Sunrise host Nat Barr has led a growing chorus of heartbroken Australians pleading for Sara Lee to be saved after frozen dessert business collapse, as retail expert reveals where everything went wrong for the Australian icon.
The much-loved Australian company has been plunged into voluntary administration, putting 200 jobs at risk.
Famous for its frozen treats including apple tarts, cheesecakes, date pudding and ice cream, Sara Lee has been a favorite among Australian families for over half a century.
A desperate hunt was on to find a new buyer to save Sara Lee from the brink of extinction as business experts pondered the possible cause.
Sara Lee is one of dozens of well-known Australian brands that have collapsed in 2023 alone.
“We’ve seen this with a lot of companies, they just can’t keep up with mass production, whether it’s international products or cutting costs,” explained Amanda Rose, a business expert at Sydney.
“A white knight needs to come along and maybe reinvent it into something else.” But we need Sara Lee in our lives.
Business experts say a lack of advertising, investment and marketing may have contributed to the company’s downfall, with consumers switching to rival brands and cheaper products.
“The cost of producing these products has increased and we have also become more competitive with other brands,” Meg Elkins from RMIT’s School of Economics, Finance and Marketing told 3AW.
“Sometimes with inflation we go for the cheaper choice and ultimately we pay the price.”
The shocking news sparked an outpouring of grief and fond childhood memories among food lovers who grew up with the staple dessert.
Australians rushed to stores to stock up on Sara Lee before they ran out, including the Sunrise team who enjoyed the treats on air for breakfast on Thursday.
“We have one of our growers on its way to the stores right now because you know what, a lot of us haven’t bought one in a while,” Barr said during a panel discussion.
“Let’s save Sara Lee, it’s all our fault.”
Iconic frozen dessert company Sara Lee, which once had celebrity Sophie Monk (pictured) as its advertising muse, has collapsed into administration.
Perth Mayor and TV personality Basil Zempilas added: “It’s the end of an icon and an era.”
“If we all went to the supermarket and took home a cheesecake, maybe we could save the business, one Australian at a time.”
Sunrise co-host Matt Shirvington described it as a sad day for Australia.
“I’m definitely going to buy one when I get home,” he said.
The news sparked a divided debate online.
‘The taste of my childhood! Still still slightly frozen. Someone has to step in and save them!’ » said an Australian.
Another added: “This is so wrong, another Australian company gone so sad their products are cool they will miss it.”
A third wrote: “Christmas was ruined!
But many others weren’t surprised to learn of Sara Lee’s death.
“If all these companies didn’t raise prices so much, people could afford more. I’ve stopped buying ‘fancier’ stuff like this because we just can’t afford it now!’ another woman wrote.
A second added: “If you think about it, they haven’t advertised in forever… (even the Coca-Cola advert). These days, not advertising is a big mistake.
Nat Barr joined the movement to save Sara Lee during a panel discussion with Basil Zempilas and Amanda Rose.
Vaughan Strawbridge, Kathryn Evans and Joseph Hansell of FTI Consulting have been appointed as volunteer directors of Sara Lee.
“Australian company Sa Lee has a long history of producing desserts, including frozen cheesecakes, tarts, crumbles and ice cream, using quality, authentic ingredients,” the directors said.
“The Australian-based manufacturing company operates under the Sara Lee name under license from the brand’s global owner, with operating rights in Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia and the Middle East. -East.
“The appointment to the company is intended to restructure and sell the Sara Lee business, whilst continuing to operate as a going concern.”
Mr Strawbridge believes various businesses will be keenly interested in buying the company, which once had TV star Sophie Monk as its ambassador.
“We are working with Sara Lee’s management team and staff to continue our operations while securing the future of the business,” he said.
“We are immediately beginning a process to sell or restructure the business and continue its long history of manufacturing in Australia.
“We expect a lot of interest in the company and will work with these parties and stakeholders to achieve an outcome as quickly as possible to secure ongoing activities and provide clarity to its staff and customers faithful and committed.”
The company, which employs around 200 peoplewas established at Lisarow in New South Wales Central Coast in 1971.
The Australian company – in business for more than 50 years – is famous for its frozen treats, including apple pies (pictured), cheesecakes and ice creams.
Its website says its “bakers and pastry chefs create delicious desserts and pastries for Australians and New Zealanders every day, using traditional baker’s flour, real eggs and crème fraîche.”
The company was founded in Chicago, USA by Charles Lubin, who in the 1930s named his first bakery after his daughter Sara Lee.
Sophie Monk was the face of a recent ad campaign for the company.
In the Monks ad, dressed in cream silk pajamas and bathed in morning sunshine, she took spoonfuls of crème brûlée between the lilting lyrics of Celine Dion’s power ballad All My Myself.
Monk sang the lyrics to the ballad in his apartment, singing “When I was young, I ate with everyone/Sharing dessert was so much fun…Those days are gone.”