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Battle Lines Drawn In The Great Australian Smashed Avo Affair


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Elle Matlock



The Great Australian Smashed Avo Affair has become a cultural phenomenon that has captivated the nation. It all began with a simple dish – avocado toast, or as it is affectionately known in Australia, “smashed avo”. But what started as a culinary trend quickly turned into a heated debate about generational differences, economic priorities, and the impact of indulgent food choices.


Avocado toast, a combination of ripe avocado mashed onto a slice of toasted bread, has been a staple in Australian cafes for years. It gained popularity among millennials who embraced the idea of simple, flavorful, and Instagram-worthy dishes. However, this seemingly innocent meal became the center of controversy when financial advice columnist Bernard Salt made a suggestion that would ignite a national conversation.


In an article published in 2016, Salt highlighted the financial choices made by millennials and suggested that their love for smashed avo could be the reason they struggle to save for a home deposit. He argued that by cutting back on indulgent cafe meals, young people could save thousands of dollars each year, making homeownership more attainable.


What followed was a flurry of media coverage and a public outcry from both sides of the debate. Baby boomers accused millennials of prioritizing avocado toast over long-term financial security, while millennials defended their right to enjoy life’s small pleasures.


The Smashed Avo Affair quickly became a symbol of the larger divide between generations, exacerbating tensions and highlighting the differing attitudes towards money and lifestyle choices.


But the debate didn’t stop at avocado toast. It touched on broader issues such as the rising cost of living, stagnant wages, and the ever-increasing difficulty of entering the property market. It became a commentary on the changing priorities and aspirations of younger generations who are facing a different economic landscape compared to their parents and grandparents.


In this article, we will delve deeper into the origins of the Smashed Avo Affair, explore the economic impact of these food choices, analyze the generation gap, examine the media and public reaction, and even touch on the political commentary and policy proposals that emerged from this seemingly innocuous breakfast item.


Join us on this journey as we unravel the complexities of the Great Australian Smashed Avo Affair and shed light on the deeper issues it represents in our society.


The Origins of the Smashed Avo Affair

The popularity of avocado toast and the subsequent debate over its financial implications took root in Australia in the mid-2010s. The dish itself has roots in the vibrant cafe culture of Australia, where innovative and creative brunch offerings have become a staple.


Avocado toast first gained traction in Australian cafes as a simple, yet delicious, combination of ripe avocado spread onto a slice of toasted bread. It quickly became a favorite among millennials, who embraced the dish for its healthy fats, flavorful toppings, and Instagrammable aesthetic.


While avocado toast had been a part of Australian breakfast menus for years, it wasn’t until 2016 that the controversy surrounding it reached fever pitch. It all started with an article by financial commentator Bernard Salt.


In his now-infamous article, Salt suggested that millennials could save money and potentially afford to buy a home if they cut back on their indulgent cafe habits, specifically singling out the popular smashed avo. He argued that the obsession with this seemingly extravagant breakfast option was preventing young people from saving enough for a home deposit.


This argument struck a nerve, igniting a spirited debate across the country. Baby boomers, who had achieved financial success in a different era, criticized millennials for their perceived frivolity and inability to prioritize their long-term financial goals.


On the other hand, millennials defended their love for smashed avo, citing the rising cost of living, low wages, and the difficulty of breaking into the property market as reasons why saving for a home was a daunting task, regardless of avocado toast consumption.


What started as a discussion about personal finance and lifestyle choices quickly turned into a generational battleground, with each side firmly entrenched in their beliefs. The Smashed Avo Affair became a symbol of the broader divide between baby boomers and millennials, highlighting the differing values and financial circumstances faced by each generation.


As the debate intensified, media outlets seized upon the controversy, amplifying the discussion and bringing it to the forefront of public consciousness. Newspapers, television shows, and online platforms all weighed in, exploring the deeper issues and implications behind the smashed avo debate.


The Origins of the Smashed Avo Affair ultimately lie in the convergence of changing cultural norms, shifting economic realities, and a generational clash of values. It serves as a potent reminder of the complex dynamics that shape and define our society.


The Economic Impact of Smashed Avo

While the Smashed Avo Affair may seem like a trivial debate over a popular breakfast dish, it has sparked discussions about the broader economic impact of indulgent lifestyle choices and the financial challenges faced by younger generations.


One of the key arguments put forth by critics is that millennials’ love for smashed avo and other non-essential expenditures is hindering their ability to save for important financial goals, such as homeownership. The cost of avocado toast, when consumed frequently, can add up over time, taking away from savings that could be used for a down payment on a house or other significant investments.


