Manufacturers meddle with iconic brands at their peril so no doubt Kraft has put a lot of thought into the new variation on vegemite which is a mixutre of the spread we know mixed with cream cheese.
If the publicity is to be believed the result is:
. . . a smoother, more spreadable consistency.
Simon Talbot, Kraft Australia’s head of corporate affairs, said the new product was given to 600 homes for testing and came back with overwhelmingly positive results.
‘It’s a milder version, more suited to dipping celery or carrots, easy to spread. It’s a different flavor profile but still distinctly Vegemite.’
Vegemite is one of the things which unites New Zealanders and Australians because few people not born in either of these countries learn to appreciate the taste.
Vegemite and cheese sandwiches are still a staple of many school lunches and even featured in Men at Work’s song Land Down Under.
I have managed to disguise vegemite on cheese toasties and feed them to visitors who said they enjoyed them. But naked vegemite is very much an acquired taste and even though I acquired it many years ago I prefer it scaped on toast in small amounts rather than spread liberally.
One of the benefits of vegemite is that it has few calories, and tiny amounts of fat and sugar. Adding cream cheese changes that, but a nutritional diet needs some fat and sugar so the new spread wouldn’t by itself be ‘unhealthy’.
When it’s launched early next month it will carry a label saying name me.
The contest is open-ended as Kraft selects the best name for the Vegemite partner.
‘It’s in the hands of the Australian and New Zealand people,’ Mr Talbot said.
And the proof of the new product will be in their mouths.