'Marmageddon' spreads into 2013

Sanitarium is testing newly installed equipment at its Christchurch Marmite-making plant and an update on the breakfast spread's return to supermarket shelves should be released next week, says general manager Pierre van Heerden.

The product has been unavailable since early last year after earthquake damage resulted in the facility being shut down while repair work was undertaken.

Van Heerden said Sanitarium was testing equipment at the factory and "making sure everything's in a state that we can start producing [Marmite] again".

He was unwilling to give a "specific date"on when the facility would be back up-and-running, but said he hoped the spread would be available to consumers within the next three months.

"We should be putting out an update next week," van Heerden said. "Once we've got all the equipment tested we should be able to put together a time-line."

He said Sanitarium was confident consumers would return to Marmite from whatever else they'd been spreading on their toast during the factory closure.

"We're expecting people to come back to Marmite - it is a New Zealand iconic brand."

Van Heerden said Sanitarium did not have a big publicity campaign planned for the product's return to stores.

"We expect that once [Marmite] is back on shelves word will spread so we don't want to get out of stock very quickly."


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