Fair dinkum Australian brands

Australian Flag

It’s Australia Day tomorrow. Time to celebrate living in this beautiful country. Time to enjoy a barbecue with friends. And time to look at some of the iconic brands that “still call Australia home”.

I couldn’t resist throwing in part of the Australian classic “I Still Call Australia Home”.

Now on with the blog …

First to Vegemite. You’ll find it in most Australian households either for frequent use or to have on hand for the overseas visitors.

I have personally only acquired the taste for Vegemite in the past few years but now don’t have to be worried about being found to be un-Australian. The only problem is a need to avoid the word c-word in the world: carbs (so vegemite on toast is off limits most days!!)

Before we look at the good. Let’s look at the not so good. iSnack 2.0. Where do I plug it in? How many batteries does it take? Will it play my podcasts? The brand copped a lot of flack over the decision to tinker with the classic taste and the name. After much public outcry, Kraft soon dropped the name and moved on to better things.

Now they’re back with another attempt to win Australians over with a name change. This time, they’ve opted for the name Australia. Watch out for the limited edition jars featuring a red Australian flag and Australia on the label. They’ll make any overseas visitor enjoy the taste even more.

The name change isn’t Vegemite’s only campaign to cash in on Australia Day. They are also celebrating Australia Day with special limited edition Vegemite jars featuring 10 remarkable but everyday Australians in the “Toast of a Nation”. It reminds me a little of the stamp series launched by Australia post back in the late 90s – remember?

I think both campaigns have turned out well and I am even considering rushing out and buying one or two of the limited edition jars. Thankfully they remembered to include Tasmania on their map of Australia, unlike Shapes.

That’s enough of a spread on Vegemite, now onto some other iconic Australian brands.

Hands up if you haven’t (at one point or another) had a hills hoist in your back yard? If not, put the mouse down and head off to Bunnings to check one out.

I can remember many hours spent with grandma hanging clothes on her hills hoist. And because of the set up of her back yard, we were able to jump on at the low point and fly around.

It’s one of many great Australian inventions and has become a symbol of Australia in many artistic works. It’s also a great example of a brand that spread like wildfire and came to represent a whole category of products. It’s our very own Xerox.

Another classic Australian brand is Bonds. Hands up (I know it’s starting to feel like we’re in a classroom) if you have never owned a pair of Bonds undies or a Chesty Bonds singlet? Now owned by Pacific Brands, the company has continued to produce a range of popular products. They company has also had its share of controversy with a large number of jobs moving overseas.

Australian tennis player Pat Rafter and model Sarah Murdoch have both promoted the brand in recent years.

I’m a Queenslander so I couldn’t let this post past without a reference to Bundaberg Rum and XXXX. Both brands are as Queensland as the Broncos and sunshine.

Last but not least, we can’t write a post about iconic Australian brands without mentioning Qantas. The “Spirit of Australia” has helped millions of people fly around this vast country of ours to weddings, concerts, business meetings and so the list goes on. As well as being a pioneering Australian company, they’ve also survived a number of other Australian airlines and dealt with a number of crises including the recent grounding of their entire fleet.

And who can talk about Qantas without thinking about the Qantas choir and their renditions of Peter Allen’s “I Still Call Australia Home”.

Here are some c-word brands to think about on Australia Day:

  • Caramello Koala – 40 million sold in Australia each year
  • Carlton & United Breweries – call in for a Carlton at our friends at Meyers Place
  • Cascade Brewery – image adopted for its label in 1987, H. C. Richter’s 19th century illustration of the now extinct Tasmanian Tiger
  • Castlemaine Perkins – producers of XXXX (see above)
  • Chiko Roll – inspired by the Chinese egg roll and spring rolls
  • Clag (glue) – feels cold to touch and when applied to paper, it sometimes alters the colour of what is on it and causes paper to warp
  • Claytons – non-alcoholic Australian beverage
  • Coon cheese – available in every supermarket around Australia
  • Coopers Brewery – yet another Australian beer brand
  • Cottee’s – my dad picks the fruit that goes to …
  • Crown Lager – originally only available to visiting dignitaries but we can thank the Queen for making it available to the public
  • Crown Pilsner – yet another Australian beer

From everyone at the c word, have a wonderful Australia Day.


Jack & the c word crew


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