Regular readers of this blog will know this is an issue that’s been rumbling on for yeas. Five years, eight months to be exact and is the longest running conversation held here at foodiesarah.com.
And it’s not just been idle gossip, over the years I’ve been in contact with various representatives of makers Unilever and their PR bods – each time I’ve requested some more information but little has been forthcoming.
This time though – they agreed!
But there were limitations – I wasn’t granted a telephone or face-to-face interview but instead could submit some email questions. The answers are below.
Thanks to the ‘William’ whose comments are mentioned below for getting back to me. I should explain that he is called The Marmarati and appears to be a rather odd character created to deal with the promotion of the latest Marmite incarnation. I can only assume the style of language and communication is used to create a mysterious air around the new product. Aaaah, marketeers……..*sigh*
I have interrogated the entire Inner Sanctum for you (The Master Blender, assorted food technicians and those who wield the Brand) and they have shared the following answers with me:
1. What was the reason for introducing the squeezy Marmite?
Squeezy Marmite was introduced to answer customer feedback raised by using the standard jar. It’s aim is to aid our customers by delivering the same condiment we know and love by a more ‘friendly’ method (squeezing directly onto your food of choice) as many Marmite fans prefer this to the action of spreading. As such, it is also perceived as being less messy and thus being more portable for those who like to take Marmite wherever they go.
2. What changes were made to the original recipe to make it ‘squeezy’?
The answer to this also helps answer point 3 – we’ve made no changes whatsoever to the recipe, the ingredients or the proportions of the ingredients. The only change is that the product is evaporated for slightly less time to give it a runnier consistency.
3. Many readers of my blog believe it to be sweeter, less salty and less flavoursome – can you tell us how the proportions of ingredients has been changed?
As mentioned above, the proportion of ingredients has not changed at all. Internally we undertook a taste test not so long ago with Squeezy vs. standard and nobody could tell the difference – perhaps you could to challenge the readers of your blog to do the same? We’d be interested to see if the results continue to differ!
4. What happened to sales of Marmite after the introduction of squeezy ie. did they rise, fall or stay roughly the same? A month-by-month breakdown of total UK sales in a digital format such as a spreadsheet would be appreciated.
Ah. I did ask the Inner Sanctum this question but they cannot – for a vast variety of reasons – share sales figures outside the gates of Unilever, makers of Marmite. I do hope you understand – William.
5. Can you comment on the criticism that the launch of the XO range actually simply a return to the original recipe with a price rise to boot?
Marmite XO is an entirely different spread to your standard Marmite. It is created with four specially selected yeast sources and matured for four times longer than our standard spread to create stronger, more full-bodied taste for the most devoted of Marmite lovers. Indeed, as it was created with these very people in mind we activated the Marmarati to track down some of the most passionate Marmite fans in the country and invited them to a tasting event in London, where they chose the paste that is now better known as XO from a selection of 3 blends. As such the taste itself was selected those who care about it most, the Marmarati, purveyors of fine taste indeed! You can see how this unfolded at:http://wearesocial.net/marmarati/
And so there we are – I do hope you have found these answers satisfactory and I look forward to you sharing them with your readers if you see fit. I remain at your disposal should you have any further queries.
Yours, as ever,