New Zealand is about to run out of its most distinctive breakfast spread.
Since 1908, Kiwis have been known for spreading Marmite, a salty yeast-based spread, on their breakfast toast. But last year, an earthquake in Christchurch damaged a tower that stands beside the country's only Marmite production center. Now Sanitarium, which runs that factory, has told workers not to show up there because conditions are unsafe.
Now that production is halted, it's only a matter of time before supermarkets sell the last of their stock. It's estimated that in just a few weeks, jars will be near impossible to find. Some sizes have already sold out in some places, said Sanitarium General Manager Pierre van Heerden to The Dominion Post. But we urge customers not to buy huge boxes of it, as it's a Kiwi favorite and people need to be considerate of their fellow Kiwis.
Sanitarium hopes to resume production sometime this summer, either by repairing the tower beside their factory or by finding a new place to produce the spread.
In the meantime, van Heerden advises consumers to ration their own usage in order to make it last. A handy tip: toast your bread before you spread. With toast, it's a little bit warmer so it spreads easier and goes a little bit further, he said.
If you absolutely must have a brand new jar of New Zealand, steer clear of supermarkets and try less predictable retailers, like gas stations and corner stores in neighborhoods that aren't as densely populated.
Then there are international versions of the yeasty spread, which are still being produced normally. But Kiwis will find that neither British Marmite nor Australian Vegemite is as mild as the New Zealand variety.
In the end, said van Heerden to ONE News, the best thing to do is exhibit restraint until Marmite production resumes later this year. If you have it every day, maybe have it every second day, he said. Don't go out there and panic buy, because there are other Kiwis whose jars might not be as full as yours.