Bovril is the trademarked name of a thick and salty meat extract paste, similar to a yeast extract, developed in the 1870s by John Lawson Johnston. It is sold in a distinctive bulbous jar and as cubes and granules. Bovril is owned and distributed by Unilever UK. Its appearance is similar to the British Marmite and its Australian equivalent Vegemite; however, unlike these products, Bovril is not vegetarian.
Bovril can be made into a drink (referred to in the UK as a "beef tea") by diluting with hot water or, less commonly, with milk. It can be used as a flavouring for soups, broth, stews or porridge, or as a spread, especially on toast in a similar fashion to Marmite and Vegemite.
The first part of the product's name comes from Latin bovīnus, meaning "ox". Johnston took the -vril suffix from Edward Bulwer-Lytton's then-popular novel, The Coming Race (1871), the plot of which revolves around a superior race of people, the Vril-ya, who derive their powers from an e