Brexit Fallout Leads to Shortage of Marmite in the UK

Celeste Hodges via Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0
Celeste Hodges via Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0 / Celeste Hodges via Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

This past June, the UK’s decision to depart from the European Union split the country into two vocal camps. Now USA Today reports that the aftermath is impacting sales of Marmite, a product that started dividing Brits decades before Brexit.

Marmite, a dark spread made with yeast left over from the beer brewing process, has been a British pantry staple since the early 20th century. On Thursday, October 13, the supermarket chain Tesco made the decision to