Sanitarium settles with British Marmite man
Sanitarium will let a Christchurch man sell his nearly 2000-jar shipment of British Marmite, avoiding a trademark case due for court next week.
Last year, Rob Savage tried to beat the country's Marmite drought by importing jars of British Marmite, which were branded 'Ma'amite' to commemorate the Queen's Jubilee.
Sanitarium objected, saying importing the product breached its trademark on Marmite in New Zealand.
The case was due to be heard in the Christchurch High Court next Tuesday, but Sanitarium says it has reached a settlement with Mr Savage which will allow him to sell 1908 jars of British Marmite as a one-off.
The jars have been detained by Customs until now.
Sanitarium says the Ma'amite can only be sold through shops specialising in UK imported products, and the backs of the jars will be relabelled to cover up the word 'Marmite'.
Because it holds the trademark on Marmite in New Zealand, Sanitarium says only it can sell products bearing that name.
British Marmite – made by Unilever – is sold legitimately in New Zealand shops, but under the name Our Mate.
Meanwhile, Sanitarium says Marmite will return to shops by March 20 after being out of production for about a year.