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Tesco Is Running Out of Marmite and Everyone’s Freaking Out

Following a price hike from Marmite distributors Unilever, Tesco is no longer stocking the yeasty spread on its online shop. Cue #Marmitegate.
October 13, 2016, 11:38am
Photo via Flickr user Celeste Hodges

Britain may have only just recovered from the great custard cream shortage of February 2016 and heart rates recently returned to normal after the shock of that bacon sarnie price hike, but we may need to brace ourselves all over again. #Marmitegate is upon us.

This morning, the nation woke up to the news that Tesco stores across the country are running low on Marmite. And, like the loss of the EU-protected pork pie and the rising cost of your weekly shop, it's all Brexit's fault.

READ MORE: The Bank of England Says Brexit Will Make Your Weekly Food Shop More Expensive

The Marmite shortage has been caused by deadlocked negotiations between Unilever—the company responsible for brands including PG Tips, Ben & Jerry's, Pot Noodles, and Marmite—and British supermarket Tesco. Unilever wants to push up prices for its branded products by 10 percent after the sharp fall in the pound's value, caused by Britain's decision to leave the EU. But Tesco isn't having any of it.

The row between the supermarket and branded goods company was brought to light last night by consumer journalist Harry Wallop, who noticed that Unilever products were displaying a "Sorry, this product is currently unavailable" message on the Tesco website. He likened it to a dispute between Tesco and Premier Foods in 2011, which saw the supermarket react to the price increase by delisting popular Premier Foods products, including Branston pickle.

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While all Unilever products are currently still available to buy in Tesco stores (that's unless a sudden craving for Pot Noodle sweeps the nation), all Unilever brands have been completely removed from its online shop.

READ MORE: Why Brexit Has Made Bacon More Expensive

MUNCHIES asked Tesco how long it expects negotiations to continue. A spokesperson said: "We are currently experiencing availability issues on a number of Unilever products. We hope to have this issue resolved soon."

Unilever told MUNCHIES that the company is not currently providing comments on the matter.

Better start stockpiling the Marmite now.