Thursday, March 26, 2009

Value Added Words

Take a trip down the aisle of your local Woolies or Coles and you will spot a new style of adjectives describing products, even though they are proper nouns.

In the yogurt aisle you see French Vanilla and Traditional Greek. Walking past the chocolates you get swayed by the Swiss Lindt. I need some olive oil and looks like its Extra Virgin Italian pressed. My choice of dip is French Onion and pasta is Italian style. Heading over to buy more coffee, its a choice of Brazilian or Colombian, Italian or French roast. My beef and bananas are Australian. Lastly, my Achilles heel has to be Swedish, Russian or Polish Vodka.

Need to buy clothes? Even in retail the trend is cropping up. Aussie Bum swimwear, French perfumes - Coco Mademoiselle, Michael Kors - Capri, Hawaii and Bermuda. Italian leather handbags and shoes, French knickers and Swedish or Danish designed furniture. Our cars should be with German or Italian engineering. We must tell the time with our Swiss made watches.

There is an obsession brewing here. Maybe due to our geographical isolation, our need to be seen moving in higher socially and financially and to want the best, but who says that really these are the best and as your average middle class Aussie, is this reality?

Lets now take a more realistic view of what we can buy in our local shops.

  • Undies (namely Bonds) we now know are made in China.
  • Leather producers (shoes, handbags, wallets) are biggest in China, Italy and India.


  • Coffees largest producers are Brazil, Colombia and Indonesia.
  • Global production of olive oil is generally from Spain, Italy, Greece and Tunisia.


  • The top 5 cars that Australians privately own, 4 out of 5 are Japanese cars (Toyota, Mazda, Honda) with a Korean (Hyundai) thrown in too.

We may be faced with facts one day that all our clothes and shoes will come from China and India, our produce will probably be from China and India unless we keep our produce quotas and tariffs in place.

Imagine Japanese Bum swimwear, Singaporean ice Cream, Afghani made watches, Tongan made cars, olive oil from Brazil and Romanian designed furniture. Life would be so much more interesting!

(Stats and data used from

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