The Marmite Factor | Meaning, Origin & Example uses

‘The Marmite Factor’ is a colloquial phrase used in the English language, mainly in the United Kingdom. It is used to explain someone or something which splits division firmly one way or the other with no middle ground.

Origin of the term ‘The Marmite Factor’

Marmite is a spread made from yeast extract (a by-product of beer brewing) which has a salty, bitter and very strong flavour. As a result, Marmite is a product which splits opinion. Most people either like or dislike Marmite; there are very few who find themselves in-between. In fact, the slogan for the product is “Love it or hate it”. It is due to this distinction that the phrase ‘The Marmite Factor’ exists.

The origin of the term is unknown, but it is a relatively modern phrase. It is believed to have been coined around the mid 1990s when Marmite launched an advertising campaign based on the love/hate perception.

Example use of ‘The Marmite Factor’

As the term is colloquial, it will often be used in conversations to describe a person. For example “Have you met the new salesman, John? He’s very Marmite”.

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