Time called for NZ’s Colonial Spread

This is a public service announcement for Kiwis, and Kiwi-fanciers, everywhere.


It may say Proudly made in Australia, but it's the only spread that originated Down Under, and it still reminds me of my NZ home.

I’m calling time.

It’s not even ‘last orders’. Oh no, it’s way beyond that.

New Zealand has run out of Marmite. And they’re not making any more.

Is this the end of the breakfast ‘world’ as we know it? I say no. In fact, not just ‘no’ but good riddance and thank God and frankly ladies and gentle-gumboot-wearers isn’t it time we threw out the jars of colonial oppression? I suggest we embrace our Antipodean roots and replace the salty, faux-Pommy yeast spread with wholesome, low in sugar (and salt), Vitamin B rich, Vegemite. It’s not only good for you, and delicious, but it is the only true spread that came from Down Under.

Isn’t it time Kiwis threw off the yoke of their colonial past and tossed the Marmite toast?

News has reached me in the land of Blighty that New Zealand has completely run out of Marmite. This is no joke, here’s the story from Sky News The problem started back in February when the only factory that made New Zealand Marmite was closed after being irrevocably damaged in the Christchurch earthquake. And now finally the country has been rid has run out of Marmite. The resultant crisis has been called Marmageddon by some media, as others auction their supplies, and panicked consumers start spreading v-e-r-y t-h-i-n-l-y.

But why don’t they just use English Marmite?

As any Kiwi will tell you English Marmite isn’t the same, it has a stronger more savoury flavour, so importing from mother England just won’t do. Marmite was originally imported into New Zealand but when supplies were disrupted to both Australia and New Zealand during WW1 the canny Antipodeans came up with their own approximate version. Of course these were the days when Australians and New Zealanders still called England ‘Home’ even if they had never actually ever been there.

This affection for all things English was all pervasive in New Zealand and Australian societies until the last half of the 1990s. Nothing would sell the Australian or New Zealand Woman’s Weekly better than a picture of the Royals (preferably Princess Diana) on the cover, and both countries continued to ship their young people over to the UK to work their OE years in London’s pubs.

But somewhere during the last decade it all became a little obfuscated. Australians, and New Zealanders started to identify themselves as themselves. We out grew our cultural cringe. We became proud to identify ourselves as coming from Down Under. And, importantly we started confirming this nationalistic identity by reaching for the one true blue, Antipodean spread – Vegemite.

Or at least they did in Australia, as this ad demonstrates.



I think it’s time for Kiwis to remember that we are not South Pacific Poms eating a Pacific version of an English spread and nor are we imitation Aussies – with better dress sense and a nicer accent. After all, though Vegemite was originally made in Australia in 1923, it was made in New Zealand for more than 50 years. These days both Vegemite and Marmite are made in Australia by multi-nationals owned by overseas interests, only Vegemite is truly born of our part of paradise.

Marmageddon might just be God’s way of saying it’s time we shook off the shackles of the colonial spread, and tucked into the Vegemite, which is the embodiment of the Antipodean way of life itself:

“Vegemite is – strong, bold, salty, a little tangy (if not down right fruity sometimes!), good for you and made from the extract of hops after the beer has been siphoned off. You always need to apply only a little Vegemite, it punches above its weight, and a little goes a long way” Vegemitevix

What do you reckon? Are you #TeamMarmite or #TeamVegemite



'Time called for NZ’s Colonial Spread' has 16 comments

  1. March 21, 2012 @ 1:27 pm Steve

    See. This is why I like jam.


    • March 21, 2012 @ 3:10 pm vegemitevix

      Steve, man you haven’t lived. Can the jam and try the mite!


  2. March 21, 2012 @ 2:21 pm veryboredincatalunya

    The less we export to you lot, the more for us! #teammarmite 😉


    • March 21, 2012 @ 3:11 pm vegemitevix

      Yeah well I expected as much for you Marmite munching donkey. Where is your donkey by the way?


  3. March 21, 2012 @ 3:02 pm Katriina

    I’m right with you, Vix. Marmite (not to mention that disgusting stuff called “Promite” that was sold for a while when I was a kid) is rubbish. Go the Vegemite! Apart from the benefits you’ve already so astutely noted, there is nothing better than butter and Vegemite squeezed through the tiny holes of a couple of sandwiched VitaWeets.


    • March 21, 2012 @ 3:10 pm vegemitevix

      Or…. what about Vegemite and crisp sandwiches? We used to have those in our school lunches at primary school. Oh yum. *starts drooling*


  4. March 21, 2012 @ 4:25 pm Ca4ole

    Now you really have started the Marmite/Vegemite debate! But don’t panic Good old Sanitarium Marmite will be back soon I hear. As you know the English version has quite a different taste. Kiwis will not be fobbed off with it. Until it returns the kids (big and little) will have to make do with your Aussie stuff !


  5. March 21, 2012 @ 4:41 pm ChaoticallyMe

    TeamVegemite all the way!!  Since the day my Mum put a little vegemite in boiled water and gave it to me in a bottle as a wee babe I’ve been head over heels for the wonderous stuff.   Marmite, eww!


    • October 1, 2012 @ 10:23 am vegemitevix

      Good for you choosing TeamVegemite. ‘On ya!


  6. March 21, 2012 @ 6:08 pm CarolynB

    Mon dieu! I can’t stand any of it, but my Brit/Aussie hubby loves his daily Vegemite.

    Cheers to all proud Kiwis and Aussies 🙂


    • October 1, 2012 @ 10:24 am vegemitevix

      Cool. See this is what I’m talking about, Vegemite is an attitude, an expression of joie de vivre, not just a yeast spread.


  7. March 21, 2012 @ 8:16 pm JTH

    Vegemite and cheese sandwiches – my staple lunch at school!


    • March 21, 2012 @ 10:31 pm vegemitevix

      And what about the quintessential Kiwi snack – buttery Vegemite on Vogel’s toast.


  8. March 21, 2012 @ 8:38 pm Midlife Singlemum

    Off to make a Marmite sandwich with my imported (from London to Jerusalem) large sqeezey jar of the Mmmmmm. The truth is I could go either way – I like anything savoury.


    • March 21, 2012 @ 10:33 pm vegemitevix

      That is one well travelled tube of Marmite. Though in fairness the tube of Vegemite has travelled from Australia to here.


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