However, proponents of smashed avo argue that the impact of this particular food choice on overall financial well-being is minimal. They believe that blaming avocado toast for millennials’ financial woes is an oversimplification of the complex economic factors at play.


It is essential to consider the larger economic landscape in which millennials find themselves. Stagnant wages, rising living costs, and the increasing difficulty of entering the property market have created significant financial challenges for younger generations. The cost of homeownership, especially in major cities, has skyrocketed, making it increasingly difficult to save enough for a down payment.


Moreover, the debate surrounding smashed avo overlooks the potential economic benefits of this trend. The popularity of avocado toast has fueled growth in the hospitality industry, creating jobs and contributing to the local economy. Cafes and restaurants have capitalized on the demand for this trendy breakfast option, attracting customers and generating revenue. The smashed avo trend has not only provided a delicious and visually appealing dish for consumers but also a source of economic activity in the food and beverage sector.


Furthermore, millennials’ spending habits extend beyond avocado toast. They face mounting pressures to save for retirement, pay off mounting student loan debt, and navigate a gig economy that often lacks job security and benefits. Pointing fingers solely at their menu choices ignores the larger financial challenges they face.


Ultimately, the economic impact of smashed avo is multifaceted. While some argue that it hampers millennials’ ability to save, others acknowledge the broader economic context and the potential benefits that the popularity of avocado toast has brought to the hospitality industry. It is crucial to recognize the complex interplay between lifestyle choices, economic realities, and generational differences when discussing the economic impact of indulgent food trends like smashed avo.


Generation Gap: Baby Boomers vs. Millennials

The Smashed Avo Affair has often been portrayed as a battle between baby boomers and millennials, highlighting the contrasting values, attitudes, and financial circumstances of these two generations.


Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, grew up in a time of economic prosperity and stability. Many were able to secure well-paying jobs and accumulate wealth, benefiting from rising property values and generous retirement plans. They often view financial security and homeownership as markers of success and have a more conservative approach to money management.


On the other hand, millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, have come of age in a vastly different economic landscape. They have faced the challenges of entering the job market during a time of economic uncertainty, stagnant wages, and skyrocketing living costs. Homeownership, once seen as a rite of passage, has become an increasingly elusive dream for many.


This generational divide is evident in the debate over smashed avo. Baby boomers, who may have entered the property market when prices were more affordable, often criticize millennials for prioritizing indulgent food choices over saving for a home. They argue that cutting back on non-essential expenditures like smashed avo would free up funds for more significant financial milestones.


On the other side of the debate, millennials assert that they are facing financial challenges that previous generations did not experience to the same extent. With higher student loan debt, rising costs of living, and scarce job opportunities, they contend that saving for a home deposit is much more difficult. They argue that the focus on smashed avo oversimplifies the complex financial realities they face.


The generational gap extends beyond financial priorities. Baby boomers tend to value stability, hard work, and traditional career paths. They often believe that financial success is a result of saving, investing wisely, and living within one’s means. Millennials, on the other hand, are more likely to prioritize experiences, work-life balance, and non-traditional career paths. They may be more willing to spend on memorable experiences and prioritize their happiness in the present.


The clash between baby boomers and millennials over smashed avo reflects a larger cultural divide and differing perspectives on wealth, self-fulfillment, and the pursuit of the so-called “Australian dream” of homeownership. It also highlights the different economic circumstances and opportunities each generation faces.


However, it is essential to remember that not all baby boomers or millennials fit neatly into these generalizations, and there is a significant amount of diversity within each generation. Recognizing this diversity and fostering dialogue between generations can lead to a better understanding and empathy for the challenges faced by each group.


The Debate over Priorities: Saving vs. Splurging

The Smashed Avo Affair has intensified the ongoing debate about financial priorities and the balance between saving for the future and enjoying the present. At the heart of this discussion lies a fundamental question: should individuals prioritize frugality and saving for long-term goals, or is it equally important to indulge in the present moment?


On one side of the debate, proponents of saving emphasize the importance of financial responsibility and delayed gratification. They argue that making small sacrifices and cutting back on large discretionary expenses, like extravagant meals or luxury purchases, can translate into significant savings over time. By adopting a more austere lifestyle, individuals may be able to accumulate wealth, build an emergency fund, and prepare for future financial stability.


Those who advocate for splurging, on the other hand, believe in the value of enjoying life’s pleasures and experiences. They argue that focusing solely on saving for the future can lead to a life devoid of joy and fulfillment. They argue that splurging, within reason, can lead to improved well-being and happiness in the present, as well as creating cherished memories.


