10 Facts About Aromat: A Typically Swiss Condiment

A powdered seasoning with a light yellow color, Aromat has remained an iconic Swiss product. Have you tried it before?

Please keep reading if you would like to discover 10 facts about one of Switzerland’s most popular condiments:

1. First, most Aromat contains monosodium glutamate (MSG).

What other ingredients will you find in the “Original” version of Aromat?

Ingredients: iodized salt, flavor enhancer (monosodium glutamate), lactose, wheat starch, yeast extract, spices (onions, garlic, turmeric, celery seeds, cloves, bay leaves), vegetable oils (palm, sunflower), mushroom extract. May contain traces of: egg, mustard.

2. Aromat comes in four different flavors, including one made without MSG.

The four flavors are: Original, Aromat pour viande (for meat), Aromat aux herbes (with parsley, coriander, lovage, basil and bay leaves), Aromat sans naturellement (without MSG), and Aromare (made with herbs and sea salt).

Please note: In Spring 2018, Coop began offering an organic (bio) version of Aromat.

3. A man named Walter Obrist, who worked for Knorr, developed Aromat in 1952.

The Knorr company started in Germany. Then, it moved to Switzerland in 1907.

4. The Knorr factory in Thayngen, in the canton of Schaffhausen, produces Swiss Aromat. 

Uniliver, a Dutch-British transnational company, owns the Knorr brand today.

5. Aromat was originally called “Pflanzenextract,” which means plant extract in German.

Knorr dropped this name in 1953, one year after the company initially introduced this product. At this time, the company also altered its form. More specifically, it changed from cubes to a powdered seasoning.

6. Swiss people commonly use Aromat on their eggs, but that’s not all…

I asked via Instagram about which foods people like to eat with Aromat. My informal poll indicates eggs as the most popular response, especially when hard-boiled. Here’s a summary of the other responses I received:

  • A slice of buttered bread
  • Cucumbers and other vegetables, like steamed green beans or raw tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Salads
  • Sauces

7. The little man on the package is known as “Knorrli.”

In fact, he became the mascot for the Knorr brand in 1948.

8. Aromat appears in the directory of Swiss food products via Patrimoine Culinaire Suisse.

You’ll find Aromat throughout Switzerland. Although, according to this directory, it’s somewhat less popular in Ticino, the nation’s Italian-speaking canton.

9. A 90-gram container of Aromat costs CHF 2.90 (2017).

You can purchase Aromat at two of Switzerland’s major supermarkets – Coop and Migros.

10. Finally, while considered a condiment, like salt and pepper, you can also use Aromat for cooking. 

If you would like some examples, the Knorr website has recipes for cooking with Aromat.


Updated: May 9, 2022

Do you have a container of Aromat at home? For instance, how often do you use it? Please share your responses. Either leave a comment below or send me an email. Thanks!

Updated: January 1, 2023

44 replies »

  1. I’ve been told at multiple occasions that I’m not a “real” Swiss because I don’t like Aromat… the food culture is strong with this one…

    A few years ago, in a lot of restaurants, you could find a “ménager” on the tables. That was a little metal basket, where you could find salt, peper, Aromat (in powder and liquid form) and toothpicks. It still exists in really old fashioned small familial restaurants.
    If you see one: take a picture… it’s an oddity today 😉

    • I still think you’re a “real” Swiss. 😉 I have seen those little baskets you mention, but yes, not very often. Will definitely snap a photo next time! Thanks, as always, for your helpful feedback.

    • Yes, in some ways the ingredients are similar to bouillon. I think that a veggie bouillon has a higher percentage of vegetables as ingredients, and Aromat contains more salt and MSG, but I couldn’t say for sure and it depends on the type of bouillon. I have never heard of anyone using Aromat like a bouillon powder, although I have heard of it being used to season soup — I think it is used sparingly because of the high salt content!?

  2. I’ve been using Aromat for decades. Delicious. Turns a cook into a chef. Regarding it’s healthiness, it’s better than salt I’m sure, although I find it a bit pricey.

    • “Turns a cook into a chef.” Love this! 🙂 Thanks for visiting my blog and sharing this. Much appreciated.

  3. I sometimes had it as a child (mostly on hard boiled eggs and boiled green beans) but then, like a lot of people I know, I started avoiding it because of the MSG. A few months ago, I thought I would have it again with the organic version. However, it was such a disappointment when I found out it contained palm oil… haven’t had it in years then!

    • Laure, I remember hearing about the new bio aromat when it first came out, but haven’t had the chance to try it yet. Too bad about the palm oil. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  4. Swiss single male reporting in. Use every week a 90 g Aromat container. Usually, get the big refill container (1 kg?) from Denner. Put it on bread (on the butter), on my Korean ramen. Aromat goes everywhere. Use it since I was a toddler (was “force fed” Aromat by my mom). It’s a shame that nowadays Swiss restaurants do not have Aromat anymore. Instead, they prefer the “healthy” hipster stuff. Probably machine olive oil and so on (we know the stories).

    • Hello! Thanks for sharing this. You are a true Aromat fan! Such a popular Swiss condiment. These days I’m only using it on fried eggs, but I know it has many other uses, and I really should branch out. 🙂 Many thanks for the reminder.

  5. Never used Aromat but have now bought some because a West Indian friend uses it to flavour her stew ( along with other stuff) and I must admit it tastes pretty good so going to give it a go. I will also try it on a boiled egg next time I have one for breakfast after reading these comments.

  6. It’s excellent with avocado, either on slices or mashed in with hot pepper flakes for avocado toast.

  7. Aromat is a south african icon. we cannot do with out it. from eggs, corn to avocado, sometimes just licking it off your hands is enough.

