last updated 30th September 2014

What Is Vegemite/Marmite?
What is the difference?
What are Vegemite, Promite, Bovril and Yeast Extract?

The Philosophical Difference !!!
Vegemite vs Marmite by Aussie Interviewer: Chris Welsh
100 years of Marmite by Laura Burton

MasterFoods - Promite
Promite - Everything Auuuustraaaaalian
Promite vs Vegemite

Vegemite vs Marmite vs Promite

What is the difference?
[LBC] Good News?

John Winters
14 Apr 2002 12:15:43 +0100

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> > >
> > > What is the difference?
> >
> > Vegemite has vegetable extract as well as the yeast extract in Marmite.
> > It's also Australian.
> Vegemite's a lot more like a paste than marmite (which is relatively
> runny). Taste wise vegemite is more bitter I find.

Vegemite is slightly paler than Marmite and has a less glossy finish (like it's Marmite with a pale matt powder mixed into it).  I used to live in Australia and a surprising number of Australians seemed to think that the difference was that Vegemite was vegetarian whilst Marmite wasn't.  Of course they're both vegetarian and by-products of beer production.  Some of the difference may be down to the difference between our beers.

The stuff which leaves the brewery is the scrapings from the bottom of the fermenting tank.  Like solidified froth it goes off in open topped barrels to the Marmite factory.  Each barrel is filled no more than 1/3 full because if the stuff gets damp it starts frothing like mad as the yeast is reactivated.  The horses in the brewery love it and some of the old draymen liked a taste too.


John Winters, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England

The Linux Emporium - the source for Linux CDs in the UK

What Is Vegemite/Marmite?

For an extensive outline of these, try Jenny George's URL below which has
the FAQ and IFAQ for
 My home page

Vegemite, Marmite and Promite are all yeast extracts and basically all the same, but:  Marmite is sweeter than vegemite  Promite is sweeter then marmite  They're all extremely salty tasting.

Or, Vegemite is very salty, marmite slightly less so.  Promite is considerably less salty.

They all use caramel for the dark colouring, and it's probably this part which contributes to the war.  Marmite is considerably sweeter (and darker) than Vegemite, while Promite is sweeter still.

Vegemite eaters will generally tolerate Marmite and Marmite eaters will tolerate Promite.  Vegemite eaters find Promite sickly sweet.

Marmite eaters will not (usually) eat vegemite.  It's too strongly flavoured for them as a general rule.

Promite is Australian (Masterfoods), but is gaining in popularity here. There are very few exclusive Promite eaters, so conclusions can't be drawn, but I'd expect that Promite eaters would react to Marmite the same way that Marmite eaters react to Vegemite.  I have yet to see an advert for Promite in any medium.

Marmite is made by Sanitarium Health Food company, which is wholly owned by the Seventh Day Adventist church.  Our 7DA's don't run around with guns, unlike a certain Texas sect.  There was (still is?) a TV ad campaign for Marmite last year which had many viewers reaching for the off switch ("The Marmities").

Vegemite is made by multi-national food company Kraft General Foods NZ Ltd, who have acquired several "NZ" labels over the last 25 years.  It isn't advertised much, though Kraft have been pushing it and their jam + cheese labels recently in a series of adverts starring Billy Connolly and Pamela Stevenson (Why Billy - a Scot - is pushing vegemite is beyond me, as most non-antipodeans can't stand any of the yeast extracts...)

There is a product called "Marmite" made by the Marmite company in Britain. This is not the same as the Marmite found in New Zealand - the UK version has all sorts of things added such as vegetable bits and according to those who've tried it tastes considerably different.

Lyndon Watson wrote: "I don't know about the vegetable bits, but I found British Marmite to have (a) a lighter brown colour, (b) a runnier texture and (c) a stronger but otherwise similar flavour."

None of these spreads should be spread thickly.  That's the second mistake most foreigners make.  The first is trying the stuff at the insistence of NZ hosts, most of whom are gleefully anticipating the response.  Best results are obtained by spreading _very_ thinly.  Discolouration of the underlying bread/toast is all that's necessary.

