In 2012, production of Marmite, the yeasty-salty-black-goo-food, was halted when the 2011 Christchurch earthquake damaged the manufacturers plant leading to widespread panic, nutritional decline, and famine.

Once the shortage hit the news, the global kiwi population did the only thing rational. Panic buy any available stock around the world and sell it for heaps more on TradeMe.

"Don't go out there and panic buy" - GM of Sanitarium NZ

Stocks did run low and eventually started selling out around the country. Supermarkets posted notices on shelves and the country went into deep recession.

News outlets started covering the shortage around the clock.  

But a short while later, the black gold returned to the shelves and Sanitarium thanked the country for "not freaking out", even though everyone lost their collective minds. Scalpers profits declined and an entire fledgling industry was destroyed overnight.


Kiwi's insatiable lust for black salty goo forced people to start looking at global alternatives. The UK version carrying the exact same name is similar in nature but different. People attempted to import the alternative product from the UK but were promptly slapped with an import ban due to trademark issues.

International coverage