After an immediate backlash to the winning name in a nationwide contest – iSnack2.0 – Kraft Australia announced it would scrap the name, which is already on labels in stores.
"The new name has simply not resonated with Australians," Simon Talbot, head of corporate affairs for Kraft Foods Australia-New Zealand, said in a statement. "Particularly the modern technical aspects associated with it."
Kraft chose the name for the new cream cheese version from nearly 50,000 submissions and announced it Sunday at the Grand Final of the Australian Football League. Within hours, the name was criticized in online forums, spoofed in a YouTube video and marketed as an "epic failure" on T-shirts produced by an Australian clothing company.
The original Vegemite – a salty, slightly bitter spread made from brewer's yeast – was also named in a public contest, in 1923. It became such a part of Australian lifestyle that it was mentioned in the 1980s hit song "Down Under" by Men at Work. Australians spread it on toast or crackers, use it to flavor soups and pack a jar when traveling.
The new version is Vegemite mixed with cream cheese. It was launched in July, carrying a label that read, "Name Me."
Talbot said iSnack 2.0 would remain in stores, but a new name would be chosen by a popularity vote.
"We have been overwhelmed by the passion for Vegemite and the new product," Talbot said.
Vegemite was concocted 87 years ago by Australian chemist Cyril Callister for the Fred Walker Cheese Company in Melbourne, which wanted a Vitamin B-rich spread that could compete with Britain's popular Marmite.
What do you think of the name?