Last week’s announcement of Jamie Oliver‘s split with J. Sainsbury, the UK grocery chain, for which he was spokesperson, comes as a bit of a surprise – unless you remember how many times the two entities disagreed on Jamie’s agenda. Supermarkets are in the business of selling all food – not just healthy food. Sainsbury did not support Jamie’s campaign against factory chicken or “battery hens,” but it did end up pulling battery hen eggs off its shelves.
Still, Jamie had a huge impact on sales, and earned a reported 10 million pounds over 11 years of campaigns like “try something new today”. Just like his precursor Julia Child who could increased the sales of kitchen gadgets by using them on her show, Jamie could increase sales by introducing a recipe that used a particular product or endorsing a product.
Where does that leave Jamie Oliver?
He’ll certainly have more time to campaign for good nutrition in the US following his LA-based Food Revolution.
He’ll have more time for his restaurants, ipod applications, and other promotions.
He should have time to get involved with FIRST LEGO League‘s Food Factor (see Join the FIRST LEGO League’s Food Factor Challenge!). Not only will he be reaching kids across the globe, he would be encouraging them to learn about food safety.
Who’ll get the coveted spot with Sainsbury’s that Jamie held for 11 years?
Miss Pascale, 39 – a classically trained chef and specialist cakemaker – is said to have impressed Sainsbury’s with her combination of model looks and cooking experience.
Does that mean the UK market is becoming more like America’s with the Food Network’s obsession with good-looking hosts rather then talented chefs? Jamie, himself, is part of that trend – in his original show The Naked Chef he played off his good looks and cheeky appeal.
Wait and see how Lorraine’s culinary chops pay off.