After the initial flurry of coronavirus-related stockpiling back in March, supermarkets have done an amazing job of filling the previously bare shelves and keeping us stocked up with essentials like pasta and toilet paper. But one thing we hadn’t anticipated is an ensuing Marmite shortage.
Yes, the pandemic has even taken its toll on the availability of your favourite (or most hated, depending on which side of the coin you fall on) savoury spread. This is because brewer’s yeast, one of Marmite’s most crucial ingredients, is in short supply due to the ongoing pub closures – and it’s had a knock-on effect.
The official Marmite Twitter account confirmed the news in response to a message from a fan, Tim Robey, who wrote: ‘I need Marmite like oxygen and really need more 400g squeezy jars. Can you advise on which retailers stock those at the moment? Thank you.’
Marmite explained the issue with the lack of brewer’s yeast, confirming that ‘as a temporary measure we have stopped production of all sizes apart from our 250g size jar which is available in most major retailers.’
Hi Tim, due to brewers yeast being in short supply (one of the main ingredients in Marmite) Supplies of Marmite have been affected.
As a temporary measure we have stopped production of all sizes apart from our 250g size jar which is available in most major retailers.
— Marmite (@marmite) June 10, 2020
If you class yourself as a Marmite hater, you’ll be unfazed by the news, but those who rely on the product as a toast topper and sandwich filler are understandably upset.
‘What. Is this a joke. It’s not funny. I only have three jars in reserve,’ tweeted one, while another posted: ‘If I give you all my loo rolls, pasta, bread flour and hand sanitiser – will you please make more Marmite?’
However, before you get too panicked, Unilever, the manufacturer of Marmite, has told BBC News that the slowing of production is just a temporary measure, and things should be back to normal soon.
‘With these issues now resolved, we are continuing to make Marmite as normal again, which means that the full range of jars should be back on supermarket shelves very shortly,’ a spokeswoman for the brand confirmed.