Kraft has this afternoon caved into public pressure and said that it will drop the disastrous iSnack 2.0 branding for the new Vegemite product.
The company said in a statement:
Kraft Foods Australia/New Zealand has today announced that it will change the name of the new Vegemite.
Since the new Vegemite hit supermarket shelves in July 2009, Australians and New Zealanders have been invited to come up with a name for the new product; just as Australians did when Vegemite was first launched in this country in 1923.
More than 48,000 name suggestions were received, and from this one name was chosen – Vegemite iSnack2.0. And whilst consumers have been suggesting names, more than 3 million jars of the new Vegemite have been sold.
Since the announcement of the new Vegemite name at the AFL Grand Final, Kraft Foods has heard consumers’ like the taste; they just don’t like the name.
Kraft Foods Australia/New Zealand Head of Corporate Affairs, Simon Talbot, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the passion for Vegemite and the new product. The new name has simply not resonated with Australians. Particularly the modern technical aspects associated with it.
“At no point in time has the new Vegemite name been about initiating a media publicity stunt. We are proud custodians of Vegemite, and have always been aware that it is the people’s brand and a national icon.
“Our Kraft Foods storeroom currently has thousands of jars of the iSnack2.0 named Vegemite. This product will be distributed around Australia, and will continue to be sold in supermarkets for months to come – until Australia decides upon a new name.”
“Australians and New Zealanders will shortly be invited to help us make a choice. Please bear with us for the next 48 hours as we finalise how Australians and New Zealanders can decide the new name through an independent popularity vote. ”
Details of this will be announced on Friday 2 October.