Date set for Marmite return

Marmite will be back in the pantry by March 20, Sanitarium says.

The company's general manager Pierre van Heerden, told the Campbell Live show it had been a long wait, but he thanked Marmite-lovers for their patience.

Stocks of Marmite ran dry early last year after Sanitarium's Christchurch plant was forced to shut down because of earthquake damage suffered in September 2011.

"It's been a long 15 months," Mr van Heerden said.

"We're almost there...the wait isn't that long any more."

Marmite was initially expected to return to shelves last July, but that date was pushed back to October after Sanitarium found further structural damage at the factory.

The date was pushed back further with Sanitarium indicating the factory would be up and running by Christmas.

But Sanitarium has now restarted its bulk production and will then start blending and packaging it.

"The process isn't easy, because of the blending and getting all the yeasts right, that takes time and once we've done all of that, then we can pack it," Mr van Heerden said.

He said the problem would be in supplying it to the whole country all at once. "I've got to have enough out there so that everyone can get a jar."

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