Don't freak - it's not over: Marmageddon extension

By Hayden Donnell

Don't freak - it's not over. Marmite production isn't likely to start now before October... Photo / File
Don't freak - it's not over. Marmite production isn't likely to start now before October... Photo / File

Marmite lovers are facing a three-month extension to Marmageddon.

Manufacturing of the yeast-based breakfast spread was halted last November due to quake damage at the Sanitarium Christchurch factory.

It was expected to restart in July.

But Sanitarium last night confirmed its engineers had found additional structural damage in the factory.

General manager Pierre van Heerden said Marmite production was now not expected to restart until October.

"Like our consumers we are frustrated at the length of time this is taking, but the safety of our staff has to be our first priority. I know everyone is putting in a mighty effort to get Marmite back on shelf as quickly as possible and we will continue working closely with our engineers and the authorities," he said.

The halt to Marmite production was dubbed "Marmageddon" when the spread started disappearing from shelves in late March.

Sanitarium began a "Don't Freak" campaign, including ads fronted by former All Black coach Graham Henry, amid a mass outcry over the shortage.

Mr van Heerden previously sent staff to investigate sourcing Marmite from another plant in South Africa.

"The results of that unfortunately weren't positive. And we ended up with the only thing we could do is really focus on getting our own plant back into operation again."

THE OPTIONS

VEGEMITE (AUS)

Prime Minister John Key says he can happily switch to the Australian-made rival spread, currently on special at most New Zealand supermarkets.

PROMITE (AUS & NZ)

Made by Masterfoods, it's a bit like Kiwi Marmite in that it's a yeast extract spread.

HOME BREW

The internet abounds with recipes, although most are for the British version. Ingredients: brewer's yeast, sea salt, onion, carrots, turnips and celery.

MEAT LOVERS ONLY

Bovril and Oxo may not be so good on the breakfast table.

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