Thursday, January 28, 2010

Is the Australian penchant for lamb all down to Sam?

Australia day seems to have, once again, sparked debate about what constitutes an 'Australian' dish. Lamb seems to be right up there, but is this all the result of clever marketing campaigns?

I thought I would post this piece that was written(by a friend) for 'Wag the Dog' on ABC Radio. It's food for thought. Is the Australian penchant for lamb all down to Sam? And does it extend beyond that? To Angus steak?? What are your thoughts on the matter?

Do you have any other 'frightening' examples of how marketing has subliminally influenced your food choices?

"Forget eye shadow and lip piercings if you’re going for the anti-establishment look, just walk into your local on Australia day and order a ‘reef and beef’. It seems lamb has well and truly conquered Australia Day and one can’t help but pin it on a very successful ‘we love lamb’ campaign of which the recent champion Sam Kekovich. Whilst there are plenty of other items one can burn on the bbq on Australia day, the hype is all around lamb.

As the article says, lamb is flying off the shelves. I picked up a regional paper on the weekend and lamb was everywhere. A pub was spruiking its Australia day culinary line up as ‘traditional Australian lamb roast and lamb sausages’. A butcher had an ad on the same page advertising his specials – there were ten items on special and every one of them was a cut of lamb.

But it seems that if you were un-Australian enough to opt for beef on Australia day, it had better have been Angus. Like lamb, Angus Beef seems to have become the ‘in thing’. MacDonald’s jumped on it with their ‘Grand Angus’ and ‘Mighty Angus’ burger range billed as being ‘a little bit fancy’. Not to be outdone, Hungry Jacks followed closely with their ‘Angry Angus’ burger.

And its not only the fast food giants either. If a restaurant or a butcher shop is spruiking some beef, chances are it will be Angus that they are making a fuss about. So why does everyone want a piece of Angus.? Is the beef really that much better? Or perhaps the answer lies in the name itself. A Brahman sounds slightly perverted, a Shorthorn sounds like an embarrassing deficiency, a Hereford sounds like you’re going to be coughing up hair balls and Charolais sound... just too French. Then there’s Angus. Angus is the bloke who lives across the road, Angus is the lead guitarist in your favourite rock band and now he’s your favourite steak too."

5 fabulous comments:

Suzie said...

I am amused by the very non-PC Sam Kekovich (sp?) ads, and if they have convinced us all that lamb = Australia Day, then well done to them. The power of commercials can't be underestimated, after all, Santa only started wearing red and white when he first appeared in a Coke poster early last century...

Joy said...

While I don't feel that the Sam Kekovich ad has encouraged me to buy more lamb. I do feel more morally concious about what I buy regardless.

Yes, I have bought the Angus Burger from Maccas - I didn't like it - but I tried it because of the Farmer Ad that went with it.

I'm very concious of trying to buy Australia Own, Made, Grown or Produced this year and am very aware of the drought at the moment. I will always spend more or make more effort to source products that help Aussie Farmers.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

hehe I used to work in advertising so I kind of see it from a slightly different perspective :) Funnily enough, we didn't have any lamb on the Australia day BBQ and no-one remarked on it or missed it!

SOL's view said...

I really do think marketing has a lot to answer for!

My Australia Day fare was rump steak, chicken burgers, pork sausages, Boston baked beans, tofu & kecap manis. I also had an Indonesian, an ex-pat American and an ex-pat Pom at the table.

Long live Australia Day! :)

Ladybird said...

Well I'm vegetarian, so I guess that makes me pretty un-Australian in a way - haha!

I've noticed Toblerone has been advertising a lot recently, and toblerone has been circulating in our office on Fridays. It seems to have made a sudden comeback in the choccy popularity stakes!

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