Origin of Names and Packs

Dixi Crackers

The largest biscuit company in the world was National Biscuit Company (or “Nabisco” as it was more popularly known).  Their most popular line was the “Ritz Cracker”.

In examining the competitive situation in South Africa I felt that one day National Biscuit Company might extend their operations to this country, having recently moved into Australia and they would use this product as their entry item to break into the market.  It was important that we should produce a similar biscuit and have it as a regular item on the shelves and so remove the novelty of Nabisco’s biscuit should they come into the market.

In 1966 I asked our Production Department to work on this and produce a similar biscuit.

It was a very difficult recipe to analyze and break down, but eventually Mr J C L Piek, our chief chemist and who was very much responsible for biscuit quality under our Technical Director, was able to produce a biscuit that was identical.  In fact, one could not distinguish between the two products on a blind test.

I next looked around for a name.  It had to be short and have an American connotation, and I eventually settled on the name “Dixi”.

It should be noted that “Ritz Crackers” had been imported into South Africa by some of the traders and so were becoming known to the public, so it was important that we should produce something competitive.

It could also be noted that National Biscuit Company did in fact come into this country by buying Pyotts, but for some reason did not seem to push this line of theirs.