Fame, fortune and agency: Housewives and the Dairy White Wings Bake-Off | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 4, Issue 2-3
  • ISSN: 2045-5852
  • E-ISSN: 2045-5860



In the post-war period, Australian companies adopted sophisticated American marketing methods to promote a range of products, including foods, to Australian housewives. Modelled on America’s Pillsbury Bake-Off, The Dairy White Wings Bake-Off was an extraordinary marketing event for its many sponsors. In its early years Australia’s Bake-Off claimed to be a significant event for any housewife. Throughout its life, however, the competition became less about housewives and their baking skills and more about marketing the goods and services offered by its various sponsors to the working woman, the perfect hostess and men who increasingly found a place in the domestic kitchen. The Australian Women’s Weekly and Woman’s Day, both popular women’s magazines then and now, covered the event and featured many advertisements by its sponsors. This article shows, how by using information from these magazine articles and advertisements (material culture) for the Bake-Off, it is possible to investigate a changing domestic culture in Australia through the way in which the Bake-Off, over its life, changed its rules and categories to appeal less to the housewife and increasingly to working women as well as men.


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