The Marmite shortage has reached crisis point, with just three of 25 southern stores contacted yesterday saying they were still selling it.
And that was only in tiny sachets.
Sanitarium New Zealand, which makes the distinctive Kiwi version of the savoury product, said this week it was unlikely Marmite would be back on shop shelves much before November, with additional earthquake damage found at its Papanui factory.
In the meantime, southern Marmite lovers are searching for a fix, but stocks are dwindling fast.
Just two Invercargill Night 'n Day stores and the Rugby Park Food Centre in the city were still selling Marmite when The Southland Times contacted 25 stores and supermarkets throughout the southern region yesterday.
Jeanice Rohloff, owner of the Dee St and Esk St Night'n Day stores said she had 48 little sachets for $1 a pop left at her Esk St store, while the Dee St store had about 140 sachets, also for $1 each.
Ms Rohloff said the little pots of black gold were delivered about a month ago from grocery distributor Foodstuffs.
The sachets were the last her supplier had, she said. "Once they are gone, that is it."
A staff member at Foodstuffs in Christchurch said a lot of people had been calling up asking if they had Marmite. It was quite likely the Invercargill store received the last of its supply, the staff member said.
Foodstuffs New Zealand managing director Steve Anderson said it had not had Marmite in stock for some time.
Supermarkets in Invercargill, Queenstown, Gore and Balclutha said yesterday they were out of the spread.
Invercargill Licensing Trust marketing and sales manager Gary Muir said its motels and hotels were serving customers with alternatives to Marmite.
"We might have a couple of Marmite sachets but we'll be getting pretty desperate shortly," he said. "I think we're on the Vegemite now".
Motel Association of New Zealand Southland president Denise Lusby said several motels still had some Marmite sachets for their customers to enjoy at the breakfast table. Her motel no longer served the spread but she had a private stash.
Motels contacted in the Queenstown area said they had switched to serving Vegemite with guest breakfasts.
Marmite was also in hot supply on Trade Me yesterday and a poll on The Southland Times website yesterday afternoon revealed that 29 per cent of readers could not find Marmite anywhere, 20 per cent had bought a big jar before the shortage hit and more than half did not care about the shortage and thought Vegemite was much better.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Your club information portal, post or view your sports fixtures, results and general information.
Check out what's on in your community or post an upcoming event.
Subscribe to a digital replica of The Southland Times.
Southland Times subscriber news and information.
Click here for information about advertising with The Southland Times.
Buy copies of photos featured in The Southland Times.