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Coles has added an iconic, savoury flavour to its hot cross bun line up this year, which is about as Australian as people losing their minds over hot cross buns being sold so close to Christmas.
In the past, Coles has added some sweet flavours to the hot cross buns it sells, such as White Chocolate and Sticky Date & Butterscotch. However this year, the supermarket has introduced its first ever savoury flavour.
In partnership with Bega Cheese, customers will be able to get their hands on Vegemite flavoured hot cross buns.
"Best toasted and slathered with butter or grilled toasted sandwich style with lots of melty cheese, the soft buns are infused with Vegemite and parmesan and finished with an indulgent tasty cheese topping," Coles says.
From December 27, they will be available at over 700 Coles stores across the country, selling for $3.50 a four-pack.
While more flavours will be launched in the coming weeks, Sticky Date & Butterscotch and Salted Caramel hot cross buns will also be available from December 27.
In a statement, Adam McNamara from Bega Cheese said he couldn't think of a better way to merge two Australian favourites - Vegemite and hot cross buns.
"We think that Vegemite fans will be delighted with this new combination,” he said.
Coles General Manager of Bakery, Deli and Seafood, Andy Mossop, added in the past Coles customers have responded "positively" to twists on traditional products and expects the Vegemite hot cross buns will be embraced the same.
“We know how much our customers love hot cross buns at Easter, and we know how much they love Vegemite, so we decided to merge these two icons to create a delicious, savoury spin on hot cross buns that champions iconic Aussie flavours,” he said.
"It’s important to us at Coles to have some fun with flavours, and we always want to give customers something they’ve never had before, but ultimately it has to taste great."
'I have no words': Mixed reaction from customers
Hot cross buns on Boxing Day – more than three and a half months out from Easter – is known to prompt some strong opinions among Aussie shoppers, and the Vegemite innovation has taken that to another level.
There was a mixed reaction on social media with some eager to try the new creation, while others were far from enthused.
"On the shelves this morning. I have no words ..." one shopper wrote on Twitter, sharing a photo of the Coles creation.
"Vegemite & Cheese hot cross buns? No dude, no!" one person posted.
While one Twitter user jokingly called the idea of savoury hot cross buns an "abomination".
However some Aussies were more sympathetic, with one person saying they could "definitely get behind" the combination.
One person said they usually toast regular hot cross buns and then add some butter and Vegemite. The new addition at Coles "is an interesting twist on that," they said.
As expected, plenty of people were eager to debate the validity of selling the Easter treats so soon after Christmas.
Not tweeting about Coles selling Hot Cross Buns on Boxing Day is Un-Australian.
— Simon te Brinke (@gramercypark) December 26, 2021
"I mean, Christmas was just yesterday," one Twitter user argued. "Entirely too soon, there’s Australia Day and Valentine’s Day first!!"
Another said it was "whack" hot cross buns were already in the supermarket, but admitted they would be part of their breakfast routine "earlier than expected".
Some joked that not participating in the debate was "unAustralian" while others just seemed fed up.
"If people could stop going to Coles just to be outraged that the hot cross buns they fully expected to see on shelves, are on shelves, that would be cool," they said.
"There's no mandate to buy them if you don't want to. Just saying."
It's not just Coles rolling out hot cross buns straight after Christmas. A Woolworths spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo News Australia customers should be on the look-out for the supermarket's own announcement soon.
"Our team has been baking up some exciting new flavours," they said.
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