Not to be confused with Weetabix.
Weet-Bix was developed by Bennison Osborne in Sydney, Australia in the mid-1920s. and was the inspiration of Weetabix in the UK.
- Main article: Weet-Bix cards
In recent years, some packs of Weet-Bix have contained cards with pictures of All Blacks, arranged as game cards. Very recently some Black Ferns featured too - not before time!
- Weet-Bix Bites
- Weet-Bix Bites Wildberry
- Weet-Bix Bites Honey Crunch
- Weet-Bix Bites Apricot
- Weet Bix Bites Energize
- Weet Bix Multi-Grain
- Weet-Bix Oat Bran
- Weet-Bix Hi-Bran
- Weet-Bix Energize Hi-Protein
- Weet-Bix Gluten Free
- Weet-Bix Cholesterol Lowering
- Weet-Bix Blends Cranberry and Coconut
- Weet-Bix Blends Apple and Cinnamon
For decades, Weet-Bix has come in a number of sizes, including 1-kg (66 bix), 750-g (48 bix), and a smaller one. A 1.2-kg pack with 72 bix appeared around May 2015. A much smaller pack, marked "30g", contains two bix and is suitable for offering in a B&B or hospital; despite measuring only 105mm x 74mm x 40mm, it displays, rather small, nearly all of the information found on the 750-g pack.
Box designs have changed over the years. In recent years, typically there are several months in the middle of each year when the All Blacks feature, while much of the rest of the year has a pack that refers to the upcoming series of the "Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon".
After a brief spell of old standard packaging after the rugby finished, a new design referred to the 20th anniversary TRYathlon series, carried notice of a car-winning promotion running from 9.00 am 14 November 2011 to 5.00 pm 4 April 2012 (with entries "accepted via internet only"), and had unique 8-character codes once again stamped inside a top flap (the one you "lift gently" to open after you "slip thumbs under tab").
Around October 2013, packs started promoting the 2013/2014 TRYathlon. This time, no codes on the boxtops and no sign of non-athletic contests.
Near the end of 2013 (e.g. packs best before "27 NOV 2014"), the Tryathlon's prominence was greatly reduced as the new online Bix game was boldly promoted on front and back panels.
By around March 2014, all mention of the Tryathlon had disappeared, as an end panel promoted the new "Weet-Bix Bites": "TRY NeW!" followed by a picture of the Bites pack.
Around July 2014, with the BIX promotion ended on 20 July, packs reverted to the All Blacks theme with a new set of cards and a promotion running from 1 July to 30 October. The cardboard seemed to be thinner, like the Australian packs. There were at least two different pack designs, featuring groups of All Blacks. The front panel had the "10,000+ INSTANT WIN PRIZES TO BE WON ..." box in different positions, one on the left, one on the right, and cartoons of three different All Blacks. The left-hand panels had largely different groups of five All Blacks saying how they eat their Weet-Bix.
By the end of September, supermarkets were displaying more generic packs (e.g. "BEST BEFORE 04 SEP 2015"), with no cards and only brief mentions of the All Blacks in two panes but half of the back face devoted to:
- a non-specific article about the Tryathlon on the 1-kg pack
- a panel about the KickStart Breakfast charity (supported by Weet-Bix, Fonterra, and the Government, in over 550 schools) on the 750-g pack
Those were short-lived. Before the end of October, supermarkets were selling garish packs making much of the forthcoming Tryathlon (supported by ASB and Toyota) and containing under-flap codes for entry into an online competition running from October 2014 to March 2015.
From March 2015Edit
New packs appear with the "Better Brekkie" theme, part of a promotion assisted by a TV chef of Dutch origin.
From 4 May to 7 June, as announced on stickers on some packs, a household could receive up to three free soccer, netball, or rugby balls by purchasing between six and eighteen Sanitarium cereal packs and submitting a claim form with receipts.
