Tough luck, Kiwis, we won't get our favourite breakfast spread of Marmite before Christmas after all.
Sanitarium's New Zealand general manager Pierre van Heerden told national Business Review on Friday the company still does not have council approval for its newly-strengthened and reconfigured Christchurch factory.
"A black Christmas isn't going to be possible," he said from Melbourne.
"It's almost impossible for me now to set a specific on-shelf date because there are still a few uncertainties."
He says the company is hoping to have council sign-off by the end of the month and the Marmite machinery has to be tested before it can start producing the spread again.
The earthquake-enforced shortage of the popular spread has consumers anxious to know when it will return.
The shortage has prompted a "black" market on auction website Trade Me, with 500g jars selling for more than $65.
The company's Christchurch factory, the only one to make Marmite for New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific, was closed late last year because of earthquake damage.
The company had hoped to have Marmite back on supermarket shelves by October.Vegemite, anyone?