|CHIZ CURLS, "The Irresistibles!", early print ad, 1969.|
The company that introduced us to the world of munchy, crunchy snacking began with Mr. John Gokongwei in 1954, when he thought of going into the business of glucose and cornstarch production. Thus, he had a corn milling plant built that would lay the foundation for his fledgling company—Universal Corn Products, that ould become Universal Robina Corporation (URC) in 1966.
URC would go on to bring to the Philippines the concept of ‘salty snacks’ that have now become a staple part of Filipino snacking culture. There have been attempts to do this in limited forms—like Carol Ann’s, which gave us our first shoestring potato chips in 1964, and Maya’s short-lived Wheat Crunch. Only the cheap, ubiquitous “kropek” could be had readily from sari-sari stores.
A new line of salty snack treats was conceived by URC and was named “Jack ‘n Jill” by founder Gokongwei. He thought it had easy recall and recognition owing to the popular nursery rhyme, and he was right.
|JACK 'N JILL CHIZ-CURLS, "You can hear how great they taste!', 1975.|
Jack ‘n Jill CHIZ CURLS was one of the very first products to roll out of the URC production plant, along with Chippy and Potato Chips. But the CHIZ CURLS had novel forms and taste---crunchy, puffy corn curls, generously powdered with rich, cheddar cheese that burst into more cheesy flavor when eaten.
CHIZ CURLS were attractively sold in foil packs to preserve the freshness and crunchiness of the novel curly, yummy, corn ‘n cheese snacks. The front panel showed a bowl-ful of CHIZ CURLS with, curiously, a cow by the side—an image that one would associate with cereals.
Nonetheless, Jack ‘n Jill CHIZ CURLS were an instant hit, and found favor among kids and the younger set. Together with Chippy and Potato Chips, Students loved them to bits, and CHIZ CURLS became a national sensation, and outlets like school and office canteens, groceries and sari-sari storesbegan clamoring for them.
Advertising propelled the brand even further, and the first campaign in 1969 used the slogan,”The irresistibles!”. The most-remembered campaign broke in 1975, with a slogan that capitalized on the crunchiness of the snack treats: “You can hear how they great they taste!”
Forty years after, Jack ‘n Jill continue to be the dominant name in the snack culture of the country, considered a megabrand with 11 different lip-smacking snack varieties—Chiz Curls, Chippy, Potato Chips, V-Cut, Taquitos, Mr. Chips, Tostillas, Roller Coaster, Piattos, Spuds, and Sea Crunch-- to suit the taste of snack-loving Pinoys.
The name that popularized the culture of snacking in the country, Jack ‘n Jill presently has an expansive line of snack varieties totaling to 11 different brands: Chippy, Taquitos, Mr. Chips, Tostillas, Roller Coaster, Piattos, Spuds, Potato Chips, V-Cut, Chiz Curls and Sea Crunch.