Rainbow Confectionery's Mike Elvidge heralds the return of
the Regina label from the Oamaru lolly factory, with the
brand name again proudly emblazoned on its building. Photo
by David Bruce.
The name most people still associate with Oamaru's lolly
factory is coming back, with the Regina brand name reappearing
The line of six lollies, including history-making pineapple
chunks first made 60 years ago, will be produced from the
Rainbow Confectionery plant in Regina Lane that was
originally established in 1949 as Regina Confectionery by
Jack McNamara, from Dunedin.
It was eventually bought by Nestle New Zealand, who closed it
in 2001, when the Regina brand disappeared.
New Zealand investors Ray White, Patrick Betty and Rod
Thornton bought the factory and breathed new life into the
business, adding new technologies and investing in new plant,
including machines capable of producing jellybeans, the only
manufacturer in New Zealand to have that facility.
It has now brought back the Regina name, celebrating sixty
years since Regina employee Charles Diver first made
pineapple chunks at the Oamaru factory. They are believed to
be the first oblong-shaped, pineapple-flavoured,
chocolate-covered marshmallow lollies in New Zealand.
They came from finding a use for pineapple marshmallow left
over after making chocolate fish.
''Diver's recipe has been tinkered with a little bit for the
2013 pineapple chunks to contain 15% pineapple juice and no
artificial flavours or colour,'' Regina sales and marketing
manager Simon Williams said.
The others in the range are Kiwi party mix, flash-as
jellybeans, licorice faves, baby fush and nuts 'n' bolts.
The Regina brand will run alongside the Rainbow brand.
And after a decade of growth, the operation has become a
significant supplier of confectionery in New Zealand, giving
international market leaders Cadbury and Nestle an increasing
level of New Zealand-made competition.
In April, Rainbow Confectionery bought Australia
confectionery maker Metford Confectionery Pty Ltd, in
Newcastle, making Rainbow the largest privately owned
confectionery manufacturer in Australasia.