Vegemite vs. Marmite vs. Bovril: What’s The Difference?

Vegemite vs. Marmite vs. Bovril: What's The Difference?

Marmite, Vegemite, and Bovril are all similar products, but they each have their own unique flavor. Some people love them, while others can’t stand the taste. So which one is the best?

Vegemite vs. Marmite vs. Bovril: So what’s the difference? While Vegemite and Marmites are made of yeast extract, Bovril is made of beef extract. They are also different in other things such as ingredients, taste, and appearance.

What are they? We will compare the three spreads to see which one comes out on top!

What You Need to Know About Vegemite

Vegemite toast. Credit: canva

What is Vegemite?

Vegemite is a dark, salty flavor, and savory spread made from yeast extract popular in Australia and New Zealand.

It was created in 1922 by Cyril Percy Callister and has been a part of Australian culture ever since.

The product is made by breaking down the yeast and creating a clear liquid extract which Cyril Callister blended with celery and onion extracts and salt to create a thick brown paste. 

It has been built up over time and is now produced by Mondelez International.

The black paste is a yeast spread and is most often consumed on white bread toast with butter, although it may also be used as a spread in sandwiches and pasta dishes.

Vegemite vs. Marmite vs. Bovril: What's The Difference?

What is Vegemite made of?

Vegemite contains a variety of ingredients. They are yeast extract, salt, mineral salt (potassium chloride), malt extract from barley yeast extract, and wheat, and vegetable extract (onion). It also has some additional spices.

The main ingredient in Vegemite is yeast extract. Yeast is made by crushing the yeast cells to release their contents. The extract is a dark, thick, and sticky substance high in B vitamins.

How does it taste?

Vegemite is a salty, savory spread. It has a distinct flavor that some people can’t get enough of, while others find it to be too strong or bitter. Vegemite tastes like dark chocolate mixed with soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce.

It is vegan, kosher, and halal.

Nutrition Info

Vegemite has a variety of nutrients. It is a rich source of vitamin B complex. It has protein, thiamin (vitamin B-12), riboflavin, niacin, folate, calcium, iron, and zinc. It also contains some magnesium and sodium.

One serving of Vegemite is one tablespoon. It has 20 calories and 0 grams of fat.

There are also small amounts of calcium, iron, and vitamin C.


Aside from Vegemite Original, Vegemite is available in various tastes, such as Vegemite Cheesybite, Vegemite Reduced Salt, and Blend 17. The nutrient profiles of these various kinds are also different.

Now a Gluten-Free option is also available for Vegemite! It’s the same fantastic flavor you know and love (if not milder taste), only gluten-free and FODMAP friendly.

What You Need to Know About Marmite

marmite on toast
Marmite toast. Credit: canva

What is Marmite?

Marmite is a British favorite spread. It is a salty, brown paste that has a yeasty flavor. Marmite is an acquired taste and is very popular in the United Kingdom.

In 1902, a German scientist named Justus von Liebig created Marmite. It has been built up over time and is now produced by Unilever.

The first major Marmite advertising campaign began during the 1930s, with characters whose faces incorporated the word “good”. 

Marmite is most often consumed on white bread toast with butter, although it may also be used as a spread in sandwiches and pasta dishes.

Many people have mentioned that Marmite tastes delicious when spread onto crumpets.

Vegemite vs. Marmite vs. Bovril: What's The Difference?

What is Marmite made of?

Marmite is a yeast paste prepared from brewer yeast, a by-product yeast of beer brewing. It’s suitable for vegans and vegetarians because it has no animal components.

It contains added salt, sugar (taste enhancer), vegetable gum, Vitamin B, and flavorings.

How does it taste?

Marmite is a salty, savory paste with yeast extract that gives it its own flavor. Some say it has a bouillon broth-like taste.

Marmite has been used as a flavor enhancer for ages, owing to its high amounts of glutamate and umami.

Nutrition Info

Marmite is an excellent source of vitamins B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, Vitamins B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid, which can aid digestion and strengthen your immune system. 


Marmite comes in many different flavors. The original version is light, Marmite XO (super strong blend), and extra dark. Marmite Lite has less sugar and no artificial colors or flavorings added to the recipe.

What You Need to Know About Bovril

Bovril on taste. Credit: canva

What is Bovril?

Bovril is a thick, salty meat extract paste that was developed in the 19th century by John Lawson Johnston and sold in a squat, bulbous jar. It was created in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire.

Unilever UK produces Bovril. Johnston invented the name by combining the words “vril,” which means “an electric fluid,” and “bo” from “bos,” the Latin term for beef.

An advertising campaign of the early 20th century in Britain depicted Pope Leo XIII seated on his throne, bearing a mug of Bovril. 

Bovril may also be prepared into a hot drink known as a beef tea-like mixture by mixing it with hot water or, less frequently, milk.

