Marmite bucket sells for $2115

Last updated 17:15 30/03/2012

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A colossal bucket of Marmite has sold for $2115 on TradeMe this afternoon.

The 25kg bucket of black gold, which would normally retail for $200, was auctioned for charity by Gilmours Hamilton.

Branch owner Rick Donaldson said it was "fantastic" it had sold for so much.

"To be honest, from the beginning we just didn't have any idea how it would go," he said.

"We had our fingers crossed. It sat on $800 for a while and today it jumped, which is what we hoped it would do. To get over $2000, I think it's just fantastic."

Since Sanitarium announced a shortage of the breakfast staple two weeks ago, Marmite stocks throughout the country have plummeted.

Production of the Kiwi icon had to be suspended after earthquake damage to a cooling tower at the company's Christchurch factory rendered the nearby Marmite building unsafe - it is not expected to resume until July.

Over the past two weeks more than 600 auctions for Marmite, in various stages of consumption, have appeared on online auction site Trade Me.

But the charity auction for a 175g jar of Marmite, plus a 25kg bucket for refills, has attracted the most attention.

Donaldson said the idea came about after some "tea room banter" about other auctions "bordering on the ridiculous".

He said the 25kg bucket was unearthed from their storeroom, where it had been sitting for more than a year, after a client they used to supply Marmite in bulk to decided they no longer needed it.

Rather than keep it out for sale, they decided to pull it off the shelves only to sell to someone who specifically needed a large amount.

The money from the auction would go to a charity of the winner's choice.

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