For Malaysians who like to make Marmite chicken or add a bit of Marmite in their porridge, it is important to know that Marmite and Bovril will now be in the supermarket’s oyster sauce section from 1 October 2017.
This is an important development for Marmite and Bovril. In some supermarkets, these two products are kept securely inside the glass cabinet, usually behind the cashier. In other supermarkets, they can be found in the same rack as sweet spreads.
The image below, photographed by the author, shows Bovril and Marmite on the top shelf surrounded by sweet spreads at Cold Storage.
It makes more sense to place Marmite and Bovril in the sauce section because Malaysians rarely eat them as a spread. Rather than consuming with bread like what the British or Australians do, Malaysians generally mix it in their porridge or use it as a cooking ingredient to produce the famous Marmite chicken.
Unilever, the company that owns Marmite and Bovril, is creating other Marmite-inspired recipes including Marmite pasta. This is seen as move to diversify the usage of Marmite in cooking. The brand recently launched a co-branding promotion in Malaysia where a Marmite 470g now comes with a free pack of San Remo Elbows.
The appearance of many Marmite-inspired dishes comes as households are slowly ditching the real Marmite and opting for a cheaper substitute. One example of the Marmite substitute is Fatmum Mummite Sauce (肥妈妈蜜酱料). Note the use of the word “Mummite” instead of “Marmite.”
Mini Me takeaway
It is prudent to place Marmite and Bovril in the same shelf as sauce as both are mainly used for cooking. However, the advent of cheaper substitute is posing a real challenge to Marmite, which raises the need for the brand to evolve to create more exciting and innovative recipes. I believe now is the time to create some excitement by introducing the Squeezable Marmite in Malaysia.