Australians will be rejoicing!  Vegemite, that salty, yeasty, divisive spread most often smeared on buttered toast—is once again owned by an Australian company.

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Bega Cheese acquired Vegemite from Mondelez International (formerly known as Kraft), an Illinois-based food conglomerate, in a $345 million deal earlier this week. It’s the first time the spread has been back under Australian ownership since the recipe and manufacturing methods were sold to Kraft, now Mondelez, in 1935.

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Vegemite was made during World War I when German attacks on merchant ships made importation extremely difficult. Originally made from the yeast dumped by breweries, it rose in popularity as a health product, thanks to its high concentration of vitamin B. 

Vegemite is an acquired taste and even with 22 million jars of Vegemite being sold each year, only one jar is exported for every 30 that are bought in Australia.

 

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