Solveig Sheed having Marmite on toast for breakfast at Nelson Hospital last week. The hospital still has a supply of the spread which hasn’t been produced since March. Photo: Andrew Board

Patients can still get Marmite fix

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It may not be an advisable way to get your Marmite fix, but waking up in Nelson Hospital is one way to get your hands on the scarce spread.

Patients at the hospital are still being offered Marmite for their breakfast despite it not being produced for the past five months as its manufacturer, Sanitarium, repairs its earthquake-damaged plant. Production is expected to resume in October but jars of Marmite have been selling for hundreds of dollars on Trade Me as desperate foodies seek out the few remaining jars in the country.

For Nelson woman Solveig Sheed, all she had to do to get her hands on it was tick the right box at Nelson Hospital when ordering her breakfast.

Maria Chhina, food manager for Compass Group which supplies food to Nelson Hospital, says the region got lucky with its supplier, Bidvest, having a higher than usual stock of the small Marmite portions when the plant closed down.

She says some patients have been very appreciative and that the hospital will have enough stock to last until production starts again in two months. “Some have said ‘yay, I can’t believe you still have Marmite, thanks so much’. But for most of them what’s on their toast isn’t their chief concern, it’s getting better,” says Maria.

Solveig says she is a Marmite fan and was pleased to see it on the menu.