Sanitarium is continuing tests on equipment at its
Christchurch factory and says it hopes to be in a position to
announce a date for Marmite's return to supermarket shelves
"Our team have been very busy testing our production
equipment and have been sorting out a few teething problems
that are inevitable after the equipment has been out of use
for so long," the company said in an update released today.
"The good news is that there has been good progress and after
some more testing over the next two to three weeks, we hope
to be in a position to announce a date for the return of
Sanitarium has become wary of setting dates for the product's
return after failing to deliver on previous statements
regarding the resumption of supply.
Stocks of Marmite ran dry in March 2012 after earthquake
damage resulted in Sanitarium's Christchurch plant - the only
facility where Sanitarium Marmite is made - being shut down
while repairs were undertaken.
Marmite was initially expected to return to shelves in July
last year, but that date was pushed back to October after
Sanitarium found further structural damage at the factory.
The date then got pushed out further with Sanitarium
indicating that the factory would be up and running by
In today's update Sanitarium said there would be a delay
between the resumption of production and the product's
arrival in stores.
"[Making] Marmite is not a straight-forward process - we need
to make stock from various yeast supplies and then blend
these together to get the unique Marmite flavour that Kiwis
love. Once this is done we can pack it and then need to
distribute Marmite around the country to the retail stores,
which again takes some time."
Earlier this month Sanitarium general manager Pierre van
Heerden said the firm was confident consumers would return to
Marmite, once supply resumes, from whatever else they had
been spreading on their toast during the drought.
- Christopher Adams of the New Zealand Herald