Vita-Weat biscuits were introduced  in Australia in 1932, by the UK company Peek Frean’s.  For many years the factory was located in the Sydney suburb of Ashfield.

The factory moved into its striking, art-deco building in 1937.  A clock tower (shown in the above photo) was a later addition.


The cartoon style advertisements in the Women’s Weekly during the 1930s were hilarious

At least women weren’t the only target, which is refreshing;

Vita-Weat biscuits are life-changing.

Simply life-changing!

This country’s addiction to sport (and betting)  was a natural target for the advertisers;


I detect some cultural cringe in this sports related ad. What was wrong with putting Vita-Weat in a Melbourne Cup hamper? 😎🏇 It was published in the Brisbane’s Courier Mail in 1936.


Vita-Weat biscuits on an outing to Epsom



Invoking the horror of  the Nazi regime during the war years;

OK Boomers, here come the 50s;


In August 1950 American cookery doyen Mrs Ida Bailey Allen arrived in Australia to give demonstrations of buffet style meals, which she insisted were all the rage in Hollywood, She told a reporter;

‘A menu like this was served by Lana Turner ….s0 we’ll pretend you’re giving a Hollywood buffet party. When your guests arrive between 7 and 7.30, serve them cocktails or whisky and soda, or for the non-drinkers iced tomato juice cocktail. With the drinks pass plates of attractively arranged canapes. Make these with buttered vita-wheat biscuits and have a variety of spreads such as creamed cheese with chopped olives or fish paste with chopped olives.’  😎 (The Mail, Aug. 5 1950)


Forget Epsom races and Hollywood stars, the popularity of Vita-Weat in Australia was down to kids pressing  ‘worms’ of Vegemite and butter through the holes in the biscuits.

Vita-Weat Vegemite worms

Those wonderful worms.

In 1975 Peek Frean’s Aussie subsidiary was taken over by Arnott’s. Unfortunately, something terrible has happened on their watch. The holes are now too small for worms; mere pinpricks when you hold them up to the light. If they thought we wouldn’t notice, they were wrong.

Back in 2016 journalist Simone Mitchell actually complained to Arnott’s, whose response was as terse as it was ridiculous;

Vita-Weat has been made to the same recipe and using the same processes and the same baking oven for over 1o years. We use premium quality wholegrain wheat from farms across Australia, including the Darling Downs, Moree, the Riverina and South Australia. Due to natural variation in wheat from season to season and farm to farm and the effect that the wheat has on the baking of the crispbread, the size of the holes in the biscuits can change. This can affect how easy it is to make Vita-Weat worms.’

What a cop-out!  Just make the damn holes bigger. Honestly, it would  make great economic sense for Arnotts.  The company would be selling less produce for the same price.  Plus… a new generation of   customers would be w0n over with the return of  Vegemite ‘worms’.

By the way, my associate Editor Des adores his Vita-Weat snacks, even if they are wormless.


Editor Des with his Vita-Weat snack.

Editor Des with his Vita-Weat snack.

Des may be easy to please, but the clock is ticking Arnotts…..we need those holes to be enlarged!


Want to see an iconic TV ad for Vita-Weat from the 1980s? CLICK HERE.

  1. Oh those Vegemite and butter worms!! Such a wonderful childhood memory. Thank you!!

    • Pauline

      I’m just having some for morning tea Nancy….sadly without the worms!

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