Tuesday, September 29, 2009

He Just Smiled and Gave Me A Vegemite Sandwich


I think the bitch is back! The Twittersphere is alive with outrage, advertising execs are upset but one very happy lad is 'escaping' to Bali because he won a Kraft competition to rename a new version of Vegemite.

Now for the uninitiated, and I've mentioned it before, Vegemite is a black gooey, salty, yeasty spread that appears in just about every Aussie pantry. There's nothing quite like it spread thinly on toast or fresh white crusty bread (yeh I know but it doesn't taste the same on healthy wholemeal.) We love our Vegemite. We eat it, we write songs about it, we recall the advertising jingles from our childhood.

It doesn't melt, it doesn't go off . . it's as parochial to us as Fish and Chips to the English, Sauerkraut to the Germans, Apple Pie to the Americans, Sushi to the Japanese erm strange pickled eggs with baby chickens in it to the Malaysians and the Croissant to the French. It's featured in songs, it's berated by foreigners and it's the one thing that Aussies overseas miss the minute they land on foreign soil even if they never eat it at home. It's the epitome of 'comfort food'!

So when you muck about with it and add processed cream cheese to it that adds insult to injury. When you run a competition to name it and the name ends up being as lame as the product, we are outraged! What G7? What missile fired from Iran? What NRL Grand final . . that isn't news!

THIS is news:

Kraft announced the new name for its Vegemite and cream cheese mixture - iSnack 2.0 - what the? And household debate wondered towards whether Kraft had tampered with the untouchable (and for some the indigestible). Besides the obvious attempt to link to the 'i' pod/shuffle/Mac generation do they realise that 2.0 is over four years old? And I don't know but my Gen Y's like the real deal. Especially when they're poorly and all they can stomach is a cup of tea and Vegemite soldier boys!

Kraft reckon that three million jars of the new gloop, with the label "name me" have been sold since July, and they received more than 48,000 entries offering to rename their product. The competition was won by West Australian web designer Dean Robbins.

But the brand name that many marketing experts said would have been perfect for the new product - CheesyMite - is registered with national baking chain 'Bakers Delight' so no joy there although you'd think the power of Kraft could have perhaps bought the trademark from them. I mean their CheesyMites are bread scrolls with Vegemite and melted cheese. Hardly your gazillion dollar enterprise or gourmet experience.

Well I've yet to taste the cheesy-cheaters black gloop. I probably won't since I rarely eat Vegemite but I'm sure out of 48 THOUSAND entries there must have been something that would endear the new cousin of Vegemite to the Australian public.

We're not happy little Vegemites any more, yep it's even a noun to describe happiness! Puts a rose in every cheek you know!



Try doing that with smooth cheesy iSnack 2.0!

50 comments:

Babysis said...

I for one consume copius amounts of vegemite - as does my family! We would never ever try the contaminated version of vegemite and cream cheese - blaaah!

And as for the stoooopid name....iSnack 2.0 - thats a major anticlimax!

Well back to my toast LOADED with butter and vegemite - mmmm yum! I can feel my cheeks rosing up as I type!

The Man at the Pub said...

This is all very funny. As far as gaining attention to a product, this is marketing genius. They will change the name again soon, to something silly and again... and maybe again. People will be huddling around the water coolers of the nation talking about Kraft VegiCrapV6.0(TM)

That's if the product lasts, and from what I've tasted, it doesn't deserve to.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Its like Canadians and their Ketchup. We don't explain the reasons why we love it to the ignorant we just do. And consume more of it than anywhere else in the world. There was a time when they first made Ketchup chips that they failed everywhere else in the world BUT Canada so you know we are hardcore. I am convinced that the love of vegemite is genetic. My neice who was born in Canada can't stand it but my nephew who was born in Oz loves it. My sister is with the daughter and her Australian hubby fights his son for the stuff. Vegemite chips? Ewww

subtorp77 said...

Never tried the stuff but the description does not sound at all appealing. Then again, I eat sauerkraut cold from the can.

@Cal, ketchup chips? Yeah, we get those thru Herr's and not half bad :p

i beati said...

another case of I can't leave well enough alone

Terence McDanger said...

Sorry now but that's just a load of shite. That's the worst name put on anything since Bob Geldof and Paula Yates christened their sprogs Peach Yogurt Banana Bombs Geldof. Or whatever.

nick said...

Vegemite? 'Sorlrite I suppose. Jenny's decided she now prefers it to Marmite so there's two jars of it sitting in our kitchen right now. A little piece of Oz! As for the name of the new stuff - excuse me while I have a cup of coffee, or should I say iBeans 2.9.

Thriftcriminal said...

Shit name. No denying it.

I like marmite myself.

themerrywino said...

Surely you're not saying that the National Dish of Australia is Vegemite. I thought it would be Koala or Witchetty Grub or some other thing I'd rather eat than vegemite.

Miladysa said...

That new name is lousy - they need to change it fast!

Does it taste anything like Marmite?

Kate said...

