Our story - Marmite

A RICH HISTORY

Everyone has a past and we’re no exception. From World War 1 to Marmite art on toast – our story has it all!

1919

Sanitarium gain exclusive rights to sell the delicious pots of black gold in New Zealand in 1919. But then they’re faced with their biggest challenge yet – Vegemite launches across the ditch in Australia, sparking early sibling rivalry between the two nations.

1940's

Sanitarium is now making its own New Zealand Marmite™, sourced and produced locally in Christchurch. News of Marmite™ being rationed amongst Kiwi troops fighting in World War II highlights its nutritional benefits as the brand begins to develop into a true kiwi icon.

1950's

As the New Zealand economy booms, Marmite’s popularity does too. The old white glass jars are replaced with clear glass and consumer promotions attract thousands of entries. Marmite™ is well-established as a Kiwi favourite and a household staple right across the country.

1970's

A classic era for New Zealand and Marmite™ was right amongst it with its “revolutionary” reusable drinking-glass jars and promotional Marmite™ tea towels. Some of which you can still spot in the odd kiwi bach today. Sanitarium Health Food stores also pop up across New Zealand helping to pave the way for Marmite’s future success.

1980's

The decade that saw Marmite’s classic TV commercial featuring a power line man fixing the power supply to a NZ town with a jar of Marmite™! Marmite™ & cheese toasties were also sold in just about every primary and intermediate school for about 30c each!

2000's

Marmite’s popularity continues to grow aided by some novel consumer promotions. A MarmArt competition sees Kiwis create Marmite™ works of art on their toast and Marmite™ sponsors the charitable campaign “Movember”, temporarily renaming Marmite™ “Mo-Mite” with the tag line “Darkening Kiwi men’s mo’s for nearly 100 years”

2012

After Christchurch is struck by two devastating earthquakes Sanitarium announces the temporary closure of Marmite’s Papanui factory on 19th March 2012. Marmite™ soon runs dry as “Marmageddon” sets in with jars of ‘black gold’ selling on TradeMe for up to $60. ‘A Beautiful Struggle’ art auction of celebrities’ empty Marmite™ jars helps raise money for struggling Christchurch families.

2014

Inspired by the new ‘Made to be Messed with’ advertising campaign, Kiwis everywhere take up the challenge and go wild with unique Marmite™ combinations. Dedicated craftspeople are flat out making 2 million jars of Marmite™ a year for happy Kiwis.

2015

Although Marmite and toast is a classic combo, 2015 proved that the spread is a winner on bagels too. ABE’s Marmite bagel crisps is the prefect addition for on-the-go snacking.

2021

Cotton On and Marmite joined forces to launch a branded range of apparel – being bonded by the black stuff never looked so good!