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My First Vegemite – new twist for Aussie icon

Love it or loathe it, Kraft Vegemite has been part of the Aussie breakfast, lunch and snack ritual for more than 85 years.  But with our changing food and health environment, it’s no great surprise to hear that there’s a new happy little Vegemite on the block.  Let’s take a look at the reformulation……can you guess the changes?

 

Nutrients going up

The new formulation has more vitamin B12 and B6, and added iron in a serve size of 2.5g or 1/2 of that specified for original Vegemite.

Nutritional Information
Servings per Package: 60
Serving size: 2.5g
Avg. Qty per serve Avg. qty per 100g
Energy 23kJ 932kJ
Protein Less than 1g 24.6g
Fat -Total
-Saturated
Less than 1g
Less than 1g
Less than 1g
Less than 1g
Carbohydrate
-Sugars
Less than 1g
Less than 1g
28.1g
4.7g
Sodium 43mg 1720mg
Thiamine (B1) 0.27mg 11mg
Riboflavin (B2) 0.21mg 8.6mg
Niacin (B3) 1.25mg 50mg
Folate (B9) 50μg 2000μg
Vitamin B6 0.17mg 7mg
Vitamin B12 0.25μg 10μg
Iron 0.6mg 24mg

Nutrients going down

But the big (no-brainer) news is the 50% sodium reduction.  Which is no doubt partly influenced by active anti-salt campaigners AWASH, who point out the high salt load young children are now getting from their background diet of processed foods.  I’ll be interested to see if AWASH acknowledge this as a step in the right direction, especially the smaller serving size.  Rather than slather it on, the advice may be that “only a suggestion is needed” like this early Vegemite ad from one of my retro cook books.

Sticklers for tradition

Of course everyone will debate the marketing sophistication after the failed Kraft isnack 2.0, but the big question is the taste.  My opinion? It’s remarkably similar to the original without a noticeably big difference in saltiness, to my palate at least.  A clear message to the rest of the food industry that sodium reduction can be achieved. And there will no doubt be a number of (big kid) dietitians who make the switch, by all reports on Twitter today.

But there are some who are sticklers for tradition and a bit stuck in their ways, if this interview with Kochie and Kraft spokesperson Andra Gough below is anything to go by.  Great job  Andra…what a doozy.

So thanks for your patience on this one international readers, it’s not every day that an icon gets a makeover. Make sure you try Vegemite if you’re ever given the chance.  And now let’s open up for your reactions and comments below.  What do you think?

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