Monday, February 21, 2011

Do we need another Vegemite?

It seems that Kraft has introduced a new version of Vegemite for little tykes. Aimed at the 1-3 crowd, My First Vegemite has what's described as a 'toned down' flavour. Still all the B-Vitamins to make you as bright as bright can be, but less salt, presumably to avoid that screwed-up face that non-Vegemite lovers bring to the table when they try the Black Beauty for the first time.

I read about it in the weekend's papers, and it made me wonder.

Both of my boys were major fans of Vegemite from day one. Mr7 used to like it with avocado on toast. Mr4, never a fan of anything green and squishy, just took it hard up, right from the start. In fact, I don't know too many kids, if any, who don't like their Vegemite. As long as it's served right, that is - a thin scrape, not plastered on like brick render. (If you need further instruction in the making of the Vegemite sandwich, you'll find a recipe here, along with several ideas for variations, such as 'marbling' your Vegemite.)

As I make school lunches in the morning, I often find myself thinking about overseas mums and what they put on sandwiches every day. If it weren't for Vegemite, my boys would be having bread and butter most mornings. I know, I know, I should be sending wraps and mini quiches and other inspirational lunches, complete with love notes, but, really, most days it's a Vegemite sandwich, an apple, a yoghurt and some crackers. Your basic Aussie school lunch through the generations.

So I'm interested in what you think. Will you try My First Vegemite? Or will you stick to the tried-and-true formulation and make your kids like it? And, if you live outside Australia, what exactly do you put on kids' sandwiches every day? I really want to know.


  1. Tried and tested - can't turn my back on it. My son loves his vegemite sandwiches, but my daughter does not like ANY sort of spread. Even butter is a problem. School lunches are so hard when you can't even put a sandwich in the lunch box.


  2. I went to school in the UK and we still had a vegemite sammich every day for our school lunches.
    We found that Tesco sold it and now I think sainsburys also sell it too.
    My friends ate the normal ham and cheese, or chicken and mayo, cheese or peanut butter...though peanut butter over there is pretty gross too...nothing beats kraft peanut butter really.
    I do have to say, the sandwich combos over there are a little better over there.
    My school sold prawn sandwiches or coronation chicken sandwiches which were pretty delicious. You wouldn't find that here I don't think...

  3. I think My First Vegemite has the triumphant success of iSnack 2.0 written all over it...

    I am an Aussie mum and I have never done the vegemite sambo thing. We don't get through a lot of it here. They get chicken, lettuce and mayo or turkey and cranberry or plain cheese or ham and cheese. If I'm feeling really, really inventive they get a good old fashioned curried egg and lettuce.

    They also get tuna and cucumber sushi if I can be bothered going to the trouble of buying it from the shop on my way home from work the night before. $1.20 for 4 (with a fish soy sauce thrown in), you can't beat it for value and they absolutely love it!

    The added value is that when I make sushi at home the kids tell me it's 'better than the shop sushi' as a compliment. They just don't understand that anything is better than $1.20 day-old sushi.

    Oh, look at me rambling on again. I do this every time I comment on your blog at night. That's why I mostly stick to plucking away on my Blackberry on the morning train. Keeps me brief. x

  4. PS - In regards to Sass's comment... have you ever seen Coronation Chicken outside of the UK? I don't think any other country knows what it is. But now I miss it. x

  5. I wouldn't bother with the new vegemite, go straight for the real thing I say! We're living in Belgium and they don't sell it here. I have a stash (1 x jar, 5 x tubes) that means we won't run out this year, but I do have to ration it a bit, so it's not for school lunches every day, just sometimes! Otherwise for school we just do cheese or peanut butter sandwiches (but I do miss Kraft peanut butter too, now that I think of it!!)

  6. My children are deprived... Note to self: Must do better!

  7. Our family is not a fan of Vegemite or Marmite or Bovril or anything like that. Too salty for our taste - maybe we'd like the new one for kids?

    Mine are pretty conservative so it's ham, ham and cheese, egg mayo, banana. Yawn. But lately I've been buying these deli wraps (some have even got herbs which I thought they'd pick out)and they love them. My husband existed on a diet of Dairylea cheese sandwiches every single day growing up. I used to have those Primula spreads - did you have those? You squeezed them out of a tube.

  8. I probably will try it! We loved Cheeseybite and hopefully we'll love this one too!ppn

  9. I'm an Aussie mum but living overseas and I love the original Vegemite. I wouldn't dream giving my kids the scaled down version. It just isn't the same. I like it with toast and spread on top of melted butter and so do the kids. My daughter use to take it to school but my son insist on his daily peanut butter and jam sandwich.

    My husband doesn't like it at all but than again he grew up on Marmite and to me that just tastes horrible.

  10. Personally, I'd like to see Kraft leave Vegemite alone. It's an acquired taste to start with and like the terrible attempt at Vegemite Cheesybite, I don't think My First Vegemite will stick. Much like Peanut Butter, you either love it or hate it, it's the way it's always been and probably always will be. My Mr3 consumes his fair share of vegemite sandwiches every week. My Mum used to mix a dollop of vegemite into my vegies when I was little, to make them more appealing. Strange!?

  11. will stick to the original I am sure...We all love it and are big fans of the avocado and vegemite mix too...

    why mess with a good thing?

    Gill xo

  12. No new fandangled for us. All three love Vegimite just as it is. I got some iSnack once when it was on special and we re-named it iPuke. It was not good. And it got left in the pantry instead of the fridge overnight and went fizzy.....scary.

