/ 25 October 2023

A mitey anniversary


Vegemite turns 100yo today, and whether you hate or adore it, everyone agrees it’s an Aussie icon. As the legend goes, food technologist Cyril Callister developed an Australian version of the popular yeast-based British spread Marmite after WWI stopped imports. His recipe was a winner (and is still in use today…), and while sales were initially slow, Vegemite’s popularity grew over the decades. But it was the debut of the Happy Little Vegemites jingle in the 1950s that cemented its place in Australia’s cultural/culinary history. (Fun fact: scientists found Vegemite eaters really are happier…) The brand has had some hits and misses since then (ahem iSnack 2.0…), and more than 22 million Vegemite jars continue to be sold every year, with the spread featuring in foods ranging from curries to gelato. Still, it might take another century for non-Aussies to figure out how to eat it properly…  

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