Is Australia Sick of Vegemite?

Kraft struggles to market iconic spread
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2012 4:31 PM CDT
Is Australia Sick of Vegemite?
A jar of Vegemite in Sydney, Australia.   (Getty Images)

Say it ain't so: Australians seem to be tiring of a national culinary icon. Vegemite, a spread made from yeast extract, has been beloved since 1923. But lately, owner Kraft has had trouble getting young people hooked on the stuff, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company has tried mixing it with cream cheese in a spread called "iSnack 2.0," and it recently offered a lower-salt Vegemite to toddlers labeled "My First Vegemite."

But the kids' version didn't sell, and it's been dropped. "Part of the appeal of Vegemite is the saltiness," said a disappointed consumer. Meanwhile, regular Vegemite sales seem stuck. That could be in part because 8 in 10 Australian homes have a jar of the stuff, and it lasts forever. Perhaps Kraft should pursue a strategy adopted by Unilever's similar Marmite. Unilever's ad campaign focuses on Marmite's divisive nature, even backing a "Hate Fan Club" online. (More Vegemite stories.)

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