The debate over priorities also encompasses differing views on the role of consumerism in our personal and societal well-being. Saving proponents often highlight the negative effects of excessive consumption on the environment, financial stress, and the perpetuation of an unsustainable consumer culture. They argue for simplicity, mindful spending, and focusing on building wealth for the future.


Splurging proponents, on the other hand, argue that moderate indulgences can contribute to personal happiness and stimulate economic growth. They contend that enjoying luxuries and experiences can enhance the quality of life, support the hospitality and retail industries, and foster a sense of reward for hard work.


It is important to recognize that the debate over priorities is not necessarily about choosing one extreme over the other. There is room for a balanced approach that incorporates both saving and splurging. Achieving financial stability requires a combination of disciplined saving and responsible spending.


Ultimately, the path to financial well-being and personal fulfillment will vary from person to person. Some may prioritize saving for a down payment on a house or planning for retirement, while others may choose to savor the present and spend on experiences that bring them joy. The key is finding a balance that aligns with individual values, financial circumstances, and long-term goals.


The Smashed Avo Affair has brought these competing perspectives to the forefront of the national conversation. It serves as a reminder that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to financial priorities. Understanding and respecting differing viewpoints can lead to a more holistic and nuanced understanding of personal finance and the pursuit of happiness.


Media and Public Reaction to the Smashed Avo Affair

The Smashed Avo Affair captured the attention of the media and the public, generating a vast array of reactions and opinions. From newspaper headlines to social media debates, the controversy surrounding avocado toast and financial priorities became a hot topic across various platforms.


The media played a significant role in fueling the discussion. News outlets published opinion pieces, interviews, and analysis, presenting a range of perspectives on the smashed avo debate. Some articles supported the idea that millennials should cut back on non-essential expenses to save for their future, while others defended the right of young people to enjoy life’s pleasures without judgment.


Public reaction to the Smashed Avo Affair was equally divided. Baby boomers, who often participated in the workforce during a time of economic prosperity, were more likely to agree with the notion that millennials should curb their indulgent spending to secure financial stability. Many accused younger generations of being frivolous and lacking financial discipline.


On the other hand, millennials and their supporters argued that the focus on smashed avo oversimplified the financial challenges they face. They defended their freedom to enjoy life, especially in the face of rising living costs and uncertain economic conditions. They believed that the accusations of irresponsible spending ignored broader systemic issues and unfairly blamed their generation.


Social media platforms played a significant role in amplifying the debate and allowing individuals to share their opinions. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram became battlegrounds where the smashed avo argument was dissected and analyzed. Memes, jokes, and heated exchanges became commonplace as people used these platforms to express their views and engage with others.


The diversity of opinions and passionate discussions surrounding the Smashed Avo Affair highlighted the generational divide and the broader societal questions it raised. The debate prompted further conversations about personal finance, economic inequality, and the changing dynamics of the housing market.


Despite the polarized views, the Smashed Avo Affair also provided an opportunity for healthy dialogue between generations. It sparked conversations about financial priorities and the changing attitudes towards money and lifestyle across different age groups. It introduced a space where people could enumerate their experiences, learn from each other, and foster a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by different generations in navigating the modern economy.


While the media attention and public reaction may have initially centered on avocados and toast, the discussions ultimately transcended this specific food trend. They became a reflection of broader societal concerns, moving beyond culinary preferences to deeper conversations about economics, generational differences, and the pursuit of financial well-being.


Political Commentary and Policy Proposals

The Smashed Avo Affair did not escape the attention of politicians and policymakers, who offered their own commentary on the implications of this breakfast trend and its perceived impact on financial wellbeing. Several politicians seized the opportunity to contribute to the debate, putting forth policy proposals aimed at addressing the underlying concerns.


Some politicians aligned themselves with the baby boomer perspective, emphasizing the importance of personal responsibility and fiscal discipline. They called for greater financial literacy education in schools and encouraged young people to prioritize saving for their future rather than indulging in non-essential expenditures like smashed avo.


Others recognized the unique financial challenges faced by millennials and proposed policy measures to address affordability and accessibility issues. These proposals included expanding affordable housing options, reducing student loan burdens, and exploring innovative approaches to homeownership, such as co-ownership models and shared equity schemes.


One common thread in political commentary was the recognition that the smashed avo debate was emblematic of broader issues surrounding intergenerational wealth disparity and the changing nature of work and income. Some politicians called for measures to address income inequality, create more equitable employment opportunities, and foster economic conditions that enable young people to save and invest in their future.


Additionally, the conversation sparked discussions about the impact of consumer culture and the role of advertising in shaping financial habits. Some politicians suggested stricter regulations on marketing practices targeting vulnerable populations, particularly young consumers who may be influenced by lifestyle trends and societal pressures.