It is often considered instant beef stock, and can also be used in soups, stews, and porridges for flavoring. It’s also commonly used as a spread on bread, much like Marmite and Vegemite.

Vegemite vs. Marmite vs. Bovril: What's The Difference?

What is Bovril made of?

The beef extract was used to make Bovril. Beef stock and yeast extract are the primary components of Bovril, which has a 43 percent beef content and a 22 percent yeast content.

Additional important ingredients include waxy maize starch and dehydrated beef.

During the ban on beef exports from 2004 to 2006, beef and beef stock was taken out of the recipe. Yeast extract was used in their place, but the vegetarian version never caught on.

Unilever reversed its previous decision to eliminate beef substances from their Bovril recipe in 2006 when sales increased, and the export bans on live cattle were lifted.

Unilever now makes Bovril using beef extract and a chicken version with the chicken variety extract.

Bovril contains hydrolyzed vegetable protein (soy), beef stock, water, corn starch, salt, yeast extract, caramel, sugar, onion, thickener, spices, acidity regulators, anti-foaming agents, flavoring, flavor enhancers, eggs, vitamins, and iron. 

How does it taste?

Bovril has a strong odor of dark chocolate and fresh ground coffee with tobacco-like undertones.

It is salty as well as somewhat sweet in flavor. It’s also quite powerful, with a meaty flavor to it.

Nutrition Info

Bovril has plenty of B vitamins required for energy production and healthy nerves. A single serving provides a fifth of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of folic acid, a sixth of our riboflavin requirements, and 15% of our niacin needs.

Vegemite vs. Marmite vs. Bovril: What’s the Difference?

vegemite marmite bovril
Vegemite vs Marmite vs Bovril. Credit: canva

Most of these products do contain glutamic acid which is similar to monosodium glutamate and so those with gluten sensitivities should beware as well as those taking certain medications. 

When you compare Vegemite vs. Marmites vs. Bovril, the differences between the black spreads are as follow.

The making process

Vegemite is made from brewer’s yeast extractive, vegetable extract, malt extract, extract from barley, and spice additives.

Marmite is a yeast paste made from brewer’s yeast, a by-product of beer brewing. It contains added salt, sugar (taste enhancer), vegetable gum, Vitamin B, and flavorings.

Bovril is a beef-based drink. It is made from beef extract, yeast extract, caramel, sugar, onion, thickener, spices, and flavorings.

The taste

Vegemite has a salty, bitter taste, partly due to the high glutamates content, which gives it an umami flavor similar to beef bouillon.

Marmite is a sticky, thick paste with a distinctive salty, robust flavor. However, its taste is still considered milder with slight sweetness compared to Vegemite.

Vegemite is much stronger than Marmite due to its richer and distinct flavor.

Bovril is salty and a little sweet. It is also very strong, with a meaty beefiness.

Compared to Vegemite and Marmite, which have acquired taste, Bovril is considered to have a pleasant taste.

One other key difference between Vegemite, Marmite, and Bovril is that Marmite and Bovril contain added sugar (taste enhancer).

The appearance

The first thing you notice about Vegemite is its dark black color and thick texture, comparable to other pastes such as peanut butter.

Unlike Vegemite, Marmite has a richer brown color and thicker syrup consistency, similar to honey, molasses, or melted chocolate.

On the other hand, Bovril can be described as an opaque, glossy spread with a very dark black color. 

The ingredients

The main ingredient difference between the three spreads is that Vegemite and Marmite are yeast products and strictly vegetarian, whereas Bovril is based on beef ingredients (beef stock).

However, Marmite has more protein than Bovril, which was surprising. (37,6g/100g compared to 27,1g/100g).

Bovril is definitely the leader in sodium, with almost 30% more salt content (5380mg/100g (B) compared to 3909g/100g (M)). 

Cautions should be applied to people who have allergies to yeast and bloating overdosing on vitamins. 

Vegemite vs. Marmite vs. Bovril: What's The Difference?


Which is better, Bovril or Marmite?

Many consider Marmite to be milder than Bovril, which is a beef-based product. Marmite has a distinctive salty taste that’s less overwhelming than the strong umami flavor of Bovril.

What is better Marmite or Vegemite?

Marmite is more suited for people who want a milder, slightly sweet taste. On the other hand, vegemite has a stronger flavor and is saltier.

Is Bovril vegan?

No, Bovril is not vegan because it contains animal by-products. It’s made with beef extract and yeast extract.

Why is Bovril banned in the US?

Bovril is not banned in the US, but it’s not available for purchase there.

Why is Vegemite Banned in America?

There is no record of Vegemite being banned in the US. Some people speculate that it may have been briefly pulled from shelves in the early 1940s, but there’s no definitive answer.

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