Do not get any of these spreads on your fingers if there are domestic animals around, especially cats.  They all love the stuff and will try to lick you clean.  Enthusiastic felines will sometimes try to remove your digits too...

There are no meat products in any of the three spreads.


Vegemite (Kraft General Foods NZ Ltd):

Yeast extract, salt, malt extract, colour (caramel), vegetable flavours, vitamins (niacin, thiamine, riboflavin)

Marmite (Sanatarium Health Food Company, NZ):

Yeast, sugar, salt, wheatgerm extract, mineral salt (508), colour (caramel), herbs, spices, vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin)

It's also got a small note under the ingredients:  "100% vegetarian" (but then, what do you expect from a company owned by the 7th Day Adventist church?)

NOTE: Ambarish dasa rang Sanitarium 29th Sept 2014 and specifically asked about ingredients in Marmite and was told "Spices don't have Onion, Garlic, Mushrooms, Shallots - the Yeast is also Vegetarian (Barley based) - There is no Alcohol residue. So I guess its good to eat and get Vitamins B1, B2 & B12 "

Promite: (Masterfoods of Australia)

Vegetable protein extract, sugar, yeast, natural colour (caramel), salt, thickener (Wheat starch), emulsifier (Glycerol monostearate), spices, added vitamins, water

Other countries' versions may vary....

What are Vegemite, Promite, Bovril and Yeast Extract?

Answer: They are not Marmite in any way or form.
Vegemite, is an Australian product, manufactured by Kraft Foods Ltd, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and is generally described by Marmite fans as a weaker version spread than British-produced Marmite—I can personally back this statement up. Vegemite fans have claimed that it is stronger than some non British-produced Marmite, but that doesn't say much for that "Marmite".

Its ingredients are:

Yeast Extract
Malt Extract
Natural Flavor

Promite is a vegetable extract spread, and is made by Master Foods of Australia, 25-49 Smith Street, Hillsdale, N.S.W. 2036, Australia.
Its ingredients are:

Vegetable Protein Extract
Thickener (wheat starch)
Added Vitamins
Water Added

Bovril is cow extract, and its main use is as a flavoring for soups, and as a drink when you put a teaspoon of the stuff in a mug of boiling water.
In Britain, most major supermarket chains sell an own-brand "Yeast Extract", which is the most similar (ingredients-wise) non-Marmite spread you can buy. It is generally a lot cheaper than the real thing, but not for the purists.

The Philosophical Difference !!!

However, folks, let's get it right and go for Marmite - and have a look here, Marmite is 100% Vegetarian

Musician Folk singer, social philosopher:
Personally I go for Marmite which is made by Sanitarium in Australia. I used to buy large jars of Vegemite until I discovered that Kraft, its manufacturer, is owned by Philip Morris Inc. who not only make cigarettes (Marlboro and others) but also torture and murder thousands of dogs in so-called scientific experiments to prove to everyone that cigarettes are such wonderful things.

Vegemite vs Marmite by Aussie Interviewer: Chris Welsh

Wednesday, 27 March 2002

The tastebud challenge!
For many Aussies Vegemite is the real thing, the original sandwich spread, but it may come as a surprise to find out that it wasn't the first.

Marmite is this year celebrating its 100th birthday making it the original sandwich spread.

Since it was first developed in the UK there have been many imitators of this yeast extract, which people either love or hate.

There is fierce debate across the globe as to which product is the best.

So we thought we'd put the products to the test!

Fading Pom Michael Lund went head-to-head in a tastebud challenge with True Blue Aussie Phil Smith - the aim to see if they could pick their favourite spread from the rivals.

We gave them four to chose from - Marmite, Vegemite, a New Zealand made Marmite and Promite.

Could they tell the difference? Could they pick their favourite?

Listen To - The Tastebud Challenge ( Audio in RealMedia format ) | Requires RealPlayer

Related Links:

Some of these links may be to sites outside the ABC and as such the ABC has no editorial control over such sites.

The official Marmite website

The unofficial Marmite website

I Love Marmite

I Hate Marmite

The official Vegemite website