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N.Z. toasts end of ‘Marmageddon’ as breakfast spread returns to shelves

AFP-JIJI

Supermarkets across New Zealand stocked up with Marmite for the first time in more than a year Wednesday, as a shortage of the breakfast spread caused by the Christchurch earthquake came to an end.

In a crisis dubbed “Marmageddon,” the country’s only Marmite factory closed after sustaining damage in the 2011 Christchurch quake. The factory was supposed to reopen in mid-2012 but the work ran behind schedule, leaving many Kiwis complaining about missing their breakfast treat.

Plastic tubs of the spread, which is typically smeared on toast and is likened by critics to axle grease laced with salt, exchanged hands for up to 80 New Zealand dollars ($66) on Internet auction sites as customers sought their savory fix.

“I’ve tried the alternatives but they’re just not the same,” shopper Robyn Lonergan said, “so I had to have jam or peanut butter.”