    • Thank you for sharing this! The popularity of Aromat has certainly extended beyond Switzerland’s borders. I definitely enjoy it on a fried egg from time to time. Best wishes from Switzerland. – Heddi

  8. I’m an aromat addict and have it on everything from roast dinners (in the UK), pastas, eggs, veggies and more! My daughter is keen but my husband and son hate it..abit of a marmite response in our home!

    • Hi Nicole! Thanks for sharing this. Aromat is really a beloved Swiss condiment. I enjoy it on fried eggs from time to time, but like your household, I have certain family members that avoid it completely. 🙂

    • it goes on anything savoury I have it on roast dinners I had it years ago the spotted it by chance on a supermarket shelf now the whole family are hooked on it

      • Yes, it’s very versatile, and a favorite Swiss product of many! Thanks for sharing this, David. 🙂

  9. I have used AROMAT when I lived in my favorite city, Lugano where, Swiss order meets, talian romance, a perfect combination. Now I live in the United States and go through all the trouble to order AROMAT. Obviously I still like it. But I think that it has gotten saltier than 35 years ago, because if I have it on my tongue, it burns. What do you think?

    • Emel, I have used Aromat in the small containers but I’m considering the 1kg for so much less money. If I’m buying that much, I’d like to make sure it’s the same Aromat. Any idea?

  10. I found this page while searching for info on whether/how Aromat had changed its recipe. In Australia the 2 large supermarket chains sell South African made Aromat (the main/traditional product, not the less common variants). I can tell you that the Aromat I bought about 5 years ago was 66% salt with 3.1% fat; now it has 62% salt and 0.3% fat and — most importantly — is much less flavoursome (chickeny, savoury, umami, something) than before … Wish they would go back to how it was. I sprinkle it on steamed broccoli.

    • Thank you for sharing this! Very interesting. I have not studied how the ingredients have changed over the years, but I have heard people say that the taste has changed.

  11. Purchased when visiting SAfrica last year. Trying to purchase in USA. anybody know where to buy??? Ilove it!!!!!!

    • My family has used Aromat since first using it in a Lucerne restaurant in 1983…..we live in the south US. It used to be carried in various grocery stores, but now I’ve only found it at World Market, Amazon, and a couple of British goods websites , in the US. It’s is so wonderful on food, especially tomatoes and avocados, but have never used it on eggs. It has become very pricey, and is very high in salt, so now we use much less , being more health conscious.

      • Hello Kathy, Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m glad you can still find this product in the US. Best wishes from Switzerland. -Heddi

  12. If you’ve never tried aromat you don’t know what your missing out on. It’s so much better than salt.

  13. There was Aromat in our house when I grew up (in Schaffhausen close to the factory). We used it on everything. And I do mean everything. Salad dressings , Sauces, Soups, Stews on raw and cooked meals. There was no Aromat when I came to Canada so I just had to do without. I now use Herbamare by Dr.Vogel. It has no MSG, still mostly Salt and Vegetables. I have seen Aromat in specialty stores.

    • Thanks for your message! You are a true fan of Aromat! This is such a beloved Swiss product. I’m glad you’ve found a good substitute in Canada.

  14. An old roommate introduced me to aromat. I love it on fries, hard boiled eggs, and in mayo based salads in place of just salt.

    • Hi Patty! Thanks for sharing this! My favorite way to use it these days is on a fried egg. 🙂

  15. My parents are South African, and we always had Aromat on our cucumber slices when I was growing up. I am just today learning that it’s Swiss! I always assumed it was one of those strange South African things my parents held onto after moving to Canada.

    These days I mostly use it on my near-daily staple of fried eggs on toast. But, I put it on cucumbers for the first time for my sons the other day, and they inhaled them!

    • Thanks for sharing this, Paula! Aromat on fried eggs is probably my favorite way to have it. People really use it for so many things! And yes, it’s very Swiss. 🙂

  16. Hello Heddi,     I lived in the commune Plan-les-Ouates from 1968-1971 and graduated from the International School of Geneva in 1970.  My family and I live in the Tampa Bay, Florida, area.  This is an Aromat desert! Our only source for this wonderful condiment is Amazon. It is a little pricy, but worth it!  We use Aromat on much of our foods, but our favorite use is on freshly popped and buttered popcorn!  Just thought you might like to try this, if you haven’t, already. Happy August 1!!  And enjoy Fêtes de Genève!!!

  17. Although I live in England, I have used Aromat sprinkled on my food for many years. I was introduced to it by my Swiss sister-in-law.

    • Thanks for sharing this, Jackie! It sounds like you can easily find this Swiss product in England. 🙂

      • Aromat is great on potatoes!! Roesti anyone? Thank you Heddi for this much appreciated quick read tutorial, so informative! Have been an Aromat fan for many years, having been introduced in a Swiss Chalet restaurant kitchen as a youngster. It was an ingredient in most every creation. I’ve looked for it in stores for years with no success. NOW I KNOW BETTER! Thank you!!

      • Thanks for sharing this, Jane! I keep hearing from more and more people about how they enjoy Aromat. And, it’s celebrating 70 years in 2023! Best wishes, -Heddi

  18. I started using Aromat a few years ago. We had a South African exchange student living with us and she introduced it to me. I eat it on everything but my favorites are salad and POPCORN. I but it on Amazon as a six pack 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment, Vanessa. I still need to try this on popcorn!! People have definitely mentioned to me about adding it to salads, and salad dressing, in particular. Glad you can find it! Best wishes, -Heddi

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