I always wondered what that stuff was - I've heard it talked about on TV - its one of love it or hate things then? I assume its full of goodness - most things that look horrible are......

Brian Miller said...

must admit...never tried it, but hate when they much with the foods i enjoy...making it new and improved and barely palatable....that video is amazing...took some mad skils. they had to have mapped it out on piece of paper prior...or maybe they just amaze me even more. happy day baino!

Megan said...

That is a pretty dumb sounding name.

Candie Bracci said...

If by bitch,you mean me,yes I'm back!LOL.This thing,you like it or you don't.I don't.I tasted it,didn't pass well..but beer made it pass better!:D

Candie Bracci said...

My God Sub!Why are you doing that to yourself?LOL!

California Girl said...

I had to read this post twice to find the name. That is SO DUMB. But, hey, nobody ever said national advrtsrs were all that smart, especially when they try to be cutting edge. I sent your post to a NY copywriter whose blog I read, ad broad. She'll probably get a kick out of it.

subtorp77 said...

@Candie, what?-LOL!

laughingwolf said...

is that shit related to the shit in ol blighty they call 'maramite'? YUCK!

and yeah, r[k]etchup chips [crisps to you non-northamerikanskis] rock... as do other flavors: onion/sour cream, pickle, bbq, etc ;)

Christopher said...

I think I may be one of the few non-Australians who doesn't just like Vegemite, I love the stuff. I first tried it at the Australia Festival and promptly bought a small jar which I assumed (correctly) would last me about a year. Then the festival broke my heart by moving to another state and I haven't been able to find any place locally that carries Vegemite.

Marmite, yes, but I don't know how similar it is, and call me cheap but I'm not going to spend $10 on a 2 ounce jar of something I've never tried.

Alan Burnett said...

Thank you for providing such a wonderful insight into life in Australia. I have never come across the said spread but one day ... one day.

Grannymar said...

Kraft tried about every two years to introduce Vegemite to the good people of Northern Ireland, it never took off. You eat plenty as it will help pay my pension! ;)

nick said...

Grannymar - We have no trouble getting Vegemite here in Belfast.

Bimbimbie said...

Yuck and Yuckier *!*

Renee said...

You are just too funny.

xoxo

Melanie said...

Everything you say is true, I rarely eat the damn stuff but it is MINE dammit. I am an Aussie and it is my right as an Aussie to show my absolute disgust about a name given to a product that we often referred to as vaginamite as a kid. What a stupid name. I wont buy it now. My kids didnt like it anyhow so shove that Kraft. We are not eating that i-crap no more.
Awww Baino, you made me vent on your comment boxes again hehe

Cinnamon said...

Lousy name to be sure.

I'm another marmite baby myself.

Tom said...

don't think we'll be seeing this Kraft product on local WalMart shelves.

is Kraft the only brand for V? or is it mainly a deli item?

otin said...

Well, now 30 years later, I finally understand the lyrics of a "Men at Work" song! Thanks Baino! LMAO!!!

Susan at Stony River said...

I've eaten vegemite on toast, just once. I ate the whole thing, bite after bite (because I was raised that way y'know) and have never forgotten it...nor will I ever do that again!

There must be something in the Australian air that makes it taste better??

Ronda Laveen said...

This post could have easily gone under your Friday Fukwit series. iSnack 2.0?

The husband says that roast turkey doesn't taste as good on whole wheat either.

Rowe said...

I think I'll stick to applying my own cheese of choice if I want a bit of cheese with my Vegi. I don't think much of the name, I snack too point zero, but anyway ... good onya Dean.

Skip Simpson said...

Now that song makes sense!

Kath Lockett said...

Yep, they've won a marketing goal or two (says me, who submitted the name 'DairyMite' into the competition because it actually doesn't contain *any* cheese, just milk)

River said...

I'm not a cream cheese fan, so I'm avoiding the stuff altogether. I still maintain that the vegemite I knew and loved as a child is not the same stuff we get now. Today's vegemite is not as black and it's a thicker more paste-y spread so it doesn't spread as easily. This happened after it was sold to the USA. I still eat it, but only on toast or crumpets. And it has to have REAL butter under it. With margarine the taste is not the same. I read somewhere that vegemite didn't go over well in the USA because the silly buggers would spread it thickly like they would PB&J. Of course it's way too bitter that way.

Carolina said...

Never mind the stupid name, now I have to find a jar of the original vegemite somewhere and taste it. What do you think? Is there any chance I can find it in a store in the Netherlands? I can think of one store where they sell lots of exotic stuff like American Peanut Butter and Hellmann's mayonaise. Perhaps...

"...and gave me an iSnack 2.0 sandwich..."

No, doesn't work at all.

conortje said...

what an odd winner - never been able to stomach the stuff myself I'm afraid/

Taffysmum said...

Marmite - the growing up spread you never grow out of!
You either love it or hate it and I am the loving kind ;)

For me Vegemite doesn't seem to have the same BITE!

