Saturday, March 24, 2012

Marmite Famine

The after effects of the great Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand have spread to Australia where supplies of Marmite are running out. It seems there is one factory for all of the southern continent and it was on the epicenter so Marmite may be off the shelves for a few months aas things get sorted out. I love the stuff but I grew up with it and it is an aquired taste. But once aquired it cannot be substituted. This is bad news:


As Australasia borders on an all-out Marmite crisis, fans of the other dark yeasty spread are being urged to start rationing.

The spread has been out of production since Sanitarium was forced to close its Christchurch production plant in November after an earthquake-damaged tower block put staff safety at risk.

The Christchurch plant supplies all the Marmite for Australasia

The last remaining stocks have been sent to supermarket distribution centres, and when those are gone, there'll be no more Marmite until at least July, when operations at the Christchurch plant are expected to resume.

Sanitarium general manager Pierre van Heerden is urging customers not to panic-buy the spread, to try and minimise the shortage.

"What we're doing is asking consumers to use their Marmite sparingly at this stage," Mr van Heerden says.

He's suggesting consumers use Marmite on hot toast, instead of bread, because it spreads thinner and goes further.

"We will be back with Marmite, we will be manufacturing Marmite in New Zealand, and it will be the same product, so there's no need to panic or freak out that Marmite isn't going to be available in the longer term. This is a short-term hiccup because of the earthquakes," he said.

Mr van Heerden is confident the shortage won't push desperate customers to buy rival spread, Kraft's Vegemite.

"Our experience has been that if you eat Marmite, you don't eat the other spreads and you really love the Marmite that you've grown up with.

"We anticipate that our consumers will be patient, this is something that is beyond our control and I can just assure everyone that we're doing everything possible to get Marmite's production back up."

Sanitarium is still deconstructing the damaged manufacturing tower before work takes place to ensure the Christchurch plant is safe.

Mr van Heerden says the company has the assistance of Christchurch City Council to ensure no red tape holds up Marmite's return.


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