Around May or June, a 1.2-kg pack appeared, with the main distinctive feature being the black background in place of the traditional blue; an action shot of three All Blacks holding or passing balls dominated the front panel. Unsurprisingly, the packs contained four or six of the 2015 set of Weet-Bix cards and drew attention to the prize competition (running from 29 June to 6 September), this time with $100,000 worth of prizes on offer. You can also "create your own All Blacks card" or access "your own virtual album" "to track the cards you've collected and those to keep looking out for". The inner plastic liner could be blank, as on the Australian packs, or could have a new design with the familiar slanting Weet-Bix name plus the words "HOW MANY DO YOU DO?"; on the face of the bag that contains a seam, the design is single columns, but on the opposite face it's more of a mosaic.
Around July or August (e.g. "BEST BEFORE 26 Jul 2016") variations on the black pack appeared, with cards continuing (because they remain valid for minor prizes until November). The front panel replaced the bold "Weet-Bix be in to win $100,000 worth of prizes" with two different designs: Kia-Kaha with Weet-Bix" and "One-Team with Weet-Bix", each showing a different trio of All Blacks smiling with their arms folded; the back panel and one end panel were also different. Rugby World Cup fever! (Are we allowed to say "Rugby World Cup" on this wiki?)
In October the All Blacks did the expected thing and won the Rugby World Cup for a record third time. Soon the Weet-Bix packs reverted to the non-sporting "Better Brekkie" theme.
By November or December, packs started featuring the next TRYathlon, with at least two different designs but all with some training tips from world champion Valerie Adams. The left-hand side of the box featured panels for the platinum sponsors, including Bike Barn, whose panel was a voucher for 50% off the normal RRP for a "kid's bike with a free water bottle".
Towards the end of the Tryathlon series, packs once again feature the Better Breckie theme.
An end panel advertises the new Weet-Bix Go products - "with the energy and fibre of two Weet-Bix and milk".
Shortly after, the Go panel changed to a panel featuring grain boosters for sports day - suggested additions were sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, kiwifruit, and berries (fresh or frozen). (There may have been other similar panels, as noted below under "Autumn 2017".)
2016 All Blacks packsEdit
Around August, black packs started appearing. containing selected Weet-Bix cards. Pack fronts showed "WORLD CHAMPIONS 1987|2011|2015" with the backs of six players, illustrative cards, and a note about how many cards were within. Backs illustrated five cards and listed the whole of the 24 chosen squad. An end panel showed three players and repeated the "Breakfast of Champions" slogan.
Around November 2016, All Blacks packs were replaced by packs advertising the next TRYathlon. Each pack featured a child who had participated in 2015-16. Each child had a photo on front and back. Wrapping around from the front to the side panel area of the Nutrition Service was a big appetising "serving suggestion", not the same for each child. The right-hand side panel featured five sponsors: ASB, Toyota, Haier, Bikebarn, and Warehouse Stationery.
The back of the pack showed the child's name and area, with an arrow pointing to the area on the map that showed the proposed dates for the current series of events, plus "My BIG training tip", "I love a challenge", and "My favourite way to eat Weet-Bix is...".
Katie, 8 yrs old, Christchurch, trained with a friend (running) and had swimming lessons, her challenge was learning spelling, and she normally had her Weet-Bix "with peaches on the top because my dad eats all the plums". The accompanying big-picture "serving suggestion" showed kiwifruit, raspberries, blueberries and possibly slivered almonds and sunflower seeds, but no peaches; however, there are peach slices - though not on top - in the small picture above the map.
Jude, 9 yrs old, Bombay, Auckland, recommends that you set achievable training goals and get a good night's sleep before the contest. His challenge was the 2016 TRYathlon itself. He eats Weet-Bix with "lots of kiwifruit". The accompanying big-picture "serving suggestion" shows strawberries, banana, and small nuts or grains but no kiwifruit; however, there seems to be kiwifruit in the small picture above the map.
Alissa, 11 yrs old, Feilding, suggests that your sports gear have something bright on it for easy recognition. Her successful challenge was an abseiling task at a camp. She prefers Weet-Bix with fresh fruit and in winter has it hot; banana slices and boysenberries seem to feature in the small picture. Te accompanying big picture seems to be very like Jude's.
Jaden, 12 years old, Browns Bay, Auckland, urges new competitors to check out the course before the event (and do some training - and have fun). His successful challenge involved five TRYathlons (with mid-season spinal surgery!); he used an adapted bike to compete. He likes two Weet-Bix with milk and berries. The small picture suggests raspberries but also shows nuts or seeds. The accompanying big picture is the same as Katie's.
