The iconisation of yeast spreads—love them or hate them

Frank Vriesekoop*, Carolyn Russell, Athina Tziboula-Clarke, Céline Jan, Marine Bois, Stephanie Farley, Allison McNamara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)


The production of beer yields a number of by-product streams, with spent brewers’ yeast being the second most abundant in volume. The high nutritional value of spent yeast has seen a large proportion of spent brewers’ yeast being used for both food and feed purposes. One of the uses of spent brewers’ yeast for human consumption has been the production of yeast spreads, which came onto the market in the early 20th century, first in the United Kingdom and shortly thereafter in the commonwealth dominions, especially Australia and New Zealand. In this research we investigated the national status of yeast spreads in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. We show that a brewery by-product such as spent brewers’ yeast is more than a mere novel utilisation of a waste stream but have become inherently associated with national identities of these countries to such an extent that some brands have become iconicised. Furthermore, some yeast spread brands have become a symbol of (inter)national polarisation, purely based on its initial sensorial characterisation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number16
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Early online date7 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2022


  • Spent yeast
  • Marmite
  • Vegemite
  • Iconic
  • Product recognition
  • National identity


Dive into the research topics of 'The iconisation of yeast spreads—love them or hate them'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this