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Home » Company » Our History

Our History

Today PepsiCo Australia & New Zealand encompasses four business units: The Smith’s Snackfood Company, The Quaker Oats Company, PepsiCo Beverages and Bluebird Foods.

The Smith's Snackfood Company markets popular brands like Smith's Chips, Doritos Corn Chips, Twisties, Sunbites Grain Waves and Popcorn, Red Rock Deli, Nobby’s Nuts, Parker’s Pretzels, Cool Pak and Sakata Rice Crackers; The Quaker Oats Company who offer a range of easy to use porridges. PepsiCo Beverages includes the successful Pepsi Max, Mountain Dew and Gatorade brands and Bluebird Foods markets Bluebird savoury snacks.

The Smith’s Snackfood Company History in Australia

Smith’s Chips were first manufactured in Australia in 1931 by Mr. Frank Smith and an associate, George Ensor. Smith had originally established the Smith’s product and name in the UK, before moving to Australia to set up the business here.

These chips were originally made in 20 gas fired cooking pots, and packed by hand. In 1932, Smith’s Potato Chips (Australia) was formed and sold its early chips in three penny packets, 24 in a tin. The legendary “twist of salt” sachet was contained in these packs before pre-salting was introduced in later years. In 1945, a continuous cooker process was introduced to replace the individual cooking pots. In 1960 the production of a one shilling pack for movie theatres and a box pack for four shillings was initiated.

Over the years there were several changes of ownership and many new products were added to the original potato chip range including Nobby’s Nuts, Burger Rings, Twisties, and Parker’s Pretzels. In August 1998, The Smith’s Snackfood Company was purchased by PepsiCo.

In recent years The Smith’s Snackfood Company has launched many new products including the successful Red Rock Deli brand – the leading hard bite premium potato chip brand and Grain Waves the delicious whole grain chip; and made strategic acquisitions including Sakata Rice Snacks Australia and Cool Pak Popcorn. The company has also conducted highly successful consumer promotions like Smith’s ‘Do us a Flavour” and Doritos “Make an Ad Make a Fortune” as well as producing great advertising campaigns including Grain Waves ‘Grainy Guy” and Sakata “Australia’s Favourite Rice Cracker……Naturally.”

The Quaker Oats Company

Across the globe, for more than 130 years, Quaker brands have served as symbols of quality, great taste and nutrition. Launched in Australia in 2011, Quaker markets a range of easy to use porridges containing Australian grown oats, milled at our Quaker mill in Perth, Western Australia.

Pepsi Beverages History in Australia & New Zealand

It all began in 1898, when a young pharmacist in North Carolina, named Caleb Bradham was experimenting with combinations of spices, juices and syrups, trying to create a refreshing new drink. He succeeded beyond all expectations, inventing the beverage known around the world as….. Pepsi Cola. Today, PepsiCo is one of the largest beverage companies in the world, with a huge range of popular products.

PepsiCo has operated in Australia and New Zealand for several decades. Schweppes Australia, under license, has manufactured and distributed Pepsi, Pepsi Max, Pepsi Light, Mountain Dew, 7 Up and Gatorade – the latter brand being acquired globally in 2001. In New Zealand Pepsi products, including Pepsi Max and Mountain Dew and Gatorade are manufactured and distributed under license by Frucor.

Locally the Pepsi brand has participated in several iconic campaigns including the “Pepsi Taste Challenge” as well as celebrity endorsements that were linked to Pepsi as “The Choice of a New Generation.” Pepsi was also the first brand to give away an iPod an hour in the “Win an iPod an Hour” promotion.

Pepsi Max has been instrumental in establishing sugar free cola consumption amongst Australian & New Zealand males. In 2009, Pepsi Max became PepsiCo’s 19th billion dollar global mega brand. Historically, it is has been supported with television advertisements featuring the campaign line “Maximum taste, no sugar” as well as targeted promotions like Pepsi Max “Cash or Car” promotion and Pepsi Max “Money or your Mates” together with sponsorship of the Pepsi Max Racing team.

Gatorade is the global leader in sports nutrition. In Australia, as is the case globally, Gatorade has a long association with sport including involvement with cricket, soccer and rugby league. Gatorade regularly consults with authoritative sources, actively supports research into hydration and diet and participates in programs that encourage sports development and activity through involvement with the Australian Institute of Sport, The Sports Dieticians Association of Australia, and The Victorian Institute of Sport. The Gatorade brand was launched into the New Zealand market in 2011.

In September 2012 PepsiCo launched a new, revolutionary product – Pepsi Next targeted for the next generation of Cola drinkers. This product is unique to Australia in its recipe with a great Cola taste and 30% less sugar and is sweetened naturally using stevia.

Bluebird Foods History in New Zealand

Bluebird’s story began in 1947 when a young entrepreneur, Les Saussey, started selling popcorn and later potato chips, at the Western Spring Speedway in Auckland. The popularity of his Bluebird chips quickly grew and he soon expanded his range of flavours to include Ready Salted, Salt & Vinegar as well as Chicken. Back then you could buy a packet of Bluebird chips for 9 pence!

Bluebird has grown to be the leading snack food manufacturer In New Zealand, marketing successful brands like Bluebird Potato chips, Doritos, Grain Waves, Twisties, Rashuns, and Burger Rings.

Advertising featuring the Bluebird Penguins are a much loved part of the company’s history. The Bluebird Penguins are crazy about Bluebird Chips and are always trying to get their flippers on them! The company has also run highly successful promotions including “The Nation’s Chip” – Cheesymite and “Do Us a Flavour” as well as the “Kiwi As” range of limited edition flavours.

Making the best tasting chips remains at the heart of everything Bluebird does. That’s why Bluebird is New Zealand’s favourite chip!

So enjoy… and remember Bluebird’s the word!


Human Sustanibility

Learn about our efforts to nourish you and improve our portfolio.

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Environment Sustanibility

Learn about our efforts to minimize our impact on the environment.

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Talent Sustanibility

Learn about careers at PepsiCo Australia & New Zealand.

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