As for the cheese idea, I guess it would work but it should be up to the consumers to add their own choice of cheese (got to work out much cheaper too!)

Baino said...

Babysis Adam's developed a thing for fresh baked vienna with Vegemite . . I've bought it twice in the last month!

Pubster, indeed. So much publicity but I haven't been tempted to buy the cheesy version. I'll take your word for it.

Oh Cal don't worry, tomato sauce is a pantry staple here too! It's simply unAustralian at least not to have a jar in your pantry. I did sent some in a TUBE (totally wrong) to a friend in the US because I was worried about the glass jar breaking.

It looks bloody horrible Subby. It's actually a yeast colour but they thought black would be better so they put some sort of colouring in it. Natural of course. The US FDA said it was too salty to market in it's original forumla in the US . I think they might have been spreading it a bit thick!

Haha! You should try it Sandy, very high in Vitamin B

See, Nick you've succumbed to the 'comfort food' theory! Reminds her of Oz!

Nah, Marmite's too sweet . . . nothing sweet about us lot! Except Pavlova

Jay just because we eat our national emblems doesn't make them a national dish. Vegemite rules OK . . .you can use it as a beverage too!

A little Miladysa but not as sweet or sticky. More stodge and salt.

Kate I'm not sure about goodness. You spread it THIN. It's very salty but high in Vitamin B.

Perfection rarely needs improving Brian, bit like me! hahaha

Heh could only be worse Megs if they spelled it in l33t

Oh Candie, you're no biatch! I was referring to me and my renewed jois de verve (excuse the spellink)

Cali they say bad publicity is better than no publicity so it's probably a very good marketing strategy.

Candie/Subby - get a room!

Oh Wuffa. You're such a grumpy drawers these days. Yep, similar to Marmite which I quite like actually. Less salty and slightly sweet.

We have loads of flavoured chips here too . .

Chris, your indoctrination to Australiana is complete. I'm proud of you son! I hereby make you an honorary Aussie because you know more than the average bear . . or American for that matter you clever pup! If you want some, give me your address and I'll happily send you a tube! (although it's all wrong in a tube it tastes the same!)

Alan . . I can't believe I've got 36 comments already on a post about Vegemite. Who'd a thunk it!

Haha . . there you go Grannymar, Nick has a 'dealer'

Bimbimbie . . shoosh your mouth! You're giving away your pomminess!

Really Renee, this is a serious issue I'll have you know!

Yeh I don't mind either in small quantities but Marmite's not exactly an English 'staple' tho. I'm actually a fan of pickled walnuts!

Tom I heard that it was going to be manufactured here and shipped to the states but the FDA didn't like the salt content so I think it's imported via deli and special distributors anyway.

Oh pish . . Suze, you don't know what you're missing. Clearly it was spread too thick and on the wrong type of toast!

Ronda, so many Fuckwits and not enough Fridays! We only roast turkey at Christmas but I've never had it in a sandwich.

Rowe, tasty Coon and vegemite on white. Terrible for you but brings back memories of the school yard. Or Vegie and cheese on Sao's . . or vegie butter worms in Vita Wheat (that'll confuse the foreigners!)

Haha, to you and a few other's Skip!

I just knew you'd enter Cath! If they ever rename Nutella, you're a shoe in with all that chocolate expertise!

River I did hear that they'd changed the formula slightly to suit the American market but it doesn't seem to have taken off there. And you're damn right about real butter.

Carolina, I wouldn't hold your breath. But you can get it in Belfast! Haha!

That's cos you're a 'delicate little flower' Oirsh!

Haha just as I'm typing this, the news is on and Kraft are 'ditching' the name! Seriously.

Bimbimbie said...

Tsup*!* ... just the name ditched? that's a shame ;)

subtorp77 said...

Baino, HA! The USFDA hasn't tested Army food or MRE's and we have those frozen dinners where some exceed double the daily limit of sodium! Just gimme salt-lick-LOL!

laughingwolf said...

been a bloody expensive month for both my son and myself, so allowed to be cranky :P lol

Ribbon said...

NO to fake vegemite!!

VE said...

I have been to Malaysia and so I can concur with your analogy...

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ashleigh said...

I've missed all the fuss. I must have been asleep!

Jill said...

Always been a fan of Men at Work and THIS particular song but you have enlightened me to the fact that Vegemite is a REAL product!! May I say without being offensive to you that your description of this spread,...black, salty yeasty does not excite me to put it in my lunch tomorrow???!!!!

Add cream cheese? Hmmm, you need to do a product review. The name simply SUCKS.

lettuce said...

one thing would be worse - mucking about Marmite

Ces said...

I love that song!

Annie Ha said...

I tried vegemite once.
I do miss my good friend Kate, even though I have no idea how she ate that stuff every day!

Tamelean said...

VEGEMITE IS THE BOMB! Martmite sucks ass tastes nothing like vegemite. You either love it or hate it! Vegemite on sandwiches, on toast, with cheese (F*ck that cheesybite isnack crap) vegemite in ur gravy!