Having lived in the UK and worked at Costa, I know how much British love marmite.
Nothing beats a marmite-filled toast and a soy cappuccino. Right?
If you’re vegan and don’t want to give up marmite, don’t worry. You don’t have to. Marmite is purely vegan, and it’s quite the opposite of maple and agave syrup.
Looking at the bottle design, I’d expect a flavor similar to maple syrup. But no.
Marmite is a sticky, dark brown spread with an accentuated salty flavor. In fact, the flavor is so unique that it polarizes consumers. Funnily, marmite’s slogan is “Love it or hate it”.
Marmite Is A Vegan Original
Initially, Marmite was popular among vegetarians because it was a viable meat-free alternative to beef extract products. Products that were popular throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
But today marmite is popular among vegans and omnivores alike.
Here is what marmite typically contains.
In addition to the original marmite, the rest of the marmite range is also vegan. The entire range is certified by the European Vegetarian Union (EVU), with the exception of the marmite 70g.
Marmite is a reliable source of vitamin b12. Eight grams contain 1.9 µg of B12, the equivalent to 76% of an average adult’s daily reference intake.
Besides vitamin b12, marmite is also rich in folic acid. Folic acid helps pregnant women prevent miscarriage and neural tube defects.
Though you also must be careful because marmite is high in sodium. Too much sodium in your blood can lead you to feel several symptoms such as nausea, tiredness, problems walking, twitching, headaches and even swelling.
Given that marmite’s major ingredient is an extract from brewer’s yeast, the final product is not suitable for vegans allergic to gluten.
Marmite Is Owned By Unilever
Some vegans may not be willing to eat marmite (from the UK) because it’s owned by Unilever.
Unilever is a company that produces many non-vegan foods, and products tested on animals.
Since Unilever has a connection with the dairy industry and was/is involved with animal testing over the years, some vegans have decided to boycott the company.
Yet that doesn’t change the fact marmite is vegan.
Plus, there is an excellent video from Gary Yourofsky stating his opinion on the subject.
Marmite Is Also Popular in Australia and New Zealand
Marmite is not only sold in the UK.
It is also available in Australia and New Zealand.
The recipe in these countries is slightly different from the original. In Australia, marmite is called vegemite. And in New Zealand, it remains “marmite”.
Vegemite is produced by Kraft. And Marmite NZ is produced by Sanitarium.
Vegemite is technically a rip-off of the British marmite.
A Melbourne chemist, Cyril Percy Callister, developed Vegemite in 1919 after Marmite imports were disrupted by the war. Vegemite is salty and feels more like margarine.
If I were to compare Vegemite with Marmite UK, I’d say the flavor is more acceptable.
Like the original, Vegemite is also vegan.
Unlike Vegemite, Marmite NZ parent company (Sanitarium) bought the rights to distribute marmite in New Zealand. And although the flavor differs from the other two, it’s still real marmite.
With Marmite NZ there’s a balance of salt and sugar. Plus, the consistency is more sticky and gooey like Nutella.
Overall, I believe Marmite NZ is the tastiest of the three because the flavor isn’t as overwhelming.
Marmite NZ Contains Sugar
Sugar is a complicated topic within the vegan community.
That’s because some suppliers use bone char to filter and bleach sugar.
To put it simply, there are two types of sugar.
Beet sugar: This sugar is extracted from beet using a diffuser and is mixed with additives to obtain a crystallized color.
Cane sugar: This sugar is extracted from sugar cane, and in certain countries, it is filtered and bleached using bone char after being extracted and heated to crystallize.
Sugar companies heat the bones of cattle at high-temperatures to create bone char. That is a common practice in the United States but is banned in many European countries, as well as Australia, and New Zealand.
Whether Marmite NZ’s sugar is vegan or not depends on where Sanitarium obtains its sugar from and the type of sugar contained in the marmite.
For you to know that, you must contact directly, otherwise, you can’t access that information.
Marmite NZ Also Contains Iron.
Iron exists in both plant and animal-based sources.
There’s heme-iron (found in animals), and non-heme iron (present in plants). If you’re vegan, you must rely only on non-heme iron. So if you’re buying an iron supplement or any other products with fortified iron, you should figure out what type of iron it is.
That information does not come on the product label, so you have to contact the company.
Typically, the iron in foods is vegan, but there’s a small chance it might not be for certain products.