Changes and Developments along the years

Decimalisation

On 14 February 1961 South Africa decided to decimalise its currency.  Previously we had used the Pounds, Shillings and Pence, as used in Britain.  The Ten Shilling note was renamed One Rand and this was subdivided into one hundred Cents.  There were no particular problems in making the changeover, which was done overnight, and the industry took it in its stride.

Metrication

The government decided that South Africa should adopt the metric standard and this was done over a period of time.  The biscuit industry had, as recorded earlier, always quoted its prices in lbs, which was the equivalent of two packets of biscuits of 8oz each.  The weight of an 8oz packet was approximately 225g.  The new weights set by the authorities were 200g and 250g.  The industry adopted the 200g size and the method of quoting biscuit prices was changed.  Prices were now quoted per packet instead of per two packets (two packets equal 1lb) and in corrugated cases of 12 or 24 units.

Production Methods

In earlier days biscuits were stamped out from a sheet of dough by a stamper and the biscuits were fed onto pans, which were then moved into ovens.  All biscuits were hand-wrapped.  All creamed biscuits were hand-creamed – one at a time.  Great strides were made in the development of machinery and a production unit would consist of dough being rolled out into long, continuous sheets;  stamped as it passed under a stamper;  and then moving onto a steel band, which travelled through an oven.  The biscuits then moved automatically onto cooling bands and were wrapped by machinery.  The original width of an automated oven was 26 inches (1946), but the width was increased until it reached one metre (about 40 inches).