    In terms of lunchbox fodder - my three are dull - Olivia has cheese ham and mustard every day. Charlie has cream cheese and Vegimite and cucumber every day. Literally. The. Same. Every. Day.

    The appear to be mor einterested in the playing rather than eating at lunch time, so whilst I am up for making it all a bit more exciting, they are not bothered for the moment, so I shall go with the flow for now...

  13. BUT! Some times I do vary it - once a fortnight they get a Bakers Delight bun thing - and here is what they pick - Charlie asks for a Cheeseymite scroll. Olivia asks for a ham and mustard scroll.

    See? Same. Every. Day.

  14. Mr Karen must try every new product on the market. It makes supermarket shopping quite an ordeal. Literally minutes before I read this, he was talking about trying 'the new Vegemite'.
    Personally, I think it's a load of marketing rubbish and they are just trying to find new ways of peddling an old product. Remember the iSnack 2.0?
    I had a vegemite sandwich for lunch pretty much every day from prep to year 12. It's an institution. My boys all love it, even 8 month old bub is having it on his toast as I'm typing. Made right, it's perfect and full of B vitamins.
    I think in the US they go for peanut butter and 'jelly' (jam), but I can't imagine how that has been affected by the increase in nut allergies.

  15. It's Vegemite all the way here, but thinly spread for the little ones. Can't help but think that the new one will be designed to be spread thickly ie use the jar faster.

    My wee girl asked for a bread and butter sandwich for lunch, so that's what she's taking to preschool today - very soon. Must get dressed!

    When I was little we used to have "sugary pieces" ie white bread and butter with sugar sprinkled on top. How healthy is that!??

  16. Where are these svhools who still allow the humble PB sandwich in the front gate?! I am moving. x

  17. What is it with Kraft and the continual need to meddle with a classic?

    In our home we are polarised down the middle with one one side of the spreadable line the 'Vegemiters' and on the other 'The Peanut-Butters' with me standing in the middle waving the butter knife like Switzerland.

    The Smallest Gift actually has a pseudonym, he is otherwise known as the Vegemite Vampire due to his predilection for suffocating his bread/toast/Vita-Wheat with a vast slathering of the black stuff resulting in brown smudges on either side of his mouth!

    So Kraft - a message from the Mum's of Australia [or this one anyway] and their little Vegemite Vampires -give it up, leave a true blue classic alone!

    Felicity x

  18. I agree with Seana - it's all a ploy to make us use more. Don't need mild vegemite, everyone knows you just scrape it over the butter for little ones!

    I'm sure vegemite is great for school lunches because it doesn't go yucky in the heat. V.important in the days of no fancy cooler bag lunchboxes.

    Oh, and our school allows peanut butter. The theory is that we get complacent if it is banned, then accidents more likely to happen with foods with unobvious nuts. Plus so many other allergies (anaphalactic) beyond nuts - I have seen the list in the canteen. (Which is nut free, to avoid cross contamination)

  19. My mom is Indonesian and she used to pack me Fried rice for lunch... It's very different from what other kids have in school, of course...


  20. My kids LOVE the traditional vegemite. Wouldn't dream of buying the new scaled down verstion. They get it a couple of times a week, otherwise ham and salad or salmon and salad, egg and lettuce.

  21. I won't try it, like i didn't try the cheeseybite. I'm happy with good ol' vegemite thanks.
    And yes, what is an Aussie pantry without a jar of vegemite?

  22. We might try the new stuff as Little E is not yet 12 months and I'm a bit paranoind about giving her salt. But for D and I it will be the original, spread thin on hot buttery toast.

  23. My son has been a Marmite fan from day one...well from 6 months old anyway.
    I prefer the taste over Vegemite.
    It goes on everything...toast, sandwiches, crackers.
    So no, don't think we need any more variations of it.

  24. There is always good old fashioned turkey and cheese sandwich or banana, honey, and peanut butter- the all natural stuff. :] Buttt that is here in the USA, I am not sure how taste varies place to place.

  25. Oh, the Black Beauty. I tried it. I did. And that's as much as I could do. Blech!

    We're a tried-and-true peanut butter family, as are many Americans. When I visited Australia, I was surprised to see that people put butter and shredded carrots on their sandwiches. But now I see the merit in that.

    Also, my secret sandwich love is Nutella slathered on French bread. Sooooooo delicious!

  26. I don't remember what I put on my kids sandwiches, I just remember that they didn't often eat lunch, just tossed it to the dog as they came home from school. I didn't mind that so much, but I did have to remind them to take the plastic wrap off first because the dog couldn't.
    They always had a good breakfast and dinner, so health was never compromised.

  27. Being a little cynical where business is concerned I am sure they weren't thinking of little palates..only that if they could get people to spread the new one thickly they'd sell more than the old one which only needs a little scrape for little ones! People would have to buy more jars of the new stuff. My kids are I probably won't bother trying it.

  28. Marmite fans here, but my son had his first taste aged one and is a confirmed fan. I don't put it on sandwiches though, could never really understand people who did, it just makes your bread a mess.

  29. I jsut obught my first ajr of cheesymite todya. We're old school, Ijsut need to try it soe I know I'm right when I say its' crap.

  30. ALso when i read this Ihad that tina turne song We Don t Need Antoher Hero in my head. But with vegemit e instead o f hero.


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