Not even Marmite is safe from Brexit
Brits are steamed after a pricing disagreement between major grocery chain Tesco and even larger consumer goods company Unilever has threatened the supply of some of their favorite teatime staples. On Wednesday, Tesco announced it was running low on much-loved household products — Marmite included — and that it didn’t have an immediate solution on the horizon.
The grocer cited a sharp increase in prices levied by the multinational home products giant Unilever as the main culprit. But, as with so many things in recent months, the British vote to leave the European Union is bearing the brunt of the blame. For its part, Unilever pointed to the fall of the pound against the euro as the key reason for the price hike. So far neither company has budged from its position.
Tesco has pulled many products from its website, and its stores are running low in several locations, the company said. According to a report in the Guardian, it’s not the only food store that Unilever has warned of a post-Brexit price hike, with one source telling the paper: “Unilever is using Brexit as an excuse to raise prices, even on products that are made in the U.K.” The company confirmed its price increases in the U.K. and said it is a method to cope with the pound’s recent plunge in value, amid continued Brexit-related fears.
The products quickly vanishing from shelves include much-loved foodstuffs like “Pot Noodle,” microwaveable noodles favored by students; Marmite, the ever-divisive spread; and Hellman’s Mayonnaise.
It’s hard to fully appreciate how appalled the British public are about the temporary loss of some of their favorite products. Some irate Marmite lovers took to Twitter to immediately decry the decision:
"What did Marmite taste like father?" pic.twitter.com/Uai8JwS5z0
— Zorro P Freely (@banalyst) October 12, 2016
— Long Starbird (@Sourdust) October 12, 2016
People were slightly less dismayed by the Brexit threat to Pot Noodle, but a hardy few stubbornly stuck up for the dish:
— Darryl Marshall (@darryl_marshall) October 12, 2016
This isn’t the first time Marmite supplies have been threatened. In 2011, the Christchurch earthquake damaged the Marmite factory in New Zealand, and supplies quickly ran out. The shortage was dubbed “marmageddon,” with even the prime minister upset by the loss of the breakfast staple. To the relief of New Zealanders, Marmite returned to the country in 2013.