SAO (biscuit)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

SAO crackers.jpg
Three SAO crackers
Product typeSnack food
OwnerArnott's Biscuits Holdings

SAO biscuits are a savoury cracker biscuit that was launched in Australia in 1904 by Arnott's, the term SAO being trade marked in 1904.[2]

The origin of the name "SAO" is unknown. A widely held belief is that the name is an acronym for "Salvation Army Officer", and was named for Arthur, one of the Arnott brothers, who was indeed an officer in the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army Australia somewhat cautiously mentions this on its website, calling it "Arguably Fact" and saying " is understood they named it in honour of their brother Arthur Arnott, a Salvation Army Officer.[3] In the 1993 book The Story of Arnott's Famous Biscuits, Ross Arnott states that Sao was the name of a sailing boat which his grandfather (Arnott's founder William Arnott) saw on Lake Macquarie, of which he said "That would make a good name for a biscuit."[4]

1905 advertisement for SAO biscuits in the Sydney Morning Herald

SAOs were also one of the first biscuits to be heavily advertised in magazines and newspapers in the early part of the 1900s. In the 1960s, the famous[citation needed] SAO song was launched. SAOs light texture is achieved by rolling the dough into thin sheets, then carefully layering it to give distinctive bubbles and crumbs.

SAOs are often eaten as a light snack, topped with butter/margarine and Vegemite, or other ingredients. They were also a common base for home-made vanilla slice in Australian homes.[citation needed]

Traditionally, Arnott's delivery vans have had number plates in the range SA 0nn in recognition of the SAO brand.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Advertising". Evening News (11, 570). New South Wales, Australia. 11 July 1904. p. 2. Retrieved 14 August 2018 – via National Library of Australia. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ National Archives of Australia: Patent Office; A11708, Applications for Registration of Trade Marks, 1904, 3987, Application for Trade Mark titled SAO in respect of biscuits - by William Arnott Limited.
  3. ^ "Fact and fiction: Does the "SAO" biscuit really stand for Salvation Army Officer?". Salvation Army Australia. Retrieved 20 June 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Santich, Barbara (2013). Bold Palates: Australia's Gastronomic Heritage. Wakefield Press. p. 285. ISBN 1743050941.

External links[edit]