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Cover Story: Marmite crisps

Marmite crisps revive the snacking category and arrive in vending

Love It or Hate It

Advertising that as many people hate the taste of your product as love it may on the surface appear a strange tactic, but, as the latest in a series of quirky marketing themes for Marmite it not only works, but is a genius. Owned by Unilever, the iconic Marmite brand family has been extended in recent years and is no longer confi ned to the spread that we all remember from our childhood, for adding to sandwiches or toast. There is now a signifi cant Marmite snacks range that is enjoying considerable success in retail and is coming to vending, as AV reports.

Marmite was fi rst introduced to the British public over 100 years ago. Rich in B-vitamins, which help the body to function, it established itself as a healthy spread, which is low in fat and sugar and is particularly enjoyed by children. Today, Marmite is a major brand, with annual sales of £46.5 million. In addition to the jar for the breakfast table, the brand family also includes a snacking range which comprises cereal bars, a lunchbox squeezy pack, rice cakes, crisps and breadsticks. In retail, the snacks range is proving a real winner, attracting incremental sales from customers who would not normally purchase snacking products and, even better for Marmite, gaining the thumbs-up from consumers who would otherwise have fallen into the ‘Hate It’ category. The Marmite brand has been developed using some very individual and often heart- warming advertising and marketing campaigns. In the 1970s we had ‘The growing up spread you never grow out of ’, followed by ‘My Mate, Marmite’ in the 1980s. The ‘Love Hate’ campaign kicked off in the late 1990s and has been incredibly successful, resulting in an increase in production of more than a quarter.

The latest extension of the ‘Love Hate’ campaign has seen favourite children’s character, Paddington Bear, turn his back on his favourite marmalade sandwiches, opting instead to liven up his sandwich with the

addition of Marmite. Register free to visit Vendex at

commented, “We are pleased to bring something completely new to the snacking category within vending and are delighted with the level of interest shown in the product.”

Backed by a £3.5m investment in

brand support in retail every year, who would bet against the verdict for Marmite crisps in vending being a resounding ‘Love It’?

Now Marmite can go one step further, livening up the whole day with its range of snacks. Marmite crisps were fi rst introduced some two years ago under a licensing agreement with another crisp manufacturer. This agreement has since been dissolved and Unilever now has the opportunity to build the brand itself. Within the Marmite snack

products range, Marmite crisps are the top selling item, so focusing on the

introduction of the crisps into vending was a logical step to take. Marmite

crisps were available for sampling at Vendex South last month where there was a lot of interest from vending operators

keen to welcome something brand new to the industry. Colin Rhead, Unilever

sales controller for vending, June 2010 23 Marmite Fact Box

• Legend has it that the Marmite name may have derived from the famous French stew ‘petite marmite’. A ‘marmite’, pronounced ‘mar-MEET’, is a French stockpot or cooking pot like the one shown on the jar and shaped a bit like the jar itself.

• Marmite is 100 per cent vegetarian and a rich source of vitamin B12, folic acid and niacin, needed by red blood cells.

• As a great source of the fi ve important B vitamins, Marmite was included in soldiers’ ration packs during World War 1.

• Marmite became a dietary supplement in prisoner-of-war camps in World War II and was sent to British peace-keeping forces in Kosovo to boost morale in 1999.

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