58shadows / Getty Images

The Marmite Gene Project will determine whether people are predisposed to loving or hating the yeasty spread.

Devon Walsh
September 08, 2017

Marmite is perhaps the world’s most polarizing spread, and the Unilever-owned brand is well aware. In fact, Marmite has long based its marketing on the idea that "you either love it or you hate it." In a new campaign, the company teamed up with specialist genetics company DNAFit, to support the preference with science in “The Marmite Gene Project.” Pitting nature versus nurture, a genetic test can determine whether fans and haters are born this way, or if the predilection is learned.

In case you’ve never had the stuff, a quick word on how it tastes. Marmite is the yeast extract byproduct of brewing beer and was invented (by accident) in England. It’s beloved/despised in Australia as Vegemite, Switzerland as Cenovis and in Germany as Vitam-R. Marmite is an extremely salty brown paste, traditionally served on toast at breakfast in place of jam. Once you try it, its capacity to polarize makes complete sense.

Thomas Roos, the lead scientist behind the Marmite Gene Project, explains in an ad that, through scientific research, the DNAFit team developed a test to detect the genetic markers known as called Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms, or SNIPs, which play a large role in loving or hating the taste of the spread. With a simple saliva cheek swab sample, the development of the test supported two findings. First, it turns out the preference is genetically predisposed. Secondly, Roos explains in a comical seriousness, “that lovers and haters can coexist in the same family. Even if two parents are haters, they can still have a lovechild.” Who knew?

Based on the research, Marmite and DNAFit developed a simple at-home test kit, so you can find out your Marmite type at home. If you’re that curious, buy it online for £89.99.

Even if we are divided on whether Marmite is delicious or disgusting, we can agree that the campaign is pretty brilliant.