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Britain Is Suffering a Biscuit Shortage and People Are Freaking Out

Due to recent flooding, the United Biscuits factory in Carlisle was forced to close, leading to nationwide shortages of ginger nuts and custard creams.
Phoebe Hurst
London, GB
Photo via Flickr user Smallbrainfield

You can keep kidding yourself that gluten-free protein balls are edible, but deep down in your sugar-addled British soul, you know the hedonistic pleasure of a dunking a chocolate Hobnob into a good cup of tea. Biscuits are just nice, no matter how sophisticated your palate has become—the comfort food you'll forever return to in times of crisis (and 4 AM bouts of the munchies).

Well, maybe not for much longer. According to new reports, Britain is currently in the grips of a national biscuit shortage.


Following the storms that devastated parts of the North West of England in December, the United Biscuit factory in Carlisle was inundated with 5 foot of flood water and forced to close. The factory produces some of Britain's best known biscuits brands, including McVitie's ginger nuts and Crawford's custard creams.

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While the production of some biscuits such as McVitie's Gold Bar has restarted, United Biscuits warns that it could be several months before it returns to usual volume.

In a statement last month, they said: "Due to floods in Carlisle, we are experiencing a shortage of a number of products under the McVitie's, Jacob's, Carr's, and Crawford's brands. We apologise if consumers are finding it difficult to get hold of some of these products and we are working hard at our Carlisle site to resume normal service as soon as possible."

Indeed some supermarkets, including branches of Tesco are reporting "stock issues" for ginger nuts, while others have sold out altogether.

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Social media has been suitably outraged by the news that its mid-afternoon sugar fix may be under threat.

Twitter user @NathanJames asked: "How the bloody hell is Britain facing a biscuit shortage?" while @NicolaElson_95 warned: "Britain is facing apocalyptic conditions, moral will be significantly lower in the coming weeks." Another simply Tweeted a photo of a bare supermarket biscuit shelf with the caption: "People it's time to panic."

Forget terrorism, perhaps British law enforcement should switch to high alert for black market bourbons and Jammie Dodger-related street riots. Things could really turn nasty.