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Same old favourite Vegemite goes global

Shoba Rao, November 19, 2019 6:45PM News Corp Australia Network

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Vegemite on toast, a favourite way to eat this Aussie food. This photo is from 2013, before Bega Cheese bought Vegemite back. The label on your current jar of Vegemite looks a bit different. Picture: istock media_cameraVegemite on toast, a favourite way to eat this Aussie food. This photo is from 2013, before Bega Cheese bought Vegemite back. The label on your current jar of Vegemite looks a bit different. Picture: istock

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Vegemite’s recipe and flavour has not changed, according to the makers of the famous Aussie spread.

That’s despite fans’ claims that it tastes different.

Worried fans called Melbourne radio station 3AW on Monday to make their point.

But Vegemite Senior Marketing Manager Matt Gray was quick to reassure everyone, suggesting that perceived* differences could be due to normal variations in the taste of individual ingredients.

“The Vegemite recipe that Australians know and love hasn’t changed” he said in a statement. “Vegemite is made from natural ingredients, including yeast, therefore there can be fluctuations* from time to time.”

The brouhaha* came as the popular spread – a uniquely Australian food since it was first made in Melbourne in 1922 – goes global.

Vegemite’s parent company Bega Cheese this week launched international shipping for the first time in its almost 100-year history.

The spread can now be shipped from Australia to fans in the US, UK and Canada.

Until now, the spread could only be bought in Australia and New Zealand.

Bega Cheese has also confirmed it is releasing ‘Mitey Aussie Care Packages’ for those who want to send it to friends and loved ones.

The company is also bringing back the opportunity to personalise Vegemite jars with fans’ names on the label for a limited time on its website.

media_cameraYou don’t have to be called Archie to get your own jar of Vegemite. Personalised jars of Vegemite are being offered again this year, so you can have your own name printed on the label. Picture: supplied

Mr Gray said the move to international shipping comes after increased demand from customers.

Bega Cheese took the Vegemite brand back in a $460 million deal from US food giant Mondelez just two years ago.

“Throughout the year, we’ve received a number of inquiries from Vegemite fans who are looking to purchase personalised jars, which ramps up* significantly in the lead up to Christmas,” he said.

“We often hear from our Vege-mates who are looking to source Vegemite products overseas.

“We have dialled up* our Vegemite ‘Mitey Merchandise’ online store offering to make Vegemite more accessible to our Vege-mates located across the world.”

Mr Gray said the personalised Vegemite jars will be on sale until midnight (AEDT) Friday December 13, or until sold out.

Another recent Vegemite innovation was the release of a gluten-free version.

GLOSSARY

  • perceived: sensed
  • fluctuations: small ups and downs or changes
  • brouhaha: a noisy and excited reaction to something
  • ramps up: increases quickly and over a short time
  • dialled up: increased efforts

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QUICK QUIZ

  1. What could be causing a slight variation in taste?
  2. Where will Vegemite be able to be shipped to?
  3. Why is Vegemite going to be available overseas?
  4. How much did it cost for Bega Cheese to buy Vegemite from Mondelez?
  5. What version of Vegemite was launched recently to cater to dietary requirements?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Vegeriffic!
There are quite a few plays on words in this article incorporating ‘Vegemite’ into the language by the Vegemite marketing team. Create a list of all the words they’ve used that incorporate ‘Vegemite’.

Can you make up a few more, for example, Vegeriffic!

Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Critical and creative thinking

2. Extension
Bega Cheese, which owns the Vegemite brand, has been busy coming up with new ways to sell and market the iconic spread.

Work with a partner and make a list of some other things they could do to increase the sales of Vegemite products.

What products would you make that incorporate Vegemite?

Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Critical and creative thinking

VCOP ACTIVITY
After reading the article, with a partner, highlight as many connectives as you can find in pink. Discuss if these are being used as conjunctions, or to join ideas and create flow.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you like Vegemite? Do you ever notice any differences in taste?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.

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