September 30, 2009

Australians don’t go for Vegemite 2.0

Kraft Foods, four days after announcing a name for a new variety of the Australian spread Vegemite, announced Australians don't like iSnack2.0.

The problem is not the product, a creamier version of the yeast-based spread, The Australian reported. The problem is the name, selected from among 48,000 suggestions from the public.

Simon Talbot, the company's top spokesman in Australia, said iSnack.2.0 will continue to appear on store shelves for several months. In the meantime, Kraft plans to hold a referendum for a new name.

In a press release, the company said Australians just don't like the name. Talbot suggested the modern technical aspects don't go with a product that has been around for almost 90 years.

Talbot said Kraft, the world's second-largest food company, regards itself and its employees as proud custodians of Vegemite, which he called a national icon.

Vegemite, developed after World War I, is an Australian version of the British Marmite. Efforts to market Vegemite outside Australia have not been successful, the company's Wikipedia entry indicates.