26 Sep 2013

Showbag mania

No Comments Melbourne, Typically Aussie

Every Australian is well familiar with what a showbag is. For me it was something new and unfamiliar, until the other day when Simon and I went to the Royal Melbourne Show that is. Speaking of unfamiliar just to clarify things, an Australian show is the same thing as a fair or a carnival. Yes, they do like to be different these Aussies. The Royal Melbourne Show for those of you who don’t now it is an agricultural show held at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds every September. The show has been running since 1848 and it has around half a million visitors each year and offers a mix of animals, livestock, rides and food experiences.

But back to the showbags. A showbag is commercial plastic bag filled with treats and fun. There was a Showbag Pavillion at the Royal Show here in Melbourne filled with heaps and heaps of showbags (387 to be exact), something for every age, taste and budget. The showbags are basically sample bags and was originally given out for free to promote brand awareness. They are not free any more of course but you can find bags for as little as $2 and at the Show here in Melbourne about 65% of the bags cost under $20.


Most showbags are marketed to kids and are themed containing either lollies or toys.  You find common brands like Cadbury, Angry Birds, Spider-Man, My Little Pony and the AFL among the bags and a bag that is predicted to become a favourite this year is the One Direction bag. I quickly learned that one of the most popular showbags here at the Royal Melbourne Show was the traditional Bertie Beetle bag.

Bertie Beetle is an Australian chocolate bar manufactured by Nestlé. It consists of chocolate shaped like a beetle with small pieces of honeycomb throughout.  Nice but nothing super special if you ask me. I know I probably shouldn’t say that, it’s very un-Australian of me not to appreciate this popular chocolate bar. The Bertie Beetle was first produced in 1963 and was sold in normal stores until 1970, when Nestlé entered an exclusive agreement to only sell the chocolate at shows and exhibitions in showbags. Hence all the fuzz about the Bertie Beetle showbags. Clever move Nestlé, clever move.

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