The battle lines are drawn, those who enjoy a yukky brownish gunk on one side and those true Kiwis who would die for the taste of the rich black paste on the other. Well you can tell what side I am on can't you.
When you wander down the spreads aisle in a typical New Zealand supermarket you will come across a shelf with two types of similar plastic jars. One will have a yellow top and the other a red top. One has been promoted, if not by Kraft the manufacturer, at least by ignorant television personalities as the New Zealand spread, and one announcing in clear letters it is the original New Zealand yeast spread.
The latter is true, according to Wikipedia Marmite was first sold in New Zealand in 1919 by Sanitarium Health Foods under license from the UK but with major changes to the recipe for the Kiwi taste and that Vegemite was invented in Australia in 1922. According to Sanitarium (who should really know as they did it) Marmite was first sold in New Zealand in 1910. This makes Marmite over 100 years as the New Zealand spread and Vegemite is only in the nineties.
So true Kiwis enjoy Marmite on their toast and bread. My children love it as their standard toast covering and have Marmite and cheese sandwiches for lunch. Another great recipe is bread, Marmite, cheese and place in the oven grill for a few minutes until the cheese is melted - yums.
Both Marmite and Vegemite are yeast extracts, which mean they are by-products of beer manufacturing (yums?). Also both should be only thinly spread on bread (preferably generously buttered first) not like you would spread Peanut Butter. Marmite, especially, is very strong in flavour and thus any more than the thinnest layer would mean a foul tasting mouth for the rest of the day.
The major differences are
Marmite - Vegemite
Red Top - Yellow Top
Made in New Zealand - Made in Australia
Rich Black Colour - Brownish Colour (similar to a Marmite eaters opinion of the Vegemite flavour)
Some interesting links.
Note: I do not have any interest (financial or input) in the following sites. I take no responsibility for any transactions or content you may do by following the links etc.
The official site - http://www.sanitarium.co.nz/products/spreads/marmite
To try some yourself or watch an advert - http://productsfromnz.com/browse_2110