Mornings are dawning a little less sunny in New Zealand as the country faces ‘Marmageddon’: the harsh reality that their supply of Marmite is quickly dwindling. And there’s not a lot they can do about it: the Christchurch-based Sanitarium production plant, the sole place where Marmite is made, closed due to damage from the November earthquake and is not scheduled to reopen until July, according to News.com.au.
Kiwis across the country, including Prime Minister John Key, are reportedly rationing the spread as jars of the breakfast spread fly off supermarket shelves – even selling out in some parts of the country.
"I only have got a very small amount in my office and once that runs out I'm aware supplies are very short,” Mr Key told the New Zealand Herald.
SEE RELATED STORIES FROM THE WDM CONTENT NETWORK:
Fans of the thick black spread are being urged to wisely use what little Marmite they have left or face shelling out big money for a replacement: according to online trading site Trade Me, Marmite is going for upwards of $800 for a 250g jar.
"At last count, there were 67 listings for Marmite "black gold,” Trade Me spokesperson Paul Ford told Stuff.co.nz. “Normally six would be a lot so there has been an explosion of Marmite on Trade Me for sure.”
Marmite, unlike its Australian rival Vegemite, is thinner and easier to spread on toast, so rationing it shouldn’t be quite as difficult.
"With toast it's a little bit warmer so it spreads easier and it goes a little bit further," Sanitarium general manager Pierre van Heerden advised via public radio.
Fortunately for Mr Key, his taste buds are not exclusive to New Zealand food products. "I've got to be honest I can eat Vegemite as well. I'm a consumer that can move between brands,” he said.
For the sake of toast lovers across New Zealand, I hope many Kiwis share his view.