Marketing’s Influence on the Food Culture of a Nation: As told through the Edmonds’ Cookery Book
Purpose – This article explores how marketing has influenced the food culture of a nation. Specifically
the influences of aspects of marketing such as distribution, price, promotion and availability on the creation of food culture in New Zealand between 1880 and 1955 are considered.
Design/methodology/approach – An historical analysis is undertaken which looks at the influences of aspects of marketing such as distribution, price, promotion and availability on the creation of food culture in New Zealand between 1880 and 1955. As a cultural artifact used to produce and record cultural production, The Edmonds’ Cookery Book guides this historical piece. The Edmonds’ Cookery Book is the longest lasting cookbook in New Zealand and has been published since 1907 until the present day. A market penetration and promotional strategy the cookbook is a commentary on the diffusion of aspects of food culture in the country.
Findings – Distribution and price have been two major influences on New Zealand’s food culture
along with trends from the UK. Overall, what has been found in this study is interaction between
marketing and food culture in New Zealand, with the Edmonds’ Cookery Book tending to be a
follower rather than an instigator.
Research limitations/implications – Given the influence that marketing can have on the consumption practices of developing nations and obesity levels, a study of the interaction between marketing and food culture development adds to the historical marketing literature and has implications for macromarketers. Influential marketing promotions such as free cookbooks may place the responsibility for developing nations’ health in marketer’s hands. In these cases, healthy and sustainable foods should
be emphasized in any such communications.
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