After most of the summer TRYathlons were over, packs reverted to the Better Brekkie theme, with at least three slightly different designs (as in previous years). Each right-hand panel has a "grain boosters for ..." suggestion, listing some Weet-Bix ingredients and other foods that can be usefully added. Each combination is illustrated with two different pictures, one on the front, one on the side below the distinguishing text.
- One for "STUDY DAY" mentions iron and thiamin and suggests adding sunflower seeds, strawberries, and banana. The front picture is the same as the one used with Alissa and Jude on the 2016-17 TRYathlon packs except that Jude's picture had some of the milk splashes cut off! The same cutoff occurred with Valerie's training tips earlier.
- One for "SPORTS DAY" mentions iron and niacin and suggests adding sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, kiwifruit, and berries (illustrating with blueberries and raspberries) - the front picture is the same as the one used with Jaden and Katie on the TRYathlon packs.
- One for Winter's Day mentions folate and iron and suggests adding cashews, apple (illustrated by wedges of green apples), drizzle of honey, and warm milk.
The Better Breckie theme is illustrated by five suggestions, each with a list of ingredients (but no quantities): Gourmet Berry & Pistachio Twist, Crushed Breakfast Trifle, Easy Peasy Snack, Wake Up Shake, and Power Up Porridge.
For a little variation, customers of PAK 'n SAVE between May and July could buy a "STICKMAN's SPECIAL 1 KG PACK" (holding 60 bix in 5 rows of 12) with a yellow band around the top containing pictures of the well-known TV cartoon character. The tops of the side panels said "LIMITED EDITION" and "PAK 'n SAVE OUR POLICY: NZ'S LOWEST FOOD PRICES".
All Blacks again, as advertised on TV. Brightly-coloured pack with the "Dare to dream" theme. Each 1.2-kg pack contains three Weet-Bix cards, with two in the 750-g (and slight corresponding differences in pack design). "Better Breckie" has been moved to a side panel with no recipes, just three pictures and an invitation to visit the website to see some All Blacks brekkie favourites.
Generic packs for a couple of months after the All Blacks packs finished.
Then the next TRYathlon. Dark blue background shades into pale blue at the bottom. The 1.2-kg pack replaces the yellow top with a white-background band on all four sides advertising the new "Cholesterol Lowering" Weet-Bix in a pack that's mostly white and green. The 750-g pack has that on only the front panel.
Children featured include:
- 10-yr-old Leyton from Hamilton. Training tip: "To stay positive and keep training, even in the rain - it's only water!". Favourite way to eat Weet-Bix: "piling bananas and strawberries on top!". He "absolutely" loves playing all sports, particularly rugby, where he has been Player of the Year in all three seasons he's played, partly for the play and partly for being a good team member. The accompanying big bowl of Weet-Bix has the not unfamiliar kiwifruit, raspberries, blueberries, slivered almonds, and sunflower seeds.
- 10-yr-old Bella from New Plymouth. Training tip:"Never give up!". Favourite way to eat Weet-Bix: "with blueberries and milk in a smoothie, then I drink it with a straw - yum!" Her "WHY I TRY" story is about helping someone while swimming. The serving suggestion on her pack has sliced banana, halved strawberries, and some seeds, a picture that has appeared on more than one pack design in recent years.
- 8-yr-old Hayley and Hannah from Manukau. Training tip: It's "hard but if you do it with a sister, brother or friend, it can be fun!" Favourite way to eat Weet-Bix: with milk and peaches. Why they try? They were scared at first and wanted to back out when the swim started but after all the time spent training they decided they should try. Reaching the finish was the BEST feeling. Tired but had fun. The serving suggestion on their pack has the same picture as on Bella's pack - four banana slicers, three halved strawberries, and seeds.
- 11-yr-old Adam from St Albans. Training tip: slow and steady; give it your best effort. Favourite way to eat Weet-Bix: three in a pyramid with cold milk and peaches. He says you need to believe in yourself, "give it a go and try really hard". Serving suggestion shows cashew nuts and apple wedges.
