Coming Back Into Australian Hands : Love Local News

Coming Back Into Australian Hands

Vegemite’s  Future  Looks  ‘Bright As Bright Can Be’

The grandson of Vegemite’s inventor has welcomed Bega Cheese’s  acquisition of Australia’s iconic spread as ‘a perfect fit’.

Cyril Callister

Jamie Callister, the author of The Man Who Invented Vegemite (Allen and Unwin 2012),  said his grandfather was not only an acclaimed scientist and food chemist, but also a pioneer in cheese manufacturing.

“In the mid-1920’s my grandfather developed processed cheese, only to find the patent had been taken by a Canadian in Chicago, James Kraft,” Jamie said. “When the product reached Australia, it actually played a key early role in introducing Vegemite to millions of Australian kitchen tables.

“Vegemite wasn’t an overnight success and for years more jars were coming back to the factory than were going out.  The public just couldn’t stomach it and the head salesman didn’t help – he hated the stuff – so they came up with a brilliant idea to give a jar away with the cheese.”

The need for austerity in post-war Australia meant the public were loath to throw the free Vegemite away and it gradually became the beloved icon it is today.  Jamie said he felt his grandfather would also approve of the alignment with Bega Cheese.

“Vegemite is very much a part of the Australian cultural fabric and I think every Australian will be happy to see it come home in a sense,” Jamie said. “My grandfather, who came from humble beginnings and whose story is an inspiration, would also see Vegemite has a bright future with a company that has similar origins, vision and a rich cultural history.”


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