Sunday, 4 October 2009

The "new" Vegemite

The Vegemite publicity machine is in top gear this week. For years, the question has simply been "Vegemite or Marmite?", followed by lengthy and often heated debate, much like Coke vs Pepsi. For me it's Vegemite all the way and, yes, I can tell the difference. For those of you who reply "neither" ... *sigh*.

This week, the debate has a new dimension added. A few months ago, a new Vegemite product was tentatively launched to complement (not replace) the original Vegemite. Adding cream cheese to the original recipe was meant to make it easier to spread and more convenient to snack on. Taste tests showed that the product wasn't too bad. I haven't tasted it yet myself but am curious about the outcome. An international campaign to find a name for the new product (which most people haven't tasted) was launched, and the winning name was declared iSnack 2.0. What on earth does that have to do with Vegemite? And how was this the best suggestion from a pool of more than 48,000 entries??

The name was eventually given a huge thumbs down ... after several hundred thousand jars rolled off the production line. With these labels now destined to become collectors' items, the public are, once again, being asked to vote on a new name. The timeframe is tight; voting finishes at midday on Monday 5 October. But haven't we already done that?

This time, six suggestions are given and voters are asked to rank them in order of preference. To be honest, they're all incredibly boring and some of them are as random as iSnack 2.0 was. At most, the voting process is probably an attempt by Kraft to milk every last bit of publicity from a campaign that didn't exactly set the yeast spread world on fire to begin with. I have a feeling that, no matter what winning name is announced on Wednesday 7 October, the product will forever be known as the "new" Vegemite.


Kelly said...

I bought a jar at the supermarket last week but haven't worked up the courage to taste it yet. I'm waiting for my nephews and niece to arrive who generally hover up anything so if I don't like it chances are they will and it won't go to waste!

Manaiakalani said...

I am a mother who has to buy both Vegemite (for 3 )and Marmite (for 2) at the supermarket and all 5 of us know the difference. None of us will be swayed by repackaging etc etc. We know what we like :)

Chantel said...

I don't mind the taste of the new one - and thought the isnack 2.0 was an awful name.

I'm still a big fan of the original stuff though :)

Café Chick said...

And the winner is ... Vegemite Cheesybite. Woo hoo. I can't help feeling somewhat underwhelmed. I think this was my first choice from the list (I don't actually remember what I voted for!). If you're interested in how the final six results stacked up, check out the results.

Chantel said...

Haha I bought some last night. Except I got 2 jars - one said 'name me' the other was the isnack one. I bought it just to keep - sad huh?! But it was the last jar! :P

Kellee said...

It's been officially renamed again to 'Cheesybite' with 36% of the vote.

I've been trying to find a jar of iSnack ever since the name was canned, but to no avail. They're already going for $67+ on eBay - not bad considering there's 500,000 jars in circulation.