Brace Yourself Australia: Vegemite Releases Posh 'Blend 17'

Vegemite toast | © Flickr / Ashton
Vegemite toast | © Flickr / Ashton
Photo of Alice Duffield
30 October 2017

We live in divisive times. Lines have been drawn in the sand and people are taking sides. Trump’s either a genius who’s turning the political game on its head or a spoiled soundbite machine churning out filth 140 characters at a time. Is Assange a hero for exposing systemic government corruption or a pervert who’s just as likely to expose himself? Is The Fall season three a brilliant viewing experience or the most excruciatingly slow paced, dull, acting-by-whispering thing on Netflix?

Divisive issues…

The good people at Vegemite – who’s salty, savoury spread has already been separating the population into lovers and haters for nearly 100 years – have now stepped in and handed us another bombshell to consider.

They’ve called it Vegemite Blend 17. It’s a ‘premium’ version of the thick, dark paste – if premium means smaller, more expensive, and perhaps a little sweeter. It’s been described as a more Marmite-like approach to Vegemite (as if there’s any difference between the two). Our research team is still running the analysis on any potential comparisons with Promite.

According to the brand, it’s was lovingly crafted for ‘Vegemite lovers who are looking for that extra intense and bold hit.’

Some blogs have reported that Blend 17 is a recreation of one of inventor Cyril Callister’s early recipes. Either he’s out of the loop or simply not interested in following the script, but Vegemite marketing director Ben Hill clarified: ‘The name “Blend 17” simply refers to the year 2017 we have released it in.’

Some fans are also struggling to play along. Self-confessed Vegemite fanatic Anthony Agius reported to Goodfood: ‘Really couldn’t tell the difference. It’s maybe a bit more salty, if I think about it, but that’s it.’

One fan tweeted: ‘Verdict: use Blend 17 sparingly, even by Vegemite standards.’

Spreading thin is probably a good idea, particularly when you consider that a 150g jar will set you back around A$6.99. Remember that you could leave Woolies with almost a kilo of Nutella for the same price.

Finding his feet with the marketing spin, on the issue of cost Hill said: ‘The higher intensity of the Vegemite taste means they can use less and savour the jar for longer.’

But not for too long, as the brand has only released 450,000 units. It’s premium, remember.

All in, Vegemite Blend 17 seems unlikely to find a foothold among Vegemite devotees, let alone convert those with an aversion the black savoury spread. Seems like we’ll need something else to unite us in these divisive times.

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