Home Cancer Why I won’t be buying Arnotts Tim Tams to support Breast Cancer...

Why I won’t be buying Arnotts Tim Tams to support Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition


This just makes me mad!

In our local supermarket, there is a display – a large pallet of Tim Tams, begging to be bought. Actually Arnotts are begging us to buy a packet and if you do, 20cents goes to Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition. I pulled this screen shot off http://www.breastcancer.org.nz

Why is this so wrong?

I doubt whether Arnotts New Zealand have the slightest bit of interest in reducing Breast Cancer. If they did they wouldn’t be selling a product which does ZERO to decrease the risk of breast cancer, and in fact it is more likely to increase your risk.

Arnotts have made it a mission to target women to buy Tim Tams – just look at this advert: Watch it on You Tube here.

Arnotts are interested purely in using this opportunity to make more money out of their target market. They are trying to make us think we are helping other women if we buy a packet of their sweet poison.

Here are the ingredients of  Tim Tams:

Milk chocolate (38%)(sugar, milk solids, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, emulsifiers (e322: soy, e476), flavouring), wheat flour, sugar, vegetable oil, golden syrup, colours (e102, e110, e129, e133, e150), milk solids, cocoa, salt, raising agent(e500), emulsifier (e322: soy) and flavouring.

Main ingredients? Sugar, highly refined wheat flour, vegetable oil, plus a good number of additives.

Nutrient content – low

Breast Cancer protective nutrients – non existant

What foods are highly correlated with breast cancer? Yep – high glycemic index carbohydrates High glycemic diet and breast cancer occurrence

If Arnotts really wanted to reduce breast cancer risk in women they would take Tim Tams and all their other high glycemic, nutrient deficient, refined grain plus vegetable oil,  additive enriched products off the market.




  1. Few things in the world drive me more mad than the monetezation of health campaigns. Breast cancer in particular seems to be full of it. As well as rampant sexism, ie, let’s save boobs because they’re hot! My favorite is the Susan G Komen foundation, which sues other health advocates for copyright infringement and profits millions. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/07/komen-foundation-charities-cure_n_793176.html

    Also highly correlated with breast cancer: soy! Soy is also in their product.

  2. I agree with you and I certainly won’t be buying any Tim Tams.

    Sanitarium is a company in NZ (& Australia) that gets up my nose with its healthy image. Apart from the fact they are grain pushers they are also a church owned company that pays no tax. It’s all about lining their own pockets with these big companies.

  3. Considering your argument, should you not be complaining equally — if not more so — to Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition for partnering with Arnotts for the campaign?

    If BCAC were raising money for cancer research then you could call the campaign hypocritical. But they’re not. Perhaps you didn’t read the ‘about us’ page on the BCAC website where you would have found that they aim to “provide a voice for those with breast cancer in order to improve the detection, treatment and care of this disease.”

    We can’t yet cure beast cancer, and we have only questionable epidemiological cancer studies to determine what foods *reduce* risk (we only have a slightly less questionable idea of what *increases* risk, such is the nature of epidemiology). What we can do with certainty is significantly reduce breast cancer deaths by promoting awareness, which is what this campaign does.

    • That is true, but I wonder who contacted who. Arnotts probably took the initiative and made it look so easy to add funds through their campainn. They like many big corporations providing sponsorship are “users”, preying on those who really need the funds.
      BCAC may provide a voice, but by allowing themselves to be funded by Arnotts, they are also condoning buying and eating food that does not give any health benefit. I think they are wrong to do this, however the offer may just be too generaous to turn down.

      • I work in communications for a one of the largest not-for-profits in NZ and I can assure you that Arnotts probably *didn’t* take the initiative on this. Charities spend a lot of time and effort fostering corporate partnerships.

        Co-marketing support such as this campaign requires not an insignificant amount of negotiation at both ends, they certainly aren’t a situation like you’re painting where a “big bully” pressures “a desperate cause” purely for marketing gain. Each party meets somewhere in the middle in regards to all the costs of the endeavor. If you were correct, and it really was a cut-and-dry ‘big win’ for the corporation, you’d see this far more often than you do.

        It’s important to consider that from your perspective BCAC partnering with Arnotts is hypocritical. But from the perspective of BCAC — who isn’t concerned with TimTam’s nutritional value and questionable conclusions about their effects on cancer growth — when they’re looking for the best vehicle to reach their target audience (middle-aged females) with the most favourable partnership terms.

        It’s not analogous to Alcohol Anonymous partnering with the liquor companies. It’s more analogous to Alcohol Anonymous partnering with a rugby club who has licensed bar on premises (they’re hitting their target audience even though the partner has an association with alcohol).

        • I don’t see Arnotts as a bully – just a user. I didn’t say bully.
          Did Arnotts lose anything – i.e have to give up anything in this? Unlikely – their highly visible stacks of TimTams and consequent increased sales offset any loss of income, and their loss is a donation is tax deductible.
          I’ve worked in a pretty big company in the past, any sponsorship is carefully evaluated to make sure it is a winner for the company. I have not observed any altruistic behaviour.
          I can see the perspective of BCAC, for them – a group I knew nothing of until now, they have indeed become more visible with this partnership.
          It is just a shame they have done so in association with
          junk food IMO.

  4. I cant agree any LESS! The creators of Tim Tams didn’t make their product for it to be unhealthy to women and “guide” them to getting breast cancer. If they really are donating the money than they obviously care. I don’t think anyone is willing to give up some of their profit for something they don’t believe in.

  5. This is the most ridiculous, irrelevant thing I’ve ever read on the Web. Who cares what the product is if they are supporting any cause…kudos to them! Tim tams rock, eating their product does not CAUSE cancer, so who cares. Get a life.

    • Their product contributes to the ultra-processed food at the heart of our health decline, using a worthy cause to promote these foods is like using doctors to sell cigarettes.

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