You might recall eight years ago, the makers of Vegemite (then owned by a US company) attempted to push a new product initially called ‘Snack 2.0’ and eventually coming off the factory belt labelled ‘Cheesybite’. You can probably still find it on the shelves of your local Coles or Woolies. Still, ‘Snack 2.0’ caused much hoopla amongst condiment puritans and once-were-happy little Vegemites the world over.
As if that controversy (and relative failure) weren’t enough, the brand – which is now owned by the Australian creators of Bega cheese – has ‘reinvented’ itself once more, with a product labelled ‘Vegemite Blend 17’ (as if there were 16 blends before it) whose shiny packaging looks more like something you’d find in a mechanic’s garage next to the Valvoline and polished spanners.
Actually sounding more like a car oil or instant coffee brand than spread for your toast, Blend 17 is being touted by its makers as possessing a “bolder”, “richer” flavour.
A video to promote Blend 17 was posted online yesterday, with the product quickly being dubbed as “Vegemite for wankers” by social media users.
Nonetheless, 450,000 jars of the stuff will be making their way onto shop shelves this week… and will probably be on sale for half the price in a fortnight’s time.
That said, it is somewhat of a sweeter-tasting spread than the original, and has more of a ‘syrupy’ consistency than a gluggy one. Oh, and it’s now stamped with ‘Proudly Made in Port Melbourne’.
So you know you’re probably going to try it, but will likely be reverting back to the original good stuff in no time. And that’s probably what the creators want you to do. Antonino Tati