Marmite Vs Vegemite

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Virgil Evetts

The news that Kraft are launching a new smoother and as yet unnamed version of Vegemite reminded me more than a little of the Coca Cola corporation’s ill fated and patently ill advised New Coke embarrassment of the mid 80s. In an attempt combat slumping sales, the world’s biggest purveyor of Type 2 diabetes in a can decided to reformulate the iconic ‘drink’. It failed spectacularly, nearly ruined the company and went down in the history books as one of the greatest marketing failures of all time.

The lesson one could take away from this is pretty simple- don’t screw with icons. Kraft have at least had the good sense to launch this new apparently ‘no butter required’, super spreadable Vegemite alongside the original and fiercely loved product rather than simply replacing it altogether- as was Cokes big mistake with New Coke.

But anyway, does the world really need a new Vegemite? 

Personally I’m not even convinced it needs the current Vegemite- I’m a Marmite person through and through. I know however, that a lot of you will violently disagree, because for reasons unknown, we take our salty, yeast based spreads rather seriously in this part of the world. There is no greater divider down under than the Vegemite Vs Marmite debate.

I’m very fussy about my Marmite too. I only buy very small jars because I like it best when it’s very fresh. I don’t like others to use my jar because I can’t stand it being contaminated with crumbs and butter. My all time favourite way of eating Marmite is on crunchy slices of fresh, thickly buttered baguette, but I also enjoy it on Vogel’s toast with scrambled eggs and on toasted hot cross buns.

So in my little sphere there is no yeast spread but Marmite- and I mean New Zealand Marmite [have you tried the ghastly UK version?], all others are mere pretenders.

But this is a deadly serious topic- just ask around. New Zealanders are some of the most reserved- and dare I say it apathetic people you will ever meet- the only two topics that really get us hot under the collar are sport [based on distant memories of us being good at it,I suppose] and yeast spreads. What does this say about us as a nation?

So- let’s put it to a vote:

Vegemite or Marmite?

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72 thoughts on “Marmite Vs Vegemite

  1. Vegemite: no question. I’m somewhat curious about the ‘new’ Vegemite but only because I feel assured that it’s not replacing the original version. Personally, I have no problems spreading Vegemite but will try to keep an open mind about what cream cheese will add to the mix.

  2. I’ll take a picture later and post it tonight. A Marmite is a sort of earthenware crock pot with a pitched, vented lid. The French pronunciation is marr-meet.

  3. Virgil

    can you please post us a photo of your cooking pot – the large earthenware marmite? I have never heard of this strange contraption. Is it British? How old is it?

    On the debate my mother nearly disowned me last year when I admitted I prefer vegemite (having fed me marmite all my life). She practically went into orbit such was her outrage at my unfaithfulness to NZ. Perhaps some marmite eaters subconsciously can’t bring themselves to eat the enemy’s fare…I now admit to feeling slight tinges of guilt about not eating ‘kiwi made’ when I spread my toast.


  4. I am a kiwi MARMITE kid and always will be. One of my grandsons loves a daily teaspoon of marmite straight up.
    Whenever I am with a group of people I have just met I aways take a poll “are you Marmite or Vegemite?” Responses are generally more Marmite votes.

  5. I guess it all comes down to what you’re used to. All yeast spreads are an acquired taste and I doubt anyone introduced to them as an adult would be anything other than horrified by the extreme saltiness and powerful flavour. I know that most North Americans would sooner eat a baby than something as challenging as Marmite!
    I was raised on Heinz ketchup and as a result Watties tomato sauce tastes horribly sweet and flaccid to me. Stupid really because they’re both effectively the same thing, apart from a bit more vinegar and a bit less salt between them. Same difference between M & V really.

  6. As a kid way back there was only Marmite. I think it was in the late 1960’s that I first heard of Vegemite. Interestingly we had a group of senior statistics students who did a blind testing exercise about 10 years ago. Most said they had Vegemite at home but almost 90% said they preferred Marmite in the yest. (Veg. TOOOO salty) I willonly use Marmite.

  7. As an Aussie living over here I have to swear my allegiance to good ole Vegemite! Funny thing is I HATED it as a kid but once I got older that pungent flavour couldn’t be beaten. Be it slathered on buttery toast and then dipped into runny eggs, or again slathered on buttery toast with the addition of cheese and then stuck under the grill, you’ll never find me sticking my knife in a marmite jar – yeck! Also, vegemite, cheese, pickled onion and salted chip sandwiches are a fave aswell!

  8. Marmite! Anything else is a poor imitation of the yummy stuff I grew up with. (I’m 62) I still remember my mum giving us marmite spread on weetbix, and marmite and walnut sandwiches in our school lunches.

  9. OMG…I tried some Promite a whileback and had to spit it out. It was very foul. A VERY poor imitation. brother brought some from oz…thats where it can stay.

  10. I’m a “promite” gal.
    Spread on burgan bread toast and topped with a home grown sliced tomato and a sprinkle of dried orignum. Heaven!

