Cenovis is a product based on yeast extract similar to Marmite and Vegemite, rich in vitamin B1. In the form of a dark brown food paste, it is used to flavour soups, sausages and salads. The most popular way to consume Cenovis, however, is to spread it on a slice of buttered bread, as stated on the product's packaging.
Cenovis is popular in Switzerland (particularly Romandy). It was developed in Rheinfelden in 1931, on the initiative of a master brewer called Alex Villinger, and was subsequently produced by the company Cenovis SA.
In 1999, the Swiss banker Michel Yagchi purchased the brand and along with Didier Fischer and Frank Guemara relaunched it applying modern marketing methods.
On 29 February 2008, Michel Yagchi transferred the brand, acquired in 1999, to the Gustav Gerig AG, an Aargau company, and the product thereby returned to its canton of origin.
The company presents the following story behind Cenovis:
"In 1931, a brewer recycled the yeast used for the fermentation of beer: vegetal substances very rich in vitamin B1. After several tests, the product was perfected and a group of Swiss brewers launched Cenovis; the product was an immediate success and the famous spread was so good that from 1955 it was included in the rations for Swiss soldiers... Healthy and strong soldiers!"