It is often said that you either love it or hate it but New Zealanders clearly have a passion for Marmite - the spread they affectionately call 'black gold'.
Sanitarium, the company which produces the savoury spread, suffered significant damage to its only marmite factory during the Christchurch earthquake in 2011. Stocks diminished and the media dubbed the shortage 'marmageddon' – a moniker which Sanitarium has since embraced, adding to their website "You've rationed, you've scraped, you've survived marmaggedon - and now the wait is over!"
With production back in full swing, and jars due to reach shelves today, even sports stars have been willing to lend a hand. Legendary All Black Buck Shelford gave lucky Christchurch families a much needed morale boost when he visited their homes earlier this month
with specially signed jars.
The symbolism was not lost on Sanitarium General Manager Peirre van Heerden, who commented that, "It's fitting that the first jars of Marmite go to Christchurch families directly impacted by the earthquakes. These jars are a symbol of Christchurch's rebuilding and resilience."
The Marmite factory was scheduled to re-open by middle of last year but faced unexpected delays and supermarkets found themselves having to ration customers to two jars per person.
Van deerden added, "We have worked hard to make sure that every Kiwi can have a tub of Marmite back in their pantries before Easter."
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