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Patrimoine/Cultural Heritage in France and Ireland

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Edited By Eamon Maher and Eugene O'Brien

This collection of essays explores the concept of patrimoine, a French word used to denote cultural heritage, traditional customs and practices – the Gaelic equivalent is dúchas – and the extent to which it impacts on France and Ireland. Borrowing from disciplines as varied as sociology, cultural theory, literature, marketing, theology, history, musicology and business, the contributors to the volume unearth interesting manifestations of how patrimoine resonates across cultural divides and bestows uniqueness and specificity on countries and societies, sometimes in a subliminal manner.

Issues covered include debt as heritage, Guinness as a cultural icon of «Irishness», faith-based tourism, the Huguenot heritage in Ireland, Irish musical inheritances since Independence, Skellig Michael and the commodification of Irish culture.

With a Foreword by His Excellency M. Stéphane Crouzat, French Ambassador to Ireland, this collection breaks new ground in assessing the close links between France and Ireland, links that will become all the more important in light of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.

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9 ‘Butter them up’: When Marketing Meets Heritage – The Case of Irish Butter in Germany (Julien Guillaumond)

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Julien Guillaumond

9 ‘Butter them up’: When Marketing Meets Heritage – The Case of Irish Butter in Germany

When shopping for food and grocery products in supermarkets (Rewe, Tegut) and discount stores (Aldi, Lidl or Norma) in Germany, consumers are presented with a large variety of butter packs. Curiously though, along the German traditional Markenbutter or Deutsche butter, customers can also find Kerrygold Irische butter, Butter aus Irland as it says, and a good number of other packages with an Irische butter label and, sometimes, truly Irish-sounding names such as O’Grady. Why is Irish butter sold in Germany? And why are there so many other products with an ‘Irish butter’ label on them, with a golden foil packaging that is remarkably similar to Kerrygold’s?1 A short Internet search offered a partial answer: surprisingly, Kerrygold butter has been retailed in Germany since the early 1970s, and has since reached an ‘iconic’ status.2 It is a bestseller, retailing at a premium price, with weekly sales of 3 million packs in 2016.3

How could one explain that butter from Ireland would be a top seller in Germany? Could it be possible that German consumers would be less concerned with their own dairy industry when people and governments alike value country of origin (COO) labels, and are preoccupied by the quality of food? Is the German dairy market much more open than its French counterpart, or is milk production in Germany too small, calling for imports of dairy...

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