The History of Vegemite

  • When was Vegemite invented?

    When was Vegemite invented?
    In 1922, food technologist Cyril P. Callister created a yeast spread for the company Fred Walker & Co (which would eventually come to be known as Kraft Food Company)
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    The History of Vegemite

  • The Naming of Vegemite

    The Naming of Vegemite
    A nation-wide competition was held to name this new yeast extract product, with the prize-money amounting to £50 (2012 equivalent: $3 500+).
    Although the name of the person who won the competition was not recorded, the winning name was VEGEMITE. Within the year, Vegemite had appeared in grocery stores all across Australia.
  • The Re-Naming of Vegemite

    The Re-Naming of Vegemite
    Following poor sales, Vegemite is renamed PARWILL due to growing competition with the English rival MARMITE. The name Parwill was chosen to make use of the pun slogan "Marmite but PARWILL".
  • The Kraft Intervention

    The Kraft Intervention
    In light of Vegemite's abysmal selling rates, Kraft Walker Cheese Co. (a joined venture between Fred Walker & Co. and J.L. Kraft & Bros) used the high profit turnovers from the successful selling of Kraft Walker cheese in order to further promote Vegemite. Within a 2 year frame, Vegemite was given away for free (with use of a redemption coupon) with Kraft Walker cheese. This marketing ploy proved to be successful.
  • Vegemite Gains Momentum

    Vegemite Gains Momentum
    Following arduous advertsing campaigning, promotional opportunities and clever marketing strategies, Vegemite sales finally begin to take off in 1939. The British Medical Association also began to officially endorse Vegemite as Vitamin B rich and a nutritiously healthly food-source.
  • Vegemite Reaches Household Success

    Vegemite Reaches Household Success
    Exactly 20 years after the initial creation of Vegemite, the spread had become a household staple in the average Australian home.
  • World War II

    World War II
    By this time, Australia had already become involved in World War II. The Australian Armed Forces were buying the product in masses due to its high nutritional content. Vegemite had to be rationed within Australia on a per capita basis, in order to meet these requirements.
  • Happy Little Vegemites!

    Happy Little Vegemites!
    The famous jingle "Happy Little Vegemites", sung by a cherubic and enthusiastic trio of youngsters began was created. To this day, this song is well known by most Australians.
  • Vegemite and Modern Technology

    Vegemite and Modern Technology
    In April 1984, a 115g jar of vegemite became the first product in Australia to be electronically scanned at a checkout.
  • A Lot of Vegemite

    A Lot of Vegemite
    Virtually unchanged from Callister's original recipe, Vegemite now far outsells Marmite and other similar spreads in Australia. The billionth jar of Vegemite was produced in October 2008.
  • iSnack 2.0

    iSnack 2.0
    On 13 June 2009, Kraft released a new version of Vegemite. The formula combines Vegemite and Kraft cream cheese, spreads more easily and has a considerably less salty and milder taste than the original. To coincide with the release of the new recipe, Kraft ran a competition to give the new flavour a name. iSnack 2.0 was chosen, for its modern ring.
  • iSnack Was a Really Bad Idea

    iSnack Was a Really Bad Idea
    On 30 September 2009, only four days after the announcement, bowing to significant pressure from consumers, Kraft released plans to abandon the iSnack name, admitting that it may have been a mistake.
  • My First Vegemite

    My First Vegemite
    On 16 February 2011, Kraft Foods Australia launched "My First Vegemite", a special formulation of original Vegemite for children aged older than one year. According to Kraft, the new formula has a "milder taste" and "additional health benefits including iron, B6 and B12 vitamins as well as 50% less sodium".
  • Vegemite Cheesybite

    Vegemite Cheesybite
    Kraft opened a new poll on its website offering six possible names for the product. These included the three most popular names from the original poll, as well as three others that Kraft considered "worthy of consideration based on consumer feedback". The final name was announced on 7 October 2009 as "Vegemite Cheesybite".