Friday 23 February 2018

New Zealanders hail the return of Marmite

Bonnie Malkin

The chronic Marmite shortage began when the nation's only Marmite factory was damaged in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, halting production of the spread.

The factory was supposed to re-open in mid-2012 but the work ran behind schedule, leaving New Zealanders including Prime Minister John Key complaining about the lack of Marmite.


At the height of the crisis, jars of Marmite, which is an aquired taste - some critics say it reminds them of axle grease laced with salt - exchanged hands for up to NZ$80 (£44) on internet auction sites.


Food company Sanitarium said the factory was now finally back up and running, allowing supplies to resume.


"Marmite is back on supermarket shelves across NZ," it said on its Facebook page.


"Thanks for not freaking out and for waiting patiently for the black gold's return. It's back and now it's time to celebrate!"


Supermarkets in downtown Wellington were rationing jars at two per customer on Wednesday, with stocks still disappearing fast.


"I'm very happy," shopper Robyn Lonergan told AFP. "I've tried the alternatives but they're just not the same, so I've had to have jam or peanut butter on my toast."


The New Zealand spread tastes slightly different to Australia's Vegemite and the British version of Marmite, which has long been marketed with the line "you either love it or hate it".


The 6.3-magnitude quake that rocked New Zealand's second-largest city in early 2011 killed 185 people. It was the country's worst tremor for 80 years.

-Bonnie Malkin,

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