In one of the most bizarre marketing decisions – ever, even for Australia – Kraft Foods decided to name its second generation Vegemite the iSnack 2.0.
I first heard the term Vegemite near the beginning of the worst decade of music ever, in the 1981 song, Down Under, by Men at Work.???
Vegemite is made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract, a by-product of beer manufacturing, and various vegetable and spice additives. The taste may be described as salty, slightly bitter, and malty – somewhat similar to the taste of beef bouillon. The texture is smooth and sticky, much like peanut butter.
Helen Razer, a Melbourne writer, says in today’s (tomorrow’s) The Age, that the chief element in Vegemite’s new product is cream cheese. A secondary ingredient appears to be abject failure. No one likes the name of this new yeast product, except at least six Harvard MBAs at Kraft Foods who adore it.
The winning name was announced during the telecast of the AFL grand final. In an effort ”to align the new product with a younger market – and the ‘cool’ credentials of Apple’s iPod and iPhone” Kraft chose iSnack 2.0 from a field of 48,000.
This raises many questions. Chief among them is how very terrible were the other 47,999 competition submissions that Kraft was left with iSnack 2.0?
Razer says the label is every bit as hip as a polka convention and every bit as convincingly ”now” as parachute pants.
Sounds like the wardrobe for a 1981 video shoot.
Razer also says, on Monday, the global noticeboard Twitter was jammed with disgust. Comments that included ”I said do you speaka my language? She just smiled and gave me an iSnack 2.0 sandwich” and ”What’s the matter, was the name Crap Paste already trademarked?”