- 8-yr-old Lewie from Karori. Training tip: run around your house. Favourite way to eat Weet-Bix: with "heaps of yoghurt and pineapple!" He doesn't answer the "WHY I TRY" question, but it may be deduced from seeing his brother do the TRYathlon for two years. Serving suggestion shows raspberries, blueberries, sliced kiwifruit, sunflower seeds, and slivered almonds - same as Leyton.
After the TRYathlon packs the Better Breckie theme returns. The right-hand panel has an apparently new variant: grain boosters for winter's day (cashews, apple, drizzle of honey, and warm milk), illustrated with two different pictures, one below the text, one on the front of the box.
The rugby season again. Back to the blue backgrounds with a theme of "Play Big" and the (long overdue?) introduction of the world-class Black Ferns. Story cards inside. Pack front depicts a girl hanging from playground equipment with a "PLAY BIG" cape flying and rugby goalposts in the background and an illustration of the story cards; rear side has a boy using the same equipment with a Black Fern and an All Black standing on the grass, while on the right is a panel urging Weet-Bix kids to find ways of playing (because "play is practice for the future").
Despite the fact that the All Blacks were still competing, packs available in mid-September reverted to the generic type. Dates, for example, "BEST BEFORE: 13 SEP 2019". There was some overlap: at least one pack "BEST BEFORE: 08 OCT 2019" had the rugby theme and cards.
Very soon, however, the next Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon started appearing. Events run from 25 Nov (Mt Maunganui) to 7 April (Bay of Islands). Sponsors Toyota, Pass The Parcel, Haier, and bikebarn. The pack included an invitation to children to put themselves forward for featuring on the covers. The occasional pack might contain some left-over rugby cards!
- Stella (8) from Auckland. Why she tries: "such an awesome experience to cross the line!"; training tip: do a little of each activity each day and stay happy. Serving suggestion (not specifically hers) on her pack: sliced almonds and kiwifruit, raspberries, blueberries, and pumpkin seeds.
- Lucas (8) from Hastings. Why he tries: "the most challenging experience"; "TRYathlon rocks!"; training tip: practise "at least 3 times a week if you can". Serving suggestion on his pack: the same as for Stella's.
- Ollie (8) from Nelson. Why he tries: loves his sports (and has improved his reading to please his mum); training tip: if swimming is the hardest, "try running in the pool". Serving suggestion on his pack: the same as for Stella's.
Several weeks before TRYathlon events ended, supermarkets started selling the familiar generic "Better Brekkie" packs.
After what seemed like a long delay, All Blacks again appeared on packs with game cards inside. Early pack was dated "Best before 20 Jun 2020". The 1.2-kg pack featured a pre-creased printed box for cutting out to make a box for the cards.
A brief period produced the familiar "Better Brekkie" packs identical to the previous issues.
The front depicted a child in sports gear with the same child on the back named and wearing the medal. Zaria, 8 yrs old, from Wellington, or Sam, 12 yrs old, from Auckland, for example. The back had no details about or quotes from the child but had a pep talk about the value of trying and the event dates. The left side had standard nutrition information and contact details.
The right side panel differed between packs. On the 1.2-kg with Zaria's photos was a picture of three children wearing medals below some training tips from Nic Gill, "All Blacks Strength & Conditioning Coach". On other 1.2-kg packs (e.g. the one with Sam's photos) and on the 750-g pack there was a message from the platinum sponsor, whose products include machines that clean Weet-Bix bowls.
Following the Christchurch earthquakes, some Weet-Bix sold in New Zealand has been made in Australia. The boxes appear identical apart from saying "MADE IN AUSTRALIA" and not having the "BUY N.Z. MADE" logo, but the cardboard is thinner, making the closing of the top less neat, and the inner bag has no logo and is poorly assembled, often spilling a few flakes into the bottom of the box.
Regrettably (from a marketing viewpoint), one television consumer-oriented documentary was looking for NZ-made products and the presenter happened to pick an Aussie pack of Weet-Bix and comment on its origin!
Also regrettably, Kiwi packs were by 2019 also made of thinner cardboard with poorly-glued liners.