It'll never fly - Marmite

Who could possibly love it? But the brown yeast extract has become as much a part of Britishness as warm beer and delayed trains.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
Who would have thought that a brewer's by-product with a taxic smell and the consistency of axle grease could achieve a household penetration of 26%, shift 24 million units a year and be exported to 30 countries? At first sight, Marmite has very little going for it, but probe deeper and a wealth of health-giving benefits show up. Hosting five B vitamins, the brown stuff has been served to soldiers since WW1, most recently to troops in the Middle East. The Marmite Food Co, formed in Burton on Trent in 1902, took its name from the French word for stewpot, and its inimitable curvy glass jar, which first appeared in the 1920s, has become a stalwart of many an ex-pat's larder. Now owned by Unilever Bestfoods, Marmite first marketed itself in the 1930s as being 'Good For You', but more recent campaigns focused on 'My Mate, Marmite' or the current 'love-it-or-hate-it' campaign. Marmite's centenary was marked with a visit by the Duke of Edinburgh last year. Although supposedly not a fan himself, his wife is thought to be rather partial to the stuff.

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