Man holding Christmas turkey in pan.

Choice Cuts – Advertising New Zealand meat

22 Mar 2022
A look at some quirky retro television adverts for New Zealand meat products.

A recent blog looked at fresh fruit and dairy from the fields of New Zealand. A real cornucopia, the country also creates a wide range of meat products. We headed to the butchers and had a think about some of New Zealand’s favourite things to eat – pies, pork, bacon, lamb, chicken and sausages. Then we checked through the Archive to find this fun (and occasionally odd) collection of retro television adverts.

Jimmy Nail jaunt

In 1995, Jimmy Nail, probably best known for Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, appeared in a series of adverts for Hutton’s. A laid-back bloke, Nail strolls through several scenarios hoping to track down the finest ham, sausages and bacon.

These two other commercials round out Nail’s meaty jaunt – on the hunt for something tasty in a restaurant, and bemoaning the rain when filming outdoors.

Dame Alison Holst

One of the country’s all-time favourite cooks is Dame Alison Holst. Her easy approach to cooking at home inspired generations of New Zealanders, and her name and face was a sure sign of a quality product. This 1995 commercial for a lamb roast highlights how easy it is.

While a ready-to-cook lamb seems straightforward, might it be easier still to use a microwave? Brain surgeon John (played by Gliding On’s ‘Jim’ – Michael Haigh!) finds his new Toshiba so easy to use it can even roast a chook.

Cobb & Co

Keeping the roasts going is Cobb & Co, with their 1997 commercial for the Roast Pork Two Course Super Deal.

Another itinerant Brit, David Jason in this instance, swung past in the 1980s to do a series of commercials for the Cobb.

Miscellaneous meats

Poultry is such a New Zealand favourite that this 1987 promotion from Benchmark and Dulux gave away a chicken or turkey with paint purchases!

Dulux, 1987

Sausages are one of the most versatile meats – from fundraiser saussie sizzles to bangers and mash. Peach deliver a great pair of ads from the 1980s. Up first this catchy tune is perhaps only bettered by some amazing 1980s hair.

Number two shows there’s no end of serving ideas for the humble snag.


Finally – the pie. Whether made from scratch by mum or fished out of a service station in the middle of the night (‘always blow on the pie’) it’s invariably the right kind of snack. Acting icon Bruce Allpress burst into song for this 1977 ad from 4‘n20 – ‘the great New Zealand pie’.

Irvines threw back to ‘the good ol’ days’ for their range of family sized pies in 1976.

Irvines, 1976

To cap things off, Georgie Pie and… ‘Pie Mania’. Will a New Zealand advertiser be so bold as to bring this talking pie back to our screens? Where is this pastry puppet?! We’d love to find out.