Furthermore, the Smashed Avo Affair prompted a renewed focus on the importance of social safety nets and support systems for individuals and families facing financial challenges. Advocates called for an examination of social policies related to healthcare, childcare, and income support, recognizing that financial security is influenced by much more than just personal spending habits.


The political commentary and policy proposals arising from the Smashed Avo Affair demonstrate the recognition of the broader societal implications tied to young people’s financial circumstances. While the debate may have begun with a seemingly simple breakfast dish, it shed light on larger economic and social issues that require thoughtful consideration and action from policymakers.


Ultimately, the Smashed Avo Affair served as a catalyst for policymakers to delve deeper into the concerns and realities faced by different generations, opening up discussions about how best to support individuals in achieving financial security and prosperity.


The Smashed Avo Affair in Popular Culture

The Smashed Avo Affair has not only sparked discussions in financial and political circles but has also made its mark in popular culture, leaving an indelible impression on various forms of media and entertainment.


One notable aspect of the Smashed Avo Affair’s impact on popular culture is its presence in comedy and satire. Comedians and late-night talk show hosts have seized upon the debate as a rich source of humor, using it to satirize generational differences, societal expectations, and the absurdities of the financial advice given to millennials.


Television shows and movies have also referenced the Smashed Avo Affair, weaving it into their storylines or using it as a cultural reference point. It serves as a shorthand for the larger conversation about financial priorities, generational gaps, and the changing landscape of the housing market. By incorporating this cultural touchstone, these forms of media not only entertain but also subtly comment on the broader societal issues at play.


Social media platforms have played a significant role in popularizing the Smashed Avo Affair and making it a viral sensation. Memes, hashtags, and viral videos have emerged, with users parodying and engaging with the debate in creative and humorous ways. This digital discourse has further propelled the Smashed Avo Affair into the realm of popular culture, ensuring its continued relevance and impact.


The affair has also inspired artistic expressions through music and literature. Musicians have penned songs that touch on the themes of generational divide, financial struggles, and the quest for personal fulfillment. Authors have incorporated the Smashed Avo Affair into their fictional works, using it as a means to explore characters’ values, aspirations, and relationships.


The Smashed Avo Affair’s influence on popular culture reflects its ability to capture the zeitgeist of a generation and to serve as a symbol for broader societal discussions. It highlights the power of food trends and cultural phenomena to transcend their culinary origins and take on greater significance in our collective consciousness.


By permeating popular culture, the Smashed Avo Affair has become not just an economic debate but also a cultural touchstone. It has contributed to the ongoing dialogue around generational differences, financial priorities, and the pursuit of a fulfilling life. Its presence in popular culture ensures that the discussions sparked by this seemingly innocent breakfast dish will continue to resonate and remain relevant for years to come.



The Great Australian Smashed Avo Affair has proven to be a compelling and multifaceted discussion that touches on a range of topics, from financial priorities and generational divisions to societal values and cultural influences. What started as a simple dish of avocado toast became a symbol of deeper issues and tensions within Australian society.


The debate over smashed avo revealed stark differences between baby boomers and millennials, highlighting contrasting attitudes towards money, lifestyle choices, and the pursuit of financial stability. It also emphasized the unique economic challenges faced by younger generations, such as stagnant wages, rising living costs, and the affordability crisis in the housing market.


Media coverage and public reaction further amplified the controversy, with passionate arguments and discussions taking place online and in various news forums. The smashed avo debate became a lightning rod for broader conversations about personal finance, economic inequality, and the changing aspirations of younger generations.


Politicians and policymakers weighed in on the affair, offering their perspectives and proposing policies that addressed the underlying concerns raised by the smashed avo debate. These proposals ranged from calls for financial education and support systems to more comprehensive measures aimed at reducing income inequality and improving housing affordability.


The Smashed Avo Affair infiltrated popular culture, eliciting comedic commentary, becoming a reference point in creative works, and permeating social media platforms. It served as a cultural touchstone, symbolizing the larger societal issues at play and reflecting the power of food trends to capture the zeitgeist and fuel discussions.


In conclusion, the Smashed Avo Affair shed light on the complex interplay between generations, the economic challenges faced by millennials, and the broader questions about financial priorities and societal expectations. It reminded us that seemingly trivial debates can have profound implications and reveal deep-seated values and concerns.


While the smashed avo debate may never be fully resolved, it serves as a catalyst for ongoing conversations about financial responsibility, the pursuit of happiness, and the evolving dynamics of our society. By engaging in open and respectful dialogue, we can foster a greater understanding and empathy for the diverse perspectives and experiences that shape our collective journey.