Vegemite, the iconic Australian spread, just got a face lift. A new and more expensive version of the famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask) yeast extract has been released by the company Bega, who have been producing Vegemite since 1923 and these days produce enough vegemite to satisfy the country’s 22 million-jar-a-year habit.
Enter Vegemite Blend 17 — with a fancy gold label (instead of the familiar yellow one), a gold lid and cardboard box packaging that brings to mind something expensive and artisanally produced rather than the humble spread that is loved by all.
Along with Vegemite Blend 17’s newly posh packaging comes a newly posh price tag: AU$7, more than double the price of a traditional jar.
Produced in Port Melbourne, Australia, this new ‘premium’ version of vegemite will only be available for a limited time (only 450,000 jars are being made) and claims to have “been crafted for a richer VEGEMITE experience with a bolder finish.”
While some are saying that Vegemite Blend 17 tastes tangier, sweeter, and smoother, the overwhelming consensus is that it tastes just like regular Vegemite and is not worth the hefty price tag.
One taste tester on The Today Show (in Australia) said, “It just tastes like Vegemite.”
Considering the limited number of jars released, the fast-approaching holiday season, and the swanky cardboard-box-with-viewing-window packaging, Vegemite Blend 17 looks very much like a collector’s item. Perhaps it is something to do with Vegemite once again becoming an Australian-owned product — after years of being produced by the U.S.-based Kraft, Vegemite came home when Bega Cheese bought the brand from Kraft spinoff Mondelēz International.
Whatever the reason, it remains to be seen how many Vegemite fans will go out and buy their very own seven-dollar jar of Blend 17.
Maybe it will go down in history as one of the best healthy products of 2017? The jar, after all, does look a little medicine-like, don’t you think?
Daisy Nichols is the Cook editor at The Daily Meal. She is an NYC-dwelling Brit who loves making her own kombucha and tries to remain impartial when it comes to Vegemite. You can follow her on Instagram @bestbird.