Well, dear Acowlytes, as promised a post or two back I[tippy title=”*”]Actually, Violet Towne did the acquiring…[/tippy] acquired over the weekend a jar of the new Kraft product provisionally known as ‘Name Me’, in order that I could taste-test and review it for you in time for the launch of the official moniker next Monday.

As you can see, it comes in a jar that is similar to Vegemite, and sports the Vegemite logo. On opening, the main thing I noticed is that, unlike regular Vegemite, this is a vacuum-sealed product. As all Australians know, after you open a bottle of normal Vegemite it will keep pretty much forever in the cupboard without any fear that it will either go off or get eaten by bugs. Vegemite is one of the incorruptibles.

Not so with ‘Name Me’. It needs to be kept refrigerated and is ‘best consumed within 4 weeks of opening’ – a legacy of the cheese base, I guess.

The most disconcerting thing about the new Vegemite product is the appearance. It looks exactly like melted chocolate or Nutella. I can already see this as the basis for numerous schoolyard practical jokes and school lunch tragedies. Not to be daunted, and mindful of my service to The Cow, I spread some on a piece of crusty bread and gave it a go.

The bottom line is that it’s not that bad. It tastes more of plain ol’ Vegemite than anything else – just as if you’d put a bit of actual Vegemite on some very buttery bread. I was happy to eat it, and the whole jar will no doubt get consumed in due course. The real sticking point for me as a potential customer, and the hurdle that I think Kraft has to jump, is that I don’t really see the point. It doesn’t offer anything that I wouldn’t get with my usual Vegemite hit, but it has the drawback of needing to be kept in the fridge, and looking like it should taste sweet and chocolatey. It is the Paris Hilton of toast toppings; it is all appearance and no substance. Its reason for existence is completely questionable.

Add that to the fact that we already have a number of products that more than fill the salty yeast-extract niche, and my projection is that in a year or two’s time ‘Name Me’ will be nothing more than an evolutionary dead end in the taxonomic record of breakfast comestibles.

Anyway, come Monday ‘Name Me’ will actually have a name, and that should be entertaining. I’m sure that Kraft is desperately hoping that, like the competition run for the name of the original Vegemite back in 1922, it will whip up a truckload of consumer interest and go on to make them megabucks. I predict that they won’t have the gumption to stick out ten or more years though – the period of time over which Vegemite languished until it finally took off in the late 1930s. I bet they won’t have the guts to pick the name out of a hat, either, like they did with the Vegemite name competition. That would be anathema to the control-freak culture of modern advertising.

If they did have a hat it would have to be a big one though, and these are some of the names that would be in it – a random selection from over 13,000 suggestions on the ‘Name Me’ site – along with my estimations of their likely success:

    •Cheese Plus (Too much like Cheese Pus)
    •SpreadEzy (Yawn)
    •Super-fun-mite (What?)
    •AusCream (Eww)
    •Creamdelight (Double Eww)
    •Vethen (Vethen? What are you smoking?)
    •Score!!! (So you got some of what they’re smoking too…!)
    •YamYam (No No)
    •Lunch Mate (Snore)
    •Sloppymite (You’ve never worked in advertising, have you?)
    •VevletMite (And you never finished school, did you?)
    •I LOVE IT! (OK, calm down. I’m sure you do, but we’re looking for a name here…)
    •Stampede! (Oh – on account of the sloppy brown appearance? I think not)
    •Hero (No – we don’t need another one)
    •Grail (Steady on there Crusader! Don’t overreach)
    •Downunder (Er… again, not good connotations, given the appearance)
    •Chanuw (That thing’s a keyboard – you’re not meant to hammer it randomly with your fists…)
    •Moorishmite (Did you really mean to spell it like that?)
    •DivinityVegiDip (Yup – that really rolls off the tongue)
    •Magic Mono (You’re not supposed to inject the stuff, pal…)

Someone stop me! 13,000 of the damn things! I’m beginning to see the kind of daunting task that Mr Kraft and his troops face! Stay tuned to The Cow for the real name when they announce it. It can’t be worse than any of these.

Can it?


*Actually, Violet Towne did the acquiring…