Not all old fans happy with 'the new' Marmite

CAROLINE KING
Last updated 05:00 21/03/2013
Andrei Moore
DON SCOTT/Fairfax NZ

DISAPPOINTED: Andrei Moore says Marmite does not taste the same as it used to. He now prefers Vegemite.

Marmite vs Vegemite - can you tell the difference?

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Some Kiwis were disappointed as they got their hands on Marmite for the first time in months, claiming it tasted "different".

Among them was Cantabrian Andrei Moore, who bought a jar of the black spread to have with his crackers.

The 22-year-old, who said he had been eating Marmite all his life, felt it "definitely had a different taste and smell".

"It just sort of tasted flavourless. I felt like it wasn't really worth the wait. I wish I had just bought Vegemite instead."

Moore said next time he would choose Vegemite over Marmite.

The taste debate was raised online on TradeMe.

One person said they were "absolutely gutted" after waiting all day to get home and have Marmite again only to find out it was "different".

"The ingredients list is different, the smell is different and the taste is most definitely different, a lot weaker. Bordering on tasteless . . . On the jar it quotes . . . "You've loved it for over 110 years!" they forgot to add the next line, "So stuff you we've changed it".

Another person posted: "I don't think it tastes the same. Our dogs will not eat it on toast . . . but they used to love it . . ."

While others argued the taste was in fact exactly the same.

"Maybe it tastes different because you haven't had it, in so long," one person posted.

"Tastes the same to me. I think it's all in your head," another said.

On the Marmite Facebook, Sanitarium posted there had been no change to the recipe or process to make the spread.

"There have been small changes to the Marmite label - this is because whenever we do label updates we take the opportunity to update logos, review the way we list ingredients and nutrition information panels to ensure that they best meet regulatory requirements and are presented in the easiest way for consumers to read and interpret. The nutrition information has been updated using results from analytical testing of the product. This has resulted in the tiny changes in some nutrients."

Sanitarium is urging anyone unhappy with the taste of their new Marmite to call the 0800 number on the jar.

General manger Pierre van Heerden said he was "surprised" to hear that some people felt the spread tasted different.

"We'd like to see these jars. There shouldn't be any difference in taste," he said.

He asked disappointed customers to call the 0800 number on the jar to allow Sanitarium to check if all the "different" tasting jars came from the same batch. 

van Heerden stressed that Sanitarium had not changed any process in the making of Marmite.

"I can assure you the recipe is the same, made on the same equipment, by the same people.

"Whenever something has been off the shelf for a while there's a perception that things have changed, when they haven't."

He said it was also possible that those people who switched to Vegemite while Marmite was out of stock had got used to the Australian spread.

But van Heerden conceded those comparing the taste of their new jar to an old one in the pantry may indeed be right.

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"That product is quite old by now, there maybe a small difference in taste between the two."

- The Press

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