Monday, December 20, 2010

'Tis the Season of Good Taste!

A pastoral holiday scene adorns the backwall of an IGA supermarket, circa 1968. It’s a tasteful depiction of a snow-flocked, apple-bearing cypress tree, standing proud while a lone reindeer looks askance from the side.

Clearly, good taste wasn’t strictly confined to the holidays at this particular IGA - just look at the clean lines of the clock/light fixture/directory sign to the right. I’d love to hang one of these in my living room, minus the directory signs, of course. (Wouldn’t you?) Maybe one will turn up on eBay, and then all I’ll have to do is install $3000 worth of header steel in my ceiling!

In the foreground is the jams and jellies aisle, filled with brand names that still exist today, long before glass jars gave way to plastic. Of particular note are the “big three” peanut butter brands – check out the standard size jar prices, fitting every peanut butter budget – Peter Pan at 46 cents, Jif at 47 cents (and virtually the same label design as today) and Skippy at 48 cents. Gotta stock up for those peanut butter cookies! Then, of course, you had Smucker’s “Goober Grape” (69 cents) for affluent kids.

And in a stroke of IGA marketing genius, the iron-on patches are located right next to the peanut butter display, perfect for exasperated mothers (like mine) who constantly had to patch holes in our jeans. My brother might have been the world record holder - he would wear a hole in a new pair within 4.7 days on average, sledding season or not.


  1. That's my kind of holiday scene. You gotta love the clock!

  2. and i see karo syrup on the shelf--and karo pancake syrup--that i cannot find any more. my grandmother used to buy it, and it had a great taste to it---different, but i liked it

  3. I agree with Steven. That clock is so cool. I want to install $3000 worth of header steel in my ceiling just for that clock. Dave, let's break the bank together on it. :-D

    Gotta stock up for those peanut butter cookies!

    Not unless they turned out as completely underwhelming as the last peanut butter cookies I made. Bah! They were so hard, i think my husband used them as paper weights.

  4. Ah, the good ol' days when a supermarket was truly SUPER!

  5. The label on a jar of Jif may be the same, but not the maker...J.L. Smucker acquired Jif (along with Crisco and Folgers) from Proctor & Gamble a few years ago.

  6. What a fabulous post! So this is what the grocery store looked like when I was two months old! :D I agree with everyone - I GOTS TO HAVE THAT CLOCK! :D

  7. What a gorgeous photo. I'd love to be standing with my carriage (cart) right there in that aisle. *swoons*

    You're right, that was one heck of a marketing strategy to have the jeans patches by the peanut butter!