  11. There are some fave combos listed here but until now nobody has come up with the sandwich filling made in heaven – marmite and chopped walnuts.

  12. I am going to do a test and buy my kids a jar of each and see which they like in a blind tasting as I am confused. I thought they liked marmite but notice that I have vegemite on the shelf – maybe I have bought the wrong one and they are too young to complain!

  13. As one relegated to having to have Marmite posted to the UK for me the thought of marmite on hot buttered vogel’s toast makes my mouth water. Altho all the ingredients are available here in the UK it isn’t the same as at home!

  14. Definitely a MARMITE girl. I remember growing up with vegemite and lettuce sandwiches at school (yuck!) which is probably why I refuse to buy it. Promite was the closest I could find to Marmite in Aust. Interestingly enough, the yeast used in Marmite is supplied from the beer produced at DB Breweries..

  15. Vegemite all the way in my opinion but I’m not even interested in trying the new mix so if they do away with the original they will lose me as a customer. Favourite sandwich bread, butter, vegemite, lettuce and potato chips, yum :)) Toast and vegemite is definitely comfort food.

  16. I have both in the cupboard but only use a salty spread on toast infrequently, but can’t tell the difference. Must be “short /long term memory loss”!

  17. NZ Marmite and Vegemite taste similar to me. Back in the 70s I lived in Singapore and tried UK Marmite. Yuk! Bovril in a paste. The kids refused to eat it. So now it’s Vegemite for us, but only because of the association with UK Marmite. The mind does interesting things.

  18. Great stuff! There are way more Kiwi’s than i thought that also eat chip sammies! Am yet to try with the hallowed Marmite.
    Can only buy Vegemite in Vancouver and it’s as rare as hen’s teeth, so yes we too get commercial quantities brought over by family & friends!
    Vegemite will do, but Marmite is the clear winner here.

  19. Wow
    This is quite some feedback!
    I agree with those of you who describe vegemite as bitter.
    I rather like Bovril- especially since they started using beef extract again. It went vegetarian for while during the BSE scare a couple of years ago.
    Incidentally I have a very large earthenware marmite- the cooking vessel that inspired the name of the spread. It’s a bit like a very deep tagine crossed with a casserole. I’ve only used it a couple of times because it’s such a bother to clean.

  20. Penny I think Bovril is a beef spread not yeast Correct me if I’m wrong anybody.I used to work for a famous research company and we did a Vegemite versus Marmite [plus tasting for Promite]survey.Amazing how many people swore they loved Vegemite when what in fact they had just tasted was Marmite and vica versa[spell check didn’t help me here!!]

  21. I grew up on Marmite, my kids preferred Vegemite so I learned to eat it, now my kids have left home and will only eat Marmite and I now eat Vege and Mar. I guess I am sitting firmly on the top of the fence eating Veg/Mar and avocado on toast, chippies and Veg/Mar on white bread, tomatoes and Veg/Mar on toast and of course, poached/fried/scrambled/burnt/undercooked eggs on anything with Veg/Mar. My very very favourite is Veg/Mar on white btead with bean sprouts of any kind.

  22. Marmite all the way, vegemite has that weird decomposed vegetable taste to it – ewwww. Has to be fresh marmite though – all those yeast speads tend to develop an odd fishy note over time…

  23. At my school we were all very knowledgable youths, we would proudly state that “marmite is made from meat extract and vegemite is made from vegetable extracts”. The addition of the word ‘extract’ made us very wise indeed…

    As a vegetarian I can tell you that both are meat free, but marmite just has tons of sugar, whereas vegemite doesn’t.

    I put my hand on my heart & swear allegiance to vegemite..
    The Aussies did do something right!

  24. hi, I am a vegemite girl, my partner is a marmite man, we have a 3 yr old and 1 yr old. When they have marmite on toast for brekky, we are lucky to get them to eat one peice, if its vegemite, they will eat two or more peices, we never tell them whats on the toast is different, and the eating habit is consistant every time. The proof is in the eating!

  25. Vegemite by a country mile. Marmite is sweet and insipid compared to Vegemite. Only wooly woofters and Brits, who have barn yard pallets, would prefer Marmite over Vegemite.

  26. Marmite definitely. On toast for breaskfast or in a sandwich with crunchy peanut butter for a delicious, protein-rich snack. Or my favourite childhood sandwich – lettuce, marmite, cheese and mayo. yum!

  27. Marmite for me – Vegemite for my man.
    While in the UK I got quite excited to see a little individual serve of Marmite offered on the breakfast table. Nothing like ours. A never to be repeated experience!
    My stepson now lives in Sweden. We watched a hilarious CD of him introducing his Swedish hosts to Vegemite. We regularly send him supplies of Vegemite and tomato sauce, but from the reactions on the CD I think his Vegemite hoard is safe!

  28. MARMITE!!!!
    Love the stuff – like some of the others here, I find vegemite too bitter.
    I LOVE marmite on toast with tomatoes on top. Yumm – sorry that is probably going to disgust some of you.

