Sanitarium can't confirm Marmite's return

Last updated 17:21 16/11/2012
Marmite assembly line
Stacy Squires
NO MORE: Marmite being packed by Jacqui Lewis before the plant's temporary closure.

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Marmite lovers are in for a long wait after Sanitarium admitted it has no idea when production of New Zealand's favourite spread will resume.

News of a potential marmite shortage first surfaced in March, when production was stopped by safety concerns at the earthquake damaged Christchurch factory.

Supermarket shelves where the sticky, black spread once lived were restocked with other products after Kiwis flocked to stores nationwide and snapped up all the supplies.

Sanitarium originally said production would start again mid year and then in October or November. But today the  company said it was unable to give a date for when Martmite would be made again.

Meanwhile, New Zealanders have been left waiting in vain.

"While we are approaching the time period when we will be able to recommence bulk stock production, the journey thus far has taught us that being in a position to commence production again is far more complicated and time consuming than anyone could have anticipated," Sanitarium said in a statement.

The company said good progress was being made on the Christchurch Marmite plant and the City Council was due to carry out a Development Application inspection and sign-off by the end of November.

"This will be a major milestone as the building will then be safe and ready to use," Sanitarium said. 

"Once we have sign off we will be able to run water through the production pipes to check the seals and pipes for the functionality of each part of the plant. If all goes well, we can then start making bulk stock."

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