King Henry takes to the airwaves to calm Kiwi Marmite lovers

Amazingly, the Mayans predicted Marmageddon would fall in 2012 (even though an internet myth claims they didn’t factor in Leap Years). And, in keeping with the modern trend of ‘Flawsomeness‘, Sanitarium and Saatchi & Saatchi haven’t let the opportunity slip them by and have launched a new campaign featuring Sir Graham Henry asking New Zealanders not to freak out about the shortage of black gold and promising concerned residents that the yeasty meat-substitute will be back. 

  • Watch the new ad here.


Sanitarium’s general manager Pierre van Heerden told the Herald he thought it would be great to have one Kiwi icon talking about another Kiwi icon. Of course, Henry is no stranger to fronting ads for Sanitarium: its Weet-Bix brand is a sponsor of the All Blacks and he has featured in an ad for Up and Go.

Youtube Video

After earthquake issues at the Cristchurch plant meant Sanitarium had to announce there would be a shortage, the supermarket shelves have been emptied and examples of panic buying have been seen (like the massive jar that went for over $2000 on TradeMe). It’s unclear how much Sanitarium will lose, but it’s doubtful its main competitor Vegemite has benefitted too much because research shows there’s a hell of a lot of yeasty loyalists out there and only seven percent of New Zealanders switch between Marmite and Vegemite.

In terms of volume, Vegemite and Marmite are pretty much split 50-50 down the middle, but Vegemite is more expensive per kg and therefore has a bigger value share.

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