It’s National Egg Nog Day: How ‘days’ are used to market food

Aside from being Christmas Eve, Dec. 24 is also National Egg Nog Day. In fact, there are many food-related holidays that come up over the year.

National Doughnut Day is probably the oldest national food day and bears the distinction of being proclaimed by a charity, rather than a food manufacturer or related marketer. In Canada, Tim Hortons celebrated the day on June 6 of this year by giving away a free doughnut to anyone who said, « Happy National Doughnut Day. »

Of course, some food holidays are proclaimed by politicians. National Ice Cream Day was signed into law by U.S. president Ronald Reagan on July 9, 1984.

But most are just marketing gimmicks, like National Ice Cream Cone day, which was invented by Sonic Drive-in.

Similarly, National Root Beer Float Day was made up by this marketer.

Every June 10 is National Iced Tea Day, toasted in this ad by Lipton’s new spokespeople, Carl and Stu.

As you might have suspected, there’s a food-related holiday for every day on the calendar. This one was June 14.

Or this one on Dec. 17.

While national food days can be proclaimed by politicians, charities, product marketers and industry associations, it turns out most of them were made up by a single U.S. food blogger.

In 2006, John-Bryan Hopkins noticed there were only 175 food holidays, so he decided to fill in the rest of the calendar himself. He made up National Onion Rings Day, National Tater Tots Day, National Froot-Loops Day, and this one that falls on March 6:

Of course, it’s only natural that food marketers would jump on the national day bandwagon as a way to promote their products.

But even in the absence of brand marketing, the holidays and their associated products attain high awareness thanks to local media who are always hungry to have something fresh to talk about on air.

Bruce Chambers is a syndicated advertising columnist for CBC Radio.

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