2008 Subway abandons Anzac Biscuits

The Anzac Biscuit recipe is protected under Australian legislation, policed by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Commercially made Anzac Biscuits must be made to the traditional recipe – a task which was too difficult for Subway. Subway’s Anzac Biscuits were deleted from the range after a legal challenge from the Department.

The Protection of Word ‘Anzac’ Regulations 1921 (Cth) state that:

‘no person may use the word ‘Anzac’, or any word resembling it, in connection with any trade, business, calling or profession or in connection with any entertainment or any lottery or art union or as the name or part of a name of any private residence, boat, vehicle of charitable or other institution, or other institution, or any building without the authority of the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.’

Because of this legal protection for the use of the term Anzac, it was within the Department’s powers to rule on Subway’s use of the term. The recipe used by the multi-national food chain contravened the requirements that Anzac biscuits and cakes could only be sold in Australia if the product “generally conforms to the traditional recipe and shape, is not advertised in any way that would play on Australia’s military heritage, and is not used in association with the word ‘cookies'”.

There was some negotiation on the topic but, evidently, the bakers responsible for producing Subway’s Anzac biscuits found it impossible to develop a product made to the approved recipe at a cost that would make it viable. The biscuits were then withdrawn from sale.

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