First it was “Marmageddon” as Marmite vanished from shop shelves – now Vegemite has been hit by supply problems.
Stocks of the Australian-made yeast spread have run out this week at several supermarkets, including at least two large stores in Auckland.
The new spread crisis comes almost four months into the Marmite shortage caused by the halt to production at Sanitarium’s earthquake-damaged Christchurch factory.
The Vegemite supply issues had been caused by a new computer system, which resulted in a “minor delay” in processing retailers’ orders, said a spokeswoman for manufacturer Kraft Foods.
She did not have the exact details on the number of stores affected, or the regions they were in, but said the problem was not widespread.
“The system is now fully operational,” she said, “and Vegemite should be back on affected supermarket shelves within the next few days.”
The communications director for supermarket operator Foodstuffs NZ, Antoinette Shallue, said Mt Albert’s Pak’n Save ran out of Vegemite yesterday.
The NZ Herald understands stocks of the spread also ran out at the Albany Pak’n Save on Monday.
Vegemite sales had increased by 25 to 30 per cent at Foodstuffs-owned stores, mainly as a result of the Marmite shortage, Ms Shallue said.
Marmite was initially expected to be back on supermarket shelves this month, but last month Sanitarium said more structural damage had been found at the Christchurch factory, and production of the spread was not expected to resume until October.