A Marmite Shortage


Supply of a New Zealand staple is running short; and country wide panic is settling in.

Marmite is a sticky black sandwich spread made from yeast extract that most kiwi’s are openly addicted to. In fact the small island nation of 4.4 million people eats its way through 640 tons of marmite each year. But trouble is settling in.

The only factory that makes the New Zealand style of marmite is located in Christchurch. This was the scene of a deadly earthquake last year that killed more than one hundred people and destroyed buildings. One of the buildings heavily damaged was the marmite factory. Four months ago that damage forced the company’s owner to shut down the factory. Then about a week ago the company ran out of supplies.

While it says it hopes to have production up and running again by July people are panicking. Stores are rapidly selling out and kiwis are being told to use their marmite sparingly. Some are even looking to profit from chaos by selling their jars for as much as $3,000. Desperate times call for desperate measures.