Celebrity chefs peaking as amateur foodies gain traction

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 25 July 2014
Heston to create exclusive range for Coles.

Celebrity chefs are a big part of food media - but have they reached their peak?


Coles and Woolworths have signed deals with high profile UK celebrity chefs in the last year, with Heston Blumenthal and Jamie Oliver getting involve.


Celebrity chefs have their own apps and recipe platforms. Blumenthal and Oliver have a great deal of traction in the media and play a significant role in how the supermarkets market.


But Megan Brownlow, executive director at PwC, believes celebrity chefs might be reaching their peak.


Part of the evolution of food media in the future will be the combination of high profile celebrity chefs alongside amateur foodies who trade on an interesting niche, she said.


"As food media continues to proliferate, the mass market celebrity chef – the Jamies and Hestons – will be sharing the spotlight with these more interesting foodie amateurs," she said.


For Woolworths, Jamie Oliver's involvement already goes far beyond a traditional deal to star in advertising, said Woolworths CMO Tony Philips. And because the supermarket is working with Oliver on so many different parts of the business, it is “confident in the slow burn of success.”


“If you look at what Woolworths believes in and what Jamie believes in it makes perfect sense for us to be engaged," Philips said. "Jamie has actually been engaged far less in advertising than in other parts of our business. He has worked closely with our development teams to create a unique range of fresh foods, and they have been flying off the shelves. He has worked with us to create a children’s collectible program aimed at engaging kids in the kitchen and the garden, and he also works tirelessly with our general manager of operations to bring the love of food to life for our store staff."


For more on evolution of the Australian food media market, check out the Special Report in the latest print issue of AdNews, out today (25 July). Subscribe to the print or iPad edition here.

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