Back Then

25 years of Hub­bards.

New Zealand Marketing - - Contents -

In 1987, dur­ing a trip to New York, Dick Hub­bard shared with his wife Diana plans to cre­ate ce­re­als that would “make New Zealand proud and health­ier at the same time”. Now in its 26th year, the com­pany is still push­ing that agenda in a num­ber of dif­fer­ent ways.

While the eureka mo­ment hap­pened in the shadow of the Statue of Lib­erty, Hub­bards couldn’t be more Kiwi in its ori­gins. As tes­ta­ment to the num­ber eight wire phi­los­o­phy that typ­i­fied the early days of the com­pany, Hub­bard and his team used a ce­ment mixer to jum­ble the grains, oats and fruits that went into ev­ery box of muesli. It wasn’t un­til 1990, when Hub­bard changed the name of the com­pany from Win­ners Foods to Hub­bards, that the trusty old ce­ment mixer was fi­nally re­tired.

Things have be­come much more pro­fes­sional over the years and th­ese days the en­tire prod­uct-mak­ing process is man­aged from a flash so­lar-panel-cov­ered shed in Man­gere.

While so­lar power clearly cuts down on elec­tric­ity use, cost sav­ing wasn’t the only con­sid­er­a­tion that went into the de­ci­sion to in­cor­po­rate re­new­able en­ergy into the busi­ness.

Hub­bards has been on mis­sion to pro­mote so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity in busi­ness for al­most two decades, and this com­mit­ment to the cause saw Hub­bard play a key role in the for­ma­tion of the NZ Busi­ness for So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity Or­gan­i­sa­tion (now The Sus­tain­able Busi­ness Net­work) in 1998.

Roger Kerr once said “the busi­ness of busi­nesses is busi­ness” but Hub­bard be­lieved “the busi­ness of busi­nesses is more than busi­ness”.

Al­though he said this in 1998, the idea re­mains ev­i­dent in ev­ery­thing the com­pany does, par­tic­u­larly in its cam­paigns by cre­ative agency Hunter, which has worked with the brand for the last three years.

In the ‘Keep the Good Go­ing’ cam­paign Hub­bards set off a chain re­ac­tion of good deeds by re­ward­ing do-good­ers with two boxes of muesli, one to keep and one to give.

In a more elab­o­rate ges­ture, the ‘Amaz­ing He­roes’ cam­paign saw $15,000 do­nated to peo­ple mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in their com­mu­ni­ties.

How­ever, to cel­e­brate its 25th birth­day, Hub­bards mixed things up by re­ceiv­ing rather than giv­ing. For ‘What’s your per­fect muesli?’ Ki­wis sub­mit­ted 6,000 muesli recipes to be taste tested in an ef­fort to have their ver­sion put on the shelves.

The win­ning dark choco­late and rasp­berry muesli is the lat­est to join the list of Hub­bards ce­re­als, which has ex­panded over the years to now in­clude 41 orig­i­nal muesli vari­a­tions.

Of th­ese, the Out­ward Bound range is par­tic­u­larly fa­mous. Since 1997 Hub­bards has do­nated 50 cents from each sale to The Out­ward Bound Trust of New Zealand, to­talling $2 mil­lion and more than 3.2 tonnes of muesli.

So while a name change may have been a bet­ter fit for the ce­real, the orig­i­nal can­not be for­got­ten, be­cause as Hub­bards con­tin­ues to act with so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity, it ap­pears Ki­wis are the real ‘Win­ners’.

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