flag
In Their Words : The Story of BC Packers
Two women staff a display booth at Woodwards
Two women staff a display booth at Woodward’s department store in Vancouver offering samples of BC Packers canned clam products, 1940s. Notice the prominent “Clover Leaf” display.
City of Vancouver Archives, CVA 1184-1792

Fish...is our Business

The main products of B.C. Packers were canned salmon and packaged frozen fish. The Company’s signature brands were “Clover Leaf” canned salmon and “Rupert Brand” frozen fish products. BC Packers worked hard to market these brands nationwide and ensure that they became a household names in Canada.

Through decades of aggressive advertising – on city billboards, on radio and television, in newspapers and magazines, at product displays in Woodward’s and the PNE – B.C. Packers ensured that “Clover Leaf” canned salmon was the number one choice of Canadians.

By the 1950s, the Company expanded its product range to include a wide variety of convenient, packaged frozen fish products. This new frozen product line was marketed under the name “Rupert Brand”. It would emerge as the Company’s most lucrative brand. From frozen salmon, halibut and cod steaks to “Heat and Eat” fish sticks and fish and chips, B.C. Packers expanded its “Rupert Brand” line during the 1950s and 1960s to meet the rising demand of shoppers in Canada’s growing network of grocery store chains.

While marketing was always an important part of the salmon canning industry, the visual appeal of the products was always a careful consideration of companies like B.C. Packers. Label designs were often dynamic, with bold lettering and bright, eye-catching colours. Although packaging style changed over time, it was always distinctive.

Over the decades, Imperial Cannery produced a great majority of the Company’s “Clover Leaf” and “Rupert Brand” seafood products. As new markets were opened and new products developed, Imperial Cannery grew to become one of the largest fish processing plants in the world. Its fish products were shipped far and wide. From England and Belgium to Italy and South Africa to Australia and the Philippines, B.C. Packers products were sold around the world.

Display of Clover Leaf canned fish products circa 1930 Click to hear a selected Radio Ad French packaging for Rupert Brand fish and chips, 1970 Watch classic BC Packers promotional footage Display of canned fish products manufactured at Imperial Cannery Click to watch classic BC Packers promotional footage BC Packers promotional material from WWII Two women staff a display booth at Woodward's Click to hear a selected radio ad BC Packers advertisment on the roof of Imperial Cannery Click to hear a selected Barker Letter A worker cutting frozen halibut steaks Click to watch classic BC Packers promotional footage Click to hear a selected Radio ad Workers making fish sticks at Imperial Cannery A woman packing boxes with fish fillets A worker examining boxes of flash frozen fish fillets Click to hear a selected Radio ad Workers filing and weighing bags A worker sealing closed bags of frozen fish A label for a can of clover leaf chopped clams Click to hear a classic radio ad A worker examining boxes of frozen fish Click to hear a selected Barker Letter Packaging for Clover Leaf fish spreads A colorful adverisement for Rupert Brand fish products A promotional photo of a Rupert Brand TV dinner Click to hear a selected radio ad
clover leaf