I know that you are all going to say George foreman isn’t in your kitchen and who on earth is George Foreman anyway? To set the record straight George Foreman is no chef, celebrity, Michelin starred or otherwise. He was a world champion boxer who liked eating hamburgers and steak.
At this point there might be a vague bell ringing in the back of your head – the George Foreman Grill! George did not create the George Foreman Grill, he was just the face of the marketing campaign. In fact, the creator had sent George a grill for him to try – presumably so George would promote it. After some months of the grill sitting in the Foreman kitchen, George’s wife finally gave it a go. And the rest is history.
Since that fateful day in 1994 when Mrs Foreman cooked George his first hamburger – one of his favourite meals before getting onto the ring for a bout – and sold George on the grill, it has been an outstanding success. More than 100 million units have been sold around the world making it one of the most lucrative endorsement contracts in history. George is believed to have earnt a lot more promoting the ‘Lean Mean Grilling Fat Reducing Machine’ than he ever did as a boxer.
George has since gone onto endorse many other similar types of products but none have achieved the success of the original grill. Indeed numerous other celebrities have also endorsed similar style grills from fellow boxer Evander Holyfield to Olympic gold medallist Carl Lewis – again without the Foreman success.
So getting back to the kitchen. The George Foreman grill came at a time when the market was starting to seriously open up to a whole range of kitchen gadgets. Where previously a frying pan or an under cooktop or stove grill was good enough, now we had the George Foreman Grill. The new gadgets started to include things like popcorn makers, hot dog makers, waffle makers, electric woks, a variety of different mixers and blenders, just to name a few.
The result was a plethora of new gadgets and endless opportunities for Mothers Day, Birthday and Christmas gifts for the home. Did we need all of these? Not really, but they became symptomatic of the consumerism that has taken hold in our society and ultimately the waste that we produce.
So how did I come across the George Foreman grill? It was the most common electrical gadget to be found in Op Shops – even today they are easily found. So George may have sold 100 million of them but not everyone kept them.