Bega deal returns Vegemite to Australian ownership after 90 years

Bega Cheese Limited has acquired Mondelez International’s Australia and New Zealand grocery and cheese business, re-gaining Australian ownership of Vegemite after 90 years.


As part of the sale, Bega will pay $460m to the US beverage and food company, picking up brands including Zoosh and Bonox, as well as a license for peanut butter, nut spreads, cheeses and mac & cheese under the Kraft brand.

The cheese company will also receive a license to use the Dairylea brand in Australia and New Zealand.

Vegemite become a brand under JL Kraft Inc in 1926, after a merger between Vegemite’s founder, Fred Walker & Company Pty Ltd, and the US company.

Barry Irvin, executive chairman of Bega Cheese said he was proud to bring an Australian company, now an ASX listed billion dollar business, back onto Australian shores.

“The wonderful heritage and values that Vegemite represents and its importance to Australian culture makes its combination with Bega Cheese truly exciting. Bega is a company with humble origins and to be in a position to be able to take on a business of this scale and with brands including Vegemite is a testament to how far we have come,” Irvin said.

“We feel honoured to be bringing these businesses together and to be taking on the responsibility and guardianship of one of Australia’s most loved brands and we look forward to welcoming over 200 talented people into our business as part of this acquisition.”

Amanda Banfield, vice president, Australia, New Zealand and Japan for Mondelez International said while it was a “privilege” to nurture brands including Vegemite, the global food brand would focus on “core snacking” and “global power brands.”

Mondelez International will continue to own the Philadelphia business, Pascall and Cadbury’s chocolate products.

Vegemite’s current agency roster includes J Walter Thompson Melbourne and Channel T. Bega’s agencies include Mediacom, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne and The Marketing Shop.


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