Big M

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For the American retailer, see Totowa, New Jersey § Economics.
Big M
Big M.png
Big M logo
Type Flavoured milk
Manufacturer National Foods
Country of origin Victoria, Australia
Introduced 1978
Color Multiple
Flavour Multiple
Variants
  • Original Chocolate
  • Bigger Chocolate
  • Strawberry
  • Iced Coffee
  • Banana
  • Egg Flip
  • Cookies and Cream

Big M is a brand of flavoured milk that was founded in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, in 1977–78. It was launched by the newly formed Victorian Dairy Industry Authority (VDIA), which replaced the more regulatory-oriented Victorian Milk Board. The VDIA was given a greater marketing role by the Minister of Agriculture, Ian Smith. He appointed Des Cooper (MD of the Victorian Oat Growers Pool) as chairman, and Brian Purtell as general manager. Purtell appointed agricultural science graduate Peter Granger as Marketing Manager. Granger conceived the VDIA Marketing Plan to introduce branding and promotion to flavoured milk (Big M) and reduced-fat milk (Rev), and it was embraced by the board. Until then there had been dozens of small 'zoned' dairies, some with their own flavoured milk brands – but with the exception of a dairy in Shepparton (Ducats), sales were minuscule.[clarification needed] A reduced-fat milk had been launched years earlier[clarification needed] by the Milk Board and failed due to lack of co-operation by the dairy processors, and the inability of the Board to overcome this resistance. Similarly, there was resistance to the launch of Big M and Rev, but it was ultimately embraced by the industry with the consumer interest and demand the advertising promotion generated. Granger was principally the creative input, with Cooper and Purtell administrators who maneuvered the launch in the face of industry reluctance and scepticism. The advertising agency George Paterson was appointed to handle the campaigns. They conceived the brand names and contracted Paddington Films to produce the Big M surfing ads. This was a very rare occasion where a government department launched a consumer product, particularly one that has been so successful. Big M accounted for 19 million lites per year, and licence fees of $6 – 6.5 million pa prior to the trademarks being sold in 2000 for close to $62 million.[1] Big M flavoured milk is available primarily in Melbourne, regional and rural areas of Victoria and the southern and western Riverina regions of New South Wales near the state border of Victoria. In recent years[when?] distribution of the Big M brand has expanded further north into the rest of New South Wales and into Queensland as well as its state of origin. The brand has gained popularity through television ad campaigns in Victoria such as 'Think Big, but not too big'. It is sold in cartons, Tetra Briks and plastic bottles in both fresh and UHT varieties. The Big M brand is currently[when?] owned by Lion (formerly National Foods).[2]

Big M is also available in a low fat "light" chocolate variety (0.9% fat vs 3.3% for the normal product).

Flavours[edit]

Big M is available in 6 flavours:[3]

  • Original Chocolate
  • Bigger Chocolate
  • Strawberry
  • Iced Coffee
  • Banana
  • Egg Flip

Previous flavours included:

  • Double Strength Iced Coffee
  • Lime
  • Choc Berry
  • Choc Orange-Jaffa
  • Vanilla
  • Pine Lime-Splice
  • Honeycomb
  • Choc-Malt
  • Blueberry-Blue Heaven
  • Choc Mint
  • Caramel
  • Choc Pineapple
  • Choc Licorice-Bullet
  • Toffee Whip
  • Milk

The flavours in bold were advertised as part of a Big M 'Flavour Flashback' promotion in 2010, with one to be voted back into regular sale. The winner was announced on 5 July 2010 as Big Egg Flip. It was retired in early 2011 and replaced with Honeycomb as another limited edition. Honeycomb was subsequently replaced by a limited edition Choc Berry in mid-2011. Egg Flip has subsequently re-appeared in late 2012.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ [1] Big M origins & product range
  2. ^ National Foods' Great Brands - Milk
  3. ^ | Lion: Flavoured Milk