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History of the Hamper and Gift Baskets, Its Origins Will Surprise You!

We all love the arrival of a gorgeous, thoughtful and well-presented gift hamper – don’t we?

But who wouldn’t? Most often, they are jam packed with goodies of all types and varieties – preserves, gourmet foods, spa spoiling aroma therapeutics and anything else that you may think of – within reason of course.

While a gift hamper can arrive for many an occasion, we are most accustomed to their delectable arrival for birthdays, anniversaries, Valentines or the silly season. We love them and even more, we love the fact that someone was caring enough to think of us in this special and uniquely pleasing way.

But this fabulous form of treat wasn’t always the sophisticated, easy to use, send and appreciate bundle it used to be.

So how did it all start – hampers from the beginning.

Way, way back, in the 1800’s, hampers were baskets that contained goodies and essentials for impoverished families or were just an expression of kindness and friendship. Mostly they were the result of excess garden fare such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs and foraged goods such as mushrooms.

But even before this, around the 1300’s there were references to the word ‘hamper’. It derived from the French ‘Hanapier’ which was typically known as a ‘case for goblets.’ The hamper then, became a ‘case’ for other things.  It is said that William the Conqueror brought a hamper to London in the 1100’s.

Hampers were often filled with enough goods – essential and otherwise, to keep a family going for up to two weeks. And as baskets were often made within a household, by staff or by the home-maker, these items were kept and used as containers or storage.

When trains became a part of the norm, more and more parcels were sent as an extension of the Postal Service and those in the cities could now send hampers back to their rural families and vice versa. They were also implemented by wealthy employers and estate owners who at Christmas time, routinely provided hampers of seasonal fruits and beverages to all ranks of staff, from scullery maids, footmen, nannies and groundsmen, to housekeepers and leading butlers.

It is to this tradition that the modern notion of gifting with hampers has arisen. And it is so much fun to give them and also to receive them.


Hampers now – what a trend…

Contemporary hampers are so many and varied in their types and contents, that you could send one as an expression of any sentiment. And it’s not just for birthdays, Christmas or Valentine’s anymore. Nor is it just for intimate friends or family.

Business owners, corporates, multi-nationals and even small enterprises are taking note of the trend too. They know for sure that recognising milestones, hard work, achievements and more, provides and instills a stakeholder mentality. Staff work harder, better, become more directly involved, when they are recognised for their efforts.  

Hampers are no longer just for the obvious reasons – gifts for special occasions. They have evolved into a large and wonderful industry where baskets can come in the form of beautiful boxes, cases, picnic baskets, wicker wonders or cardboard cartons. The range available is amazing and it continues to evolve into more diverse imaginings to give added wonder to the receipt of a hamper. The contents too have developed into greater ranges and options. Used to be that a hamper would be a soft toy, or a couple of preserved items and maybe some charcuterie. These days it’s a glorious assortment of whatever’s going – for a particular preference – for instance, the wine connoisseur‘s hamper would contain a completely different offering to that of a gardener.

That’s the wonder and joy of progress, development, evolution and creation – for whatever taste, trend, notion or option, there is a hamper that is certain to delight and surprise. 


Best hampers available now – Purely Gourmet

At Purely Gourmet, we’ve seen the changes, the growth and the future. It’s all about affirming those in our workplace, loving the family times, celebrating milestones, laughing together and holding each other tight in challenging times. For each and every one of these times, Purely Gourmet has an aptly designed, appropriate hamper.


The most popular hampers – from you to them.

Purely Gourmet has been around for a while now and has seen how you express your sentiments. Sometimes it’s flowers and chocolate. Other times its bubbly and antipasto. There are times too when the soothing spa treatments are just the thing.

Here are just some of the most popular options you have chosen.



There are lots of others that you’ve chosen too. Scrolling through Purely Gourmet’s options will give you an even bigger idea of what satisfied customers have chosen.


There are picnic hampers, settle back and relax hampers, spoil them rotten hampers, delight in a tipple hampers, fun with the boys hampers and enjoy your own spa treatments hampers.


Hampers have come a long way from the days of just ensuring survival. These days it’s all about fun, happy, laughing, loving and enjoying – there are the quieter times too when a though from a friend is just the right thing.


Whatever the occasion, the sentiment, the concern or the celebration, Purely Gourmet has exactly what you need.


You can order online or by phone and your hamper can be delivered in the Melbourne area, on the same day.

Wanting to discuss your Hamper & Gifting Needs ?

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Australian Locations 

  • AUS/VIC/TAS: Head/Sales Office: 3/459 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
  • NSW: Sales Office: 903/50 Clarence St, Sydney NSW 2000
  • QLD: Sales Office: 9/204 Alice St, Brisbane QLD 4000
  • SA/WA/NT: Sales Office: 3/55 Gawler Place, Adelaide SA 5000
  • AUS/VIC: Fullfillment Centre Warehouse 7 / 57–59 Whiteside Road, Clayton South VIC 3169
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