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"It Only Takes a Jiffy to Make": Nestlé, Australia and the Convenience of Instant Coffee

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Abstract:

In 1928, Australia was, per capita, the world's leading tea-drinking nation. This began to change after the Second World War, as Nestlé popularized the first product that could challenge Australians' commitment to tea: Nescafé instant coffee. In various ways, Nescafé embodied several of the most fashionable discourses of the postwar period. This article considers various advertisements that Nestlé used to promote Nescafé and shows that, despite the deep hold that tea had over Australians, Nescafé proved a powerful contender. In short, it symbolized modern convenience, American glamour and demographic shifts. As such, the burgeoning popularity of Nescafé shows that, as much as tea's place was tied to an overwhelmingly British heritage, so too was Nescafé's rise linked to similarly profound developments. Moreover, with its reputation for research and innovation already established in Australia, Nestlé was ideally positioned to endear a nation of tea-drinkers to what had once been widely ignored.

Keywords: AUSTRALIA; CONVENIENCE; INSTANT COFFEE; NESCAFE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/175174409X400747

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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