Final Post – Vitaveeta-what?

Well, we’ve come to the end of our online discussions this semester. I enjoyed all the aspects of Crisis Communication we’ve been discussing and I hope you have too. For your final post you need to research the crisis with Marmite.

Yes, Marmite.

Now I’m sure the first thing you will do is go to Google and you’ll see articles dating back to 2000. I’m looking for the most recent crisis, within the last month or so.

What I want you to do:(remember each of you can only choose one bullet point below so there is not repetition of responses)

  • tell us what kind of crisis this is,
  • who is the parent company and how are they responding,
  • how are New Zealanders are being updated,
  • in a case like this, what would be the most effective mode of communication,
  • is the response by the parent company sufficient,
  • write your own response to the crisis,
  • tell me how you would have handled this crisis- what steps would you have taken, and
  • how should the company plan going forward?

Have fun πŸ™‚


9 thoughts on “Final Post – Vitaveeta-what?

  1. I will be doing what the crisis is:

    Marmite is like a dark sandwhich spread simular to Vegemite. Both products are made from yeast extract. Four months ago, earthquakes in New Zealand forced the only factory that made Marmite. Last week, supplies of the yeast-extract product ran out and since the factory is closed the product currently cannot be made. Sanitarium states on Marmite’s website for people not to freak out, (considering the country eats over 640 metric tons of Marmite every year) that the product will be back soon.

  2. I will be doing the second bullet point:

    Sanitorium warned Marmite buyers to make light spreads on their foods because of looming shortage. The black yeast spread used to be made in Christchruch, but the factory there was shut down, due to earthquake damage. The company mentioned to the public thta Marmite in Australasia was manufactured at our Sanitorium Plant in Christchurch, but has now shut down production after 70 years. The company brought back stock to be shipped to Australia in order to make sure that they make it last longer for kiwis. Sanitorium general manager Pierre van Heerden states, “we are working hard to bring production back in July, we encourage you to ration your Marmite until then.”

    • Do you think Sanitorium is doing a good job responding to this crisis? Is there anything you think they could do better? I think that they are responding well in the fact that they are keeping in contact with the public. I do think that Sanitorium should not have said that the factory may be back to normal in July. Now the public will be looking at July as the date for production to start again and if it doesn’t, there’s going to be more logs thrown on this crisis fire. An organization shouldn’t give out information like that during a crisis if it’s only a guess.

  3. I will be doing how New Zealanders are being updated.

    When news of the Marmite shortage began to leak out to the public, people started to freak out a bit and bought the product almost completely off the shelves. The company was forced to ease concerns by using social media and billboards to inform the public about the shortage. They also created an extensive advertising campaign to try and ease concerns and inform the public. Kiwis were urged to ration their Marmite until the factory was repaired. Workers hoped to have the factory up and running by July. Until then, some people will have to settle for a different British version or try Vegemite instead.


    • Sam, why do you think the company was forced to use social media? For me, I think they saw it as the fastest way to stay connected with the public about the crisis. Look at how fast they were able to handle the rumors about it being a marketing ploy over Twitter. I think social media is replacing the newsroom when it comes to instant updates about a situation. Almost everyone turns to social media platforms first before going to a news outlet’s report (such as the 5 O’Clock news on TV).

  4. I am answering the fourth bullet point (the most effective mode of communication)

    Well, the Marmite shortage has not be taken lightly and in today’s world that means the social media outlets are ablaze with information and rants related to it. Here’s a great article I found that talks about the different areas that social media has been used in this crisis: Twitter seems to be one of the leaders when it comes to discussing the shortage. I give Sanitarium credit for quickly addressing concerns from the public on Twitter in regards to rumors about the shortage being a marketing ploy. When it comes to the best and most effective mode of communication, Sanitarium is doing it right by utilizing social media. As Sam wrote, the company used billboards as well and I think that they did this to reach their older customers (who don’t rely on social media like the newer generation does). From this, I believe that Sanitarium is doing well in understanding their audiences and effectively communicating with them through mediums they are regularly exposed to.

  5. This bottle reminds me of Vegemite! I am going to talk of the best mode of communication. I think we need to look at who is already talking about this. Big names like “The Huffington Post, CNN, BBC, and Forbes” are all getting involved. Twitter is already all over this. I think we need to continue advertising in the right direction with positive social media. I think they need to continue with magazine/newspaper/ad and of course, internet advertising making it look like it is something that can get back on its feet again.

  6. In response to how the company will move forward…

    Marmite was an underrated product globally but now that it’s been gaining overwhelming media attention expects sales to increase substantially. People will become curious of why this spread was such a big deal which will result in purchases. The price of the product could even increase because of demand and popularity. There was a story online that talked about how supermarkets around the country already out of stock and how the iconic spread is now being auctioned off on Trade Me. There are now more than a hundred listings for Marmite online and some are as much as $799 for a jar normally costing $4.25. Some people many people view this as a publicity stunt for them to boost sales and gain attention. It’s speculated that they moved to another section in the factory that is safer, as the company intended to continue manufacturing the spread, at least in the short term. Sanitarium general manager Pierre van Heerden said that work was happening to either identify a new building to house the Marmite factory in, or to carry out work on the tower as quickly as possible so staff could move back in. Sanitarium has considered importing a similar yeast-based spread from abroad but says the taste is too different for Kiwi taste buds. The company hopes to resume production in July.


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