Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Vegemite the internet's 'most loved brand'

Vegemite on cracker biscuits is one of my favourite late-night snacks. Outside Australia, however, few people understand our national devotion to it. The Brits have some idea as their Marmite is similar to it.

IN an unlikely twist, Vegemite has trumped global marketing goliaths Coca-Cola, Nike and Starbucks to be named the world's "most loved brand" on the internet.

IBM researchers in the US analysing attitudes to brands among worldwide web surfers were "flabbergasted" to discover the iconic Aussie spread had the staunchest appeal, Kraft Foods spokeswoman Greta Cooper said.

"Our head of corporate affairs actually got a call from (IBM in) New York at 2am just saying, 'We're flabbergasted that we found these results for Vegemite and it's just blown us all away'," Ms Cooper said.

"We're pretty amazed by the results as well."

IBM conducted the research off its own bat, analysing 1.5 billion posts across 38 languages within social networking sites, blogs, message boards and online news.

The results turned up 479,206 mentions of Vegemite, with brand affinity found more often than for any other product worldwide.

This was despite numerous posts on sites like YouTube lampooning the appeal of Vegemite, with consumers from Japan to North America shown reeling in mock horror after tasting the yeast spread.

Vegemite sells only two per cent of its 22 million jars a year outside Australia.

However, Ms Cooper said there had been a "massive uptake" of the spread in Japan, after it was deemed to possess "umami" – a prized fifth primary taste – by gourmets there.

Japanese tourists snapping up the spread on shopping trips to Hong Kong and Singapore led to a Vegemite shortage in supermarkets, the Sunday Morning Post reported in April.

In Australia, Vegemite is the star performer for its US-owned manufacturer, Kraft Foods Australia.

It was the 68th-highest selling grocery brand last year, grossing between $75 million and $100 million in supermarket sales, according to Nielsen Australia.,23739,24059921-953,00.html

No comments: