confectionery side of its business. Since then, Chappies has held its market lead by constantly updating its product. The surge in competition, however, makes itdifficult, even for a brand as strong as this, to maintain the domination it had in the 1970s.
Before I decide to bore you with inane rubbish, let me hand over to someone who has already blogged about it and done so passionately with great time and care.
The quotes below are from the ChappiesWrapper blog at iblog:
WHEN I was 12 years old a very lucky girl in my Grade 7 class, Charmaine Clarkson, won 1st prize in a sweet competition. She was to share the prize with her classmates: we each got a box of Chappies Chewing Gum. It was a great prize. I only remember her name because of the Chappies prize. A few days ago I met the man who created Chappies. His name is Arthur Ginsburg and he’s 85 years old. He lives in Killarney, Johannesburg, and retired from the confectionery business 20 years ago, but remembers the Chappies story well. In the 60s and 70s Chappies was to the youth what Coke is today – everyone chewed Chappies. It became an iconic South African sweet, recognised by everyone in its distinctive yellow wrapper with blue and red stripes, and chipmunk head. Youngsters still love Chappies today.
You could blow great bubbles with Chappies, and it was the cheapest gum on the market – you could get two Chappies for a penny. It came in a range of colours and flavours, in small squares with four Did you Know? questions inside the wrapper.
So that’s it for the very first post of the very theme to the SA Rocks themed weeks.
A request or two; Send me some suggestions for themes, that’d be great. And send in some links, products, leads and anything else you have or can think of that is relevant to this weeks theme!!
Here’s to a great week and some great products ahead for the week.
- Product week at SA Rocks!!
- My favourite brand: SA
- A Heartfelt Project in Grahamstown
- Babazeka – Be Beautiful, buy online
- Consumerism in SA – can we fix it
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