Marmite was introduced to Australia and New Zealand by Sanitarium. Initially, it was imported from the United Kingdom. Because it is an excellent source of vitamin B, Marmite was dropped from bi-planes to diggers stranded in Mesopotamia during the first World War. It was also commandeered by the English government for their troops. Both World Wars disrupted supplies, prompting Sanitarium to embark on the development of its own substitute.
In 1928, Marmite’s competitor launched the pun-laden name Parwill. “If Ma might, then Pa will…”. Parwill endured only a relatively short life, and the name was withdrawn in 1935.
After securing the secret formula from the English just before World War II, Sanitarium developed its own Marmite. In Australia, Marmite was made at the Cooranbong factory for the first time in 1944. Since the 1970s, the Sanitarium New Zealand factory in Christchurch has manufactured all the Marmite sold in the South Pacific.