  29. Vegemite for sandwches & toast. Marmite if I need to add to that missing x factor in gravies or stew. Again small containers as I don’t use either often. The salt content will be interesting with the cream cheese in it. Don’t think the new one will get much of a look in here because of the dairy factor and asthma.

  30. Now you can all cry for me because I can’t tell the difference. Wait! Maybe I could if I ever got the chance to try them both at the same time. I might have a Marmite, lettuce and ham sandwich very rarely, and the same goes for Vegemite, but always these two events are so far apart that my ‘taste memory’ cannot distinguish which I am eating. Is there a household near by where I can test-drive both within a few minutes?

  31. Marmite vs Vegemite
    Ford vs holden…

    Will the debate ever end? Which one is best?

    The sheer thought of cream cheese mixed with vegemite made my stomach do flips. Like, why mess with a good thing?

    But saying that, im glad they didnt think to do it with Marmite, I would have screamed, its my favourite on hot buttered toast and yes vogels is best (has to be super crunchy though).

    But how on earth can we, the humble kiwi have chip sandwhiches without the marmite?

  32. Divided in our house.
    My husband ate, and still does, eat only vegemite. He grew up being told vegemite was made from “vegies” and Marmite was made from meat!!
    I grew up with vegemite only but have preferred Marmite for many years now.
    I think marmite has the pungency (if thats the right word)but not the bitterness of vegemite.
    They can do what they like with vegemite but they should leave Marmite as it is!!

  33. Im with you Virgil…..Marmite .all the way……Vegemite is far too sweet…..and glad there is someone else who likes poached eggs on vogels buttered toast with Marmite!!!

  34. Im with you Viril…..Marmite .all the way……Vegemite is far too sweet…..and glad there is someone else who likes poached eggs on vogels buttered toast with Marmite!!!

  35. Vegemite! There is no other in our house. My children will eat both, but do prefer vegemite – probably because it is what they grew up with. However, we had marmite when I was a kid, and I fondly remember trips to visit my aunt as she was a vegemite-only household. Ohh.. white toast bread, lots of butter, the top layer of toast smashed into the middle, but the bottom layer intact. Thin layer of vegemite worked through the mashy bits of buttery bread. There is nothing better on this earth. Well, maybe a vegemite and bluebird ready salted white bread and butter sandwich!

  36. I like both, but as I get older I seem to eat Vegemite more. However I disagree about the jar- you have to have the crumbs of the last few months as well as the odd bit of cereal or butter ,it creates an entirely new product why go to all the bother of adding cream cheese. We all know homemade is best.

  37. Definitely Marmite!!! Vegemite too bitter, yet funnily enough when I was living at home we always had Vegemite and it took me ages to get used to Marmite. – (All this MANY MANY years ago!!)

  38. I am with you Penny. Whilst vege/mar/pro-mite all have different flavours, I like them all. Actually, just a week or so ago, I was trying to describe the flavour to an Asian colleague – not easy! There is nothing I could think of that I could to liken it to.

    And Virgil, I vehemently support you on crumbs in the marmite jar – it’s a disgusting habit and I can’t stand it. The same goes for the margarine/butter tub. What’s even worse is when people scrape their used knife on the inside of the tub to put back the excess. Ughh!

  39. Marmite on toast – only after a party for me.
    My son has Vegemite for breakfast and Marmite only in sandwiches.
    Daughter and husband only had Marmite.

  40. Can one not like both? I do. *hangs head in shame* I’ve yet to meet a yeast spread I didn’t like. Actually – that isn’t true, I find Bovril too strong. ;)

  41. I was a parent helper at a primary school camp and an almost untouched large jar of Vegemite came home at the end of the camp. There was no way any of my confirmed Marmiters were going to touch the stuff. “They’ll never know the difference”, I muttered as I transferred Vegemite into an empty Marmite jar. Ha! Some hope. At breakfast time an outraged howl came from the table, “Who put Vegemite in the Marmite jar?”

  42. Vegemite has to be the best. I have always thought Marmite was disgusting and isn’t it made from beef as well as yeast? It has an awful smell about it. But at work, one of my colleagues swears by Marmite and I just say, oh no, Vegemite is much better! So yes, the debate goes on and I suppose it always will. You know, people from overseas who don’t know anything about these spreads think that they’re dreadful when they do hear about them. So I just think, good on us.

  43. Toots “your comment is waiting for moderation” means that I need to approve it before it is viewed by a wider audience. It protects our blogs from unwelcome spam – of which we get loads of.

  44. I think that NZ Marmite and UK Marmite are two completely different spreads and must have totally different recipes!!!! They are nothing like each other in my opinion. I love UK Marmite, hate NZ Marmite and hence use Vegemite as a poor substitute! I do think cream cheese and mar/vege/mite will be a winner however, I used to buy Kraft cheese triangles and mix with a little dot of marmite for my son’s school lunches many many years ago. Loved Paul’s suggestion for a new name on tvone this morning, Spreadymite!

  45. Marmite all the way – Vegemite doesn’t even get a look it :) I find vegemite too bitter, and enjoy the savory flavour of Marmite, with a little butter, on a crispbread.