Marmite was conceived in 1902 and the Marmite Food Company opened a small factory in Burton-on-Trent where it still resides today. It took a couple of years to perfect the recipe and for the British public to warm to the spread's distinctive taste.
Before Louis Pasteur realised that the cells in yeast were in fact living plants, people simply discarded this by-product of the brewing process. German scientist Liebig then went on to make yeast into a concentrated food product - one that resembled meat extract but was in fact vegetarian.
Today Marmite is a nutritious, black, tasty, savoury spread enjoyable on toast or bread or even as a cooking ingredient. It is made from spent brewer’s yeast and comes in a distinctive black jar with a yellow lid.
Following the discovery of vitamins in 1912, yeast was found to be a great source of five important 'B' vitamins. As a result Marmite was included in soldiers' ration packs during World War I. It became a dietary supplement in prisoner-of-war camps in World War II and was sent to British peacekeeping forces in Kosovo to boost morale in 1999.
Limited edition Guinness Marmite was launched in 2007, followed by Marmite champagne, especially for Valentine’s Day in 2008 and 2009 saw a cricket-themed Marsden’s Marmite. Extra strength Marmite XO was developed in 2010 and to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June 2012, Marmite decided to pay a fitting tribute by launching another limited edition, aptly named ‘Ma’amite’.
Marmite has had a number of heart-warming advertising campaigns over the years from ‘My Mate Marmite’ to Paddington Bear. The most popular 'Love it or Hate it' campaign was born out of talking to people and discovering that most of them really either love or hate Marmite! A bold move for the brand which has coined a well-used phrase today.