Vegemite may reduce anxiety, stress – research

People who eat vegemite and other yeast-based spreads report they are less anxious and stressed than people who don’t eat them, according to new research from VU’s College of Health and Biomedicine.

Researchers conducted an online survey of 520 people in Australia, New Zealand and the UK to see how yeast-based spreads such as Vegemite, Marmite, and Promite affect the moods of those who regularly include them in their diet.

Using a depression anxiety stress scale, the survey showed people who regularly ate the sticky black spreads – known to be rich in Vitamin B, including B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, and B12 – reported lower anxiety and stress scores.

As not all spreads contain the same vitamin B content, the lowest stress level reports came from participants who consumed spreads additionally fortified with B12 – found in both marmite and in vegemite’s new improved version with the orange lid.

Lead researcher Professor Vasso Apostolopoulos said the spreads were used during World War I as essential soldier rations, then became household staples when advertisers used now-familiar marketing jingles such as ‘happy little vegemites’ and ‘my mate marmite’ to link them to health benefits.

However little scientific research has been conducted to substantiate these health claims, and until now, no studies have proven the spreads can play a role in stress and anxiety.

“We know these extracts contain some of the world’s richest sources of B vitamins, which are essential in keeping our bodies energised and regulating the nervous system,” she said.

The study is important, said Professor Apostolopoulos, because more than two million Australians suffer from anxiety, and over the next 20 years, the global incidence of major depressive disorders will be second only to heart disease as the leading cause of death and disability.

However Professor Apostolopoulos said it is important that yeast-based spreads, while providing a cheap and easily accessible way to improve mood and anxiety, not be viewed as replacements for the medical treatment of full-blown depression and mood disorders.


Nutella launches piping bag

Nutella has launched a 1kg piping bag designed specifically for the foodservice market, which allows bakers and chefs to pipe the product easily without having to spoon it into a piping bag.

The new product has been launched in response to new research revealing efficiency in the kitchen is the most important consideration for bakers and chefs.

Commissioned by Ferrero Foodservice, a survey of over 500 Australian chefs, café workers and bakers found that 73 per cent indicated getting good quality meals and products out on time to keep customers happy was front of mind in the foodservice industry.

The piping bag is the second foodservice innovation from the company and Ferrero Foodservice after the Nutella 25g mini jar which has proven popular with cafes.

Over 40 per cent of respondents also said having something new to experiment with in the kitchen to create original dishes was valuable.

The new foodservice specific piping bags are available from foodservice wholesalers from May and still contain the recipe that cafes, bakeries, patisseries and restaurants around the country know and love.

Bega Cheese buys Vegemite

Iconic Australian brand Vegemite is back in local hands following Bega Cheese’s acquisition of most of Mondelēz International’s Australian and New Zealand grocery products.

Bega Cheese said in a statement the deal will cost $460 million. Apart from Vegemite, it includes ZoOsh, Bonox as well as Kraft-branded products under licence, including peanut butter, nut spreads, processed cheese slices, cheese spread, mayonnaise, parmesan cheese and Kraft Mac & Cheese. However, the Philadelphia cream cheese brand is not included in the deal

As The Australian reports, in addition the purchase includes the Port Melbourne manufacturing site.

“The wonderful heritage and values that Vegemite represents and its importance to Australian culture makes its combination with Bega Cheese truly exciting,” said Bega Cheese’s Executive Chairman, Barry Irvin.

That aside, he said “this acquisition will be value accretive in its own right, strategically important and company making. These iconic brands alongside the Bega brand are strong building blocks to enable Bega Cheese to become a great consumer goods business.”

“In addition to Vegemite and the other brands being undeniably iconic, the people we are taking on are very impressive and will play an important role in growing the merged business.” He said “we look forward to welcoming the new employees to Bega Cheese and are excited about the opportunities which will be created by bringing them and the MDLZ Grocery Business together with Bega Cheese.”

World’s first chia butter

Family-owned Australian dairy company Ballantyne has launched a spreadable butter blended with chia oil.

On shelf from September, the product combines the taste and texture of traditional butter with the numerous health benefits of Australia’s most popular super food. According to the company, it is the first product of its type in the world.

Chia is high in Omega 3 which may assist with good blood flow, hormonal balance and improve mood. Being a rich source of antioxidants, it can also help limit the production of free radicals, slowing the aging process and protecting the skin from damage.

“Chia is now a mainstream super food”, according to Yuko Granger, Ballantyne Marketing and Brand Development Manager, “its benefits are widely appreciated and this should accelerate trial and adoption.”

The new chia product is the latest addition to Ballantyne’s innovative and popular spreadable range, which includes butters blended with avocado oil and extra virgin olive oil.

“Our butter products have wide appeal”, said Granger, “They allow consumers to make healthier decisions at the dairy case, but still enjoy the wholesome goodness of regular butter.”

The chia used in the new butter blend is supplied by The Chia Co, which grow their crops using sustainable farming practices throughout the Kimberly region in Western Australia.


Dick Smith wins fight to keep Ozemite on shelfs

The Federal Court of Australia has decided that Dick Smith can continue to sell his OzEmite yeast spread, despite it having a similar name to another brand AussieMite.

In April 2014, the Australian Trade Marks Office decided that Smith’s trade mark for Ozemite should be struck off for non-use. Mr Smith had registered the Ozemite trade mark in 1999, but it took until 2012 before he launched a yeast spread product under the name.  The Trade Marks Office decided that this delay between registration of the mark and launch of the product was too great.

After a four-day trial in late 2015, Justice Katzmann has now delivered judgment, deciding that Ozemite can remain on the trademarks register.  In practical terms, this means that both products will continue to coexist and the owners of Aussiemite must pay Smith’s legal costs.

“It just seemed sensible to me that our OzEmite name, we came up with it first, and we should be allowed to keep it,” Smith said outside the court.

“If we lost this we would have had to close down the business.”

Elise Ramsey, Managing Director of AussieMite argued that there is no phonetic difference between the two names.

“The names sound exactly the same.  I’m a bit tired of explaining to potential suppliers that the two products are different.  We want to avoid confusion in the marketplace.  I do think it’s wrong that Mr Smith launched his product in 2012 in full knowledge that ours had already been in the market for years,” Ramsey said.

Image: SMH

Fresh new look Nutella 3kg bucket

Nutella has transformed the packaging of its iconic 3kg tubs from brown to white to ensure foodservice professionals can better manage usage and reorder in time to prevent stock shortages. The packaging change comes in response to new research that has uncovered the challenges experienced by chefs and café owners.

Commissioned by Ferrero Foodservice, the survey of over 400 Australian chefs and café workers¹ has found that running out of product during service is one of the worst things that can happen in a café or commercial kitchen.

“Following customer feedback that the inside of our brown tub can make it hard to distinguish the true usage of Nutella, we have looked to repackage our foodservice tubs. After all, a service without Nutella available is no service at all,” said Jodie Tripodi, National Sales Manager Foodservice, Ferrero Australia & New Zealand.

“With our old packaging, from a quick glance it could look like there is more Nutella available than is really the case. Time poor chefs and café workers will be pleased to know the new tubs offer a stark contrast to the Nutella inside, allowing them to quickly and accurately gauge how much product they have left,” said Tripodi.

The new foodservice specific tubs, which contain the much loved 52-year-old original Nutella recipe that is extremely popular with cafes, restaurants and hotels around the country, are being rolled out from September and will be available nationwide.

Importantly for foodservice businesses looking to cater to customer tastes, consumer love for the product continues to grow in Australia. It currently has a market share of 83 per cent of all chocolate spread sales, and value sales have grown +7 per cent year on year.

Choc-macadamia spread Macabella launches smooth edition

MacFarms has launched its second spread variation Macabella Choc’Macadamia Spread in Velvet.

The new spread variation comes off the back of the popular Macabella Crunch, which was voted by over 14,000 Australian consumers as Product of the Year 2016 in the Spreads Category.

Launched in March 2015 and the first of its kind in Australia, Macabella is a macadamia nut infused chocolate-spread, which has a higher percentage of nuts (15 per cent) compared to other spreads.

According to a MacFarms survey reaching over 17,000, 81 per cent of respondents said they would definitely try the velvet version.

Pic’s Peanut Butter

Product Name: Pic's Peanut Butter

Product Manufacturer: Pic's Really Good Peanut Butter

Launch date: 28 February 2016

Ingredients: 100% Runner Australian Peanuts, pinch of New Zealand sea salt

Shelf Life: 18 months

Packaging: Jar

Country of origin: New Zealand

Brand Website:

Description: Pic’s Peanut Butter is more than a really good peanut butter company. Using 100% Australian nuts, the New Zealand family run business is internationally recognised for its premium, all natural products and strives to be the worlds most loved peanut butter. Pic’s Peanut Butter is made from freshly roasted Australian peanuts and a pinch of salt, and nothing else, and brags a Five Star Australian Health Rating for its incredible nutritional benefits.

Contact: Email

Mother Earth Natural Peanut Butter range

Product Name: Mother Earth Natural Peanut Butter range; Crunchy, Smooth, Chia Seed Blend and LSA Blend.

Product Manufacturer: Prolife Foods

Launch date: February 2016

Ingredients: Crunchy & Smooth Natural peanut butter – Hi-Oleic peanuts (99.5%), Salt
Chia Seed Blend peanut butter- Hi-Oleic peanuts (89.5%), Chia Seeds (10%), Salt
LSA Blend peanut butter – Hi-Oleic peanuts (89.5%), LSA (Linseed, Sunflower Seed & Almonds 10%), Salt

Shelf Life: 12 months, except LSA which is 9 months

Packaging: 380g tubs

Product Manager: Caroline Potter

Country of origin: Made in New Zealand from Australian Hi-Oleic peanuts. Note, if supply is short the same peanuts are sourced from Argentina.

Brand Website:

Describe the product: Natural peanut butter made with Hi-Oleic peanuts which have a high level of healthier monosaturated fats than standard peanuts. The range also has no preservatives, or added oils or sugars.

Contact Email:

Choc-macadamia spread wins award

Buderim Ginger’s Macabella Choc'Macadamia Spread – Crunch has been voted by Australian consumers as Product of the Year 2016 in the Spreads Category.

Product of the Year (POY) is Australia’s largest independent consumer survey of new products, with more than 14,000 household shoppers surveyed by Nielsen to determine the winners.

POY is designed to reward innovation in consumer products across a range of categories. The ultimate purpose is to provide shoppers with a symbol that guides them to the best products in category backed by the confidence of consumers just like them. The awards are part of a global brand championing product innovation in 43 countries around the world.

 Launched in March 2015 and the first of its kind in Australia, Macabella is a macadamia nut infused chocolate-spread made with quality ingredients. The creamy Belgian recipe delivers a cocoa blend that, when paired with the crunch of the finest roasted macadamias, creates a premium taste.

 Macabella features the highest percentage of nuts in the supermarket spreads category with a minimum 19.5% macadamias in every jar of Macabella Crunch. The ingredients are a big draw card to many consumers, with 45% citing the unique ingredients are what attracted them to Macabella Choc’Mac Spread the most in a consumer survey in late 2015.