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Marmite Had To Temporarily Cut Back On Production Due To Yeast Shortage

Marmite Had To Temporarily Cut Back On Production Due To Yeast Shortage

First it was toilet roll and hand sanitiser, now it's Marmite which is becoming increasingly difficult to get hold of.

The divisive spread had to cut back on production due to a shortage of yeast. Marmite temporarily stopped production on its larger jars, with only 250g ones being made for a period.

Marmite has since confirmed that 'the full range of jars should be back on supermarket shelves very shortly'.

The company, run by Unilever, shared the news on Twitter after a bloke called Tim asked which retailers were stocking '400g squeezy jars', adding he 'needs Marmite like oxygen'.

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A Marmite shortage has predictably divided people. Credit: PA
A Marmite shortage has predictably divided people. Credit: PA

Marmite replied: "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."

As you might expect, given the product's famous 'you either love it or hate it' slogan, reaction to the news was mixed.

One person said: "What. Is this a joke. It's not funny. I only have three jars in reserve #ineedmarmite."

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Another said: "Thank God about bloody time. Hopefully in 6 months no more #marmite, it'll be a thing of the past."

A third added: "You hate to see it. Or love to see it."

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So yeah, finally some good news, or more bad news, depending on which camp you sit in.

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No doubt there are many people who are fairly ambivalent or apathetic about Marmite, but the ballsy marketing campaign was so persuasive that most people now assume that everyone either loves or hates the spread. Indeed, if a person or topic is considered divisive, it is often said to be 'like Marmite'.

The marketing masterstroke was the brainchild of Richard Flintham and Andy McLeod, who coined it in 1996. The idea stemmed from the fact that Flintham loved it, while McLeod hated it.

According to Creative Review, McLeod said: "There wasn't a brief specifically to come up with a new slogan. We certainly didn't set out to think of one, and in any case I'd say it's more of a statement of fact than a slogan.

"All we did was think about what Marmite meant to us. What was the truth of the product... It seemed obvious to us that Marmite polarised opinion like nothing else... we just thought that was something worth talking about in advertising."

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You either love it or hate it. Or perhaps you just think it's alright. Credit: PA
You either love it or hate it. Or perhaps you just think it's alright. Credit: PA

Anyway, the current shortage is essentially the fault of coronavirus, because the closure of pubs has led to less beer being brewed, meaning there has been less yeast by-product kicking about, which is a key ingredient in Marmite.

However, the good news - if you love Marmite - is that the company has confirmed it is 'continuing to make Marmite as normal again'.

A Unilever spokesperson told LADbible: "We've seen a high demand for Marmite over the last few months with more people making meals at home during lockdown, which, coupled with the fact that breweries have been supplying less yeast resulted in a temporary reduction in the full range of Marmite pack sizes being available.

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"Our best-selling pack size has continued to be available, and 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."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Food, UK News, Coronavirus, Marmite

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Jake Massey

Jake Massey is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from Newcastle University, where he learnt a bit about media and a lot about living without heating. After spending a few years in Australia and New Zealand, Jake secured a role at an obscure radio station in Norwich, inadvertently becoming a real-life Alan Partridge in the process. From there, Jake became a reporter at the Eastern Daily Press. Jake enjoys playing football, listening to music and writing about himself in the third person.