Last week, Vegemite launched a new partnership with Australian grown Boost Juice, unveiling a Vegemite-flavoured smoothie.
The Australian public went bananas for the product, with B&T’s own coverage of the fruity smoothie on track to be 2018’s most read story.
Clearly, there is something about the brand that still fascinates Aussie consumers, despite the spread reaching its centenary birthday.
Just last year, the Vegemite brand was brought back into Australian hands after Bega bought the much-loved brand for $460 million from Mondelez International.
The move meant Vegemite became locally owned for the first time since 1926.
As well as this, Vegemite also moved its creative account from J. Walter Thompson, who had had the account for 74 years, to newly created Thinkerbell in March.
To find out more about the brand’s strategy and the way a 95-year-old brand is staying relevant, B&T sat down with Vegemite marketing manager Matt Gray.
For Gray, bringing the brand back to its rightful home has allowed Vegemite to re-establish itself as Australia’s most popular spread.
“It all started when Bega bought Vegemite back into Australian hands this time last year.
“We’re proud of the 95-year history and are definitely taking a new direction to celebrate it,” Gray said.
As part of the new direction, Gray said the brand is attempting to tap into the different communities of Australia who may not have the same nostalgic relationship with Vegemite as others.
“Australia’s population make-up is constantly changing.
“While many people grew up on Vegemite, we know with our diverse population not everyone has, and we recognise there are people who aren’t as accustomed to having it,” Gray said.
The efforts to align the brand with more Aussies has led to a series of commercial partnerships with Boost, the Australian Open and even famous actors to name a few.
“We see the value of reaching all Aussies through integrations, for example, people might not know it could be delicious in a smoothie.
“In another instance, we had Chris Hemsworth smear Vegemite on his steak.”
For Gray, another really successful partnership was with the Australian Open, which saw ball boys and girls donned in Vegemite paraphernalia for the duration of the event.
There have also been collaborations with Neil Perry as well as an e-commerce clothing and collectables drop with company Salt & Pepper.
Social Media is also proving a strong tool for the 95-year-old brand, with Gray calling media platforms “critical” to Vegemite.
“It’s really critical, it’s part of our media mix, we use it as a major reach platform, and have half a million followers across different social channels.
“We’re also cognisant of the importance of traditional media.
“We don’t have a prescribed amount to go towards digit or traditional, we just want to reach all Aussies make sure we’ve got a good blend.”
Gray also shone a light on some of the most interesting facts about Vegemite that may surprise lovers of the brand.
For example, “Vegemite is the richest source of B vitamins in the world and the way it really took off was by being sent out in rations packs to soldiers on the front line to get their vitamins,” Gray told B&T.
As well as this, Vegemite got its name from a nation-wide competition asking for entries.
Check out the Vegemite Boost collaboration here.