A new “premium” Vegemite has hit supermarket shelves promising a “richer and bolder” flavour, but according to consumers it is the same recipe for double the price.
The spread, Vegemite Blend 17, comes in a 150g jar as part of a 45,000 limited edition run with a retail price of $6.99.
It has been created for “Vegemite lovers who are looking for that extra intense and bold hit”, the brand states.
“Blend 17 takes some of these earlier recipes to bring this richer, bolder taste and the naming is simply in recognition of the year we have been able to bring this to Australians.”
Vegemite released a promotional clip of the new yeast extract spread on Facebook, attracting more than 280,000 views and 6000 comments.
But besides its fancy golden label consumers can’t tell the difference between the “special edition” and the standard product – which sells for $3.60 per 150g jar.
“I like Vegemite but no different. I found it’s smoother not so sharp. But $7 for a small jar, hmmm,” one commenter wrote.
“Got some yesterday.. really cant tell the difference,” another said.
“Vegemite Blend 17, just like normal Vegemite but with 17 times the aftertaste,” a consumer wrote.
My review of the Blend 17 vegemite – tastes the goddamn same. Genius way to get idiots like me to pay $7 for a 150g jar of yeast extract pic.twitter.com/RiyCk81i61
— decryption (@decryption) October 11, 2017
“Sorry vegemite but I can’t tell any difference. Might be a bit smoother in texture but apart from that,” one person said.
However, according to other taste testers, the blend – made in Port Melbourne, Victoria – is slightly sweeter, richer and more syrup-like than the regular spread.
“Tried and much milder version. Smells the same but very bland taste,” a consumer said.
“Verdict: use Blend 17 sparingly, even by Vegemite standards,” one tweet read.
Vegemite Blend 17 is a richer, syrup-like spread that’s a touch sweeter with a more bracing finish than the original recipe
— simongascoigne (@simongascoigne) October 10, 2017
Despite mixed reactions, social media users are excited to try the new Blend 17 Vegemite for themselves.
“I need to buy this,” one said.
“Oh my god we gotta get this,” another wrote.
The name is a nod to Vegemite’s inventor, Cyril Callister, who trialled several test spreads in 1923 before settling on the iconic version we know today, Vegemite stated.
In January, Vegemite once again became an Australian-owned product after Beg Cheese agreed to buy the iconic spread and other well-known brands, including ZoOSh mayonnaise and Bonox, for $460 million.
“The wonderful heritage and values that Vegemite represents and its importance to Australian culture makes its combination with Bega Cheese truly exciting,” Bega executive chairman Barry Irvin said at the time.
“In addition to Vegemite and the other brands being undeniably iconic, the people we are taking on are very impressive and will play an important role in growing the merged business.”