Following my previous blog on cannabis vending in New Zealand detailing how this popular, addictive, and apparently pleasurable (but illegal) product was being offered by Vending Machines to overcome “supply difficulties” I read in the same week about supply challenges down under with another potentially addictive product.
Following the devastating earthquake in Christchurch last year the only Marmite factory in the country closed for major repairs back in November and is not scheduled to resume production any earlier than July. The term “love it or hate it” often applied to Marmite confirms the clear taste divisions that exist with such a strongly flavoured product and I guess for some it is almost addictive.
With several months before production is resumed supermarkets in some parts of New Zealand have already run out of Marmite as word “spreads” the risk of panic buying looms large. The manufacturers have appealed to people not to panic buy and hoard the remaining stocks but to consider their fellow Marmite fans. Tips such as only eating Marmite on toast rather than bread as it spreads more thinly when warm or cutting back to once a day are being issued to try and stretch out supplies further but a “black market” for this dark sticky treat is already happening. On-line auction sites in New Zealand apparently have jars at up to NZ$60 being offered.
No real hope with emergency supplies from the UK as the recipe used here is slightly different to that in NZ and it’s all about the taste. Vegemite is still available across NZ but for most the taste is just too different, so neither the UK nor Australia is in a position ease this crisis. On a love it or hate it basis, this is a worrying time for those with a real taste for the product but for the many haters of yeast extract based spreads, some of whom describe the taste as axle grease laced with salt, the whole thing seems a fuss about nothing.
The whole issue stepped up a gear with the NZ Prime Minister complaining about the risk to his breakfast Marmite and rationing across the whole country is predicted any day now. The harsh reality is that “Marmageddon” looms as the stock base just can’t last until July.
Written by: Colin from KSV