Marmite stocks depleted

Zombie Apocalypse expected to follow

Marmite has disappeared off shelves all around New Zealand, four months after Sanitarium’s Christchurch factory was closed following an engineers’ report showing the building was unsafe. “Marmageddon” has ensued, resulting in rationing, mass riots and the breakdown of New Zealand society.

The closure of the Marmite factory, which usually produces 640,000kg of Marmite a year, has spread alarm throughout the South Pacific. One passionate Marmite connoisseur from Otago University vented her frustration. “Not being able to buy Marmite is like not being able to buy dildos. A girl just can’t go without.”

Sanitarium General Manager Pierre van Heerden reassured consumers, “We are hoping get the factory up and running by mid-July but this is only an estimate from the engineers.” A tower situated above and beside the Marmite plant has been damaged and needs to be deconstructed before the plant can be accessed and repair plans made.

Backup options have been explored, with van Heerden sending staff to South Africa and the UK to see whether their facilities could be utilised to produce the New Zealand version of Marmite. Unfortunately it was established that these factories would be unable to do so, as their Marmite is of a “saltier” variety.

The Marmite Crisis has reignited the long-standing conflict between those who prefer Marmite and those who opt for Australian spread Vegemite. In particular, there have been questions over whether those who are normally Marmiters will defect to the Vegemite cause. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has already admitted his disloyalty on TV3, saying that he will eat Vegemite if necessary. Van Heerden however is not unduly concerned. “I don’t believe it’s the case [that Marmite eaters will turn to Vegemite]. Marmite consumers are very passionate, it’s an iconic Kiwi brand.”

Critic assessed the Marmite situation in Dunedin. Centre City New World admitted they had “limited stock left” but that there has been no noticeable increase in Vegemite sales. Centre City Countdown also had no Marmite left on the shelves but had a special on Vegemite products.

With a wait of at least four months before Marmite stocks can be replenished, van Heerden issued instructions on how to endure the disaster: “Use it sparingly, use it on toast, as the heat makes it go further, and only use it every second or third day.” Critic can only hope that it will be enough to get New Zealand through these dark and difficult times.
This article first appeared in Issue 5, 2012.
Posted 4:26pm Sunday 25th March 2012 by Bella Macdonald.