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Milestone birthday for biscuit factory

SARAH ROBERTS
Last updated 05:00 07/05/2014
Mary Uerata and Tracey Seager

KIWI FAVOURITE: Colleagues Mary Uerata and Tracey Seager helping Griffin’s celebrate its 150th anniversary.

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Kiwis have now been chomping, dunking and nibbling their way through Griffin's biscuits for 150 years.

But few people could probably claim to be as knowledgeable about the varieties on offer as technology and development manager Tracey Seager

She and line manager Mary Uerata are among staff celebrating the 150 milestone at the company's Papakura factory in Auckland.

New Zealanders go through nearly 50 million packets of Griffin's biscuits every year and part of Seger's job is to find new flavours to tickle the nation's tastebuds.

She tests and trials different biscuits to see what hits the spot - new creations include Collisions Squiggles or Shrewsbury Cookies and Cream.

Seager  prefers to sink her teeth into a more classic Griffin's Macaroon.

"There's nothing like eating one just after it's been baked - just beautiful.

Seager helped bring back the 1980s biscuit Choco-ade after an Upper Hutt mum led an online petition to re-launch it.

Griffin's had stopped selling the product when its Lower Hutt factory closed in December 2008.

One million packs of Choco-ade sold in the first 12 weeks after it re-hit the shelves.

Uerata loves biscuits, especially the chocolate ones, so much she created her career around it.

The Papakura resident has been working with Griffin's since 1996. In the early years she was a packer. Now she's a line co-ordinator.

She watches over the chocolate pouring machine and one of the most important processes in making tasty MallowPuffs or ToffeePops.

Her sister and four children have all worked for Griffins.

"I love it here. It's like a big family and I don't want to leave home," she says.

Griffins started out as a cocoa and flour miller in 1864 and spent much of World War Two making army ration biscuits for Kiwi and US troops.

Today its factory pumps out about 1 billion biscuits every year.

The company introduced automated ovens to increase its output and produced biscuits around the clock.

Its bulk tins were replaced with packets in the 1950s.

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- Papakura Courier

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