Marmite Panic Hits New ZealandThey say you either love or hate marmite, but in New Zealand, everyone seems to love it. So much so that Kiwis are panic buying the sticky substance over fears that there is low supply.

Marmite fans are said to have been hoarding jars as stockists have reported shoppers panic buying whole baskets of marmite. This comes after Prime Minister John Key revealed that he is running low on the popular British spread, and is even rationing supplies of Marmite.

Production of Marmite in New Zealand came to a halt in last year’s devastating earthquakes, which destroyed the factories in Christchurch, and the last remaining supplies will be dispatched this week.

A spokeswoman for grocery chain Foodstuffs said yesterday: “’I can confirm there was a rush on Marmite yesterday. Clearly Kiwis took the news of the impending shortage very seriously.”

The crisis has been dubbed “Marmageddon,” and even Prime minister Key has admitted to being a major fan of the product, after telling TV3 this week: “I’m going to have to go thin I’m afraid.

“I have a very small amount in my office and once that runs out I’m obviously aware that supplies are very short.”

However he has angered Marmite lovers by saying he will switch to inferior alternative Vegemite.

Despite a population of 4.4million, Kiwis still manage to get through over 640 tonnes of Marmite every year. One chancer even attempted to cash in on “Marmageddon” by putting a jar for sale online with a starting bid of £2000.

Another food chain company said: “We anticipate running out of stock of Marmite in the next two to three weeks across all our stores, and unfortunately we have no control of the situation.”

Marmite’s parent company Sanitarium said production is hoped to be resumed by July, but Marmite lovers have been advised to use the spread sparingly and on hot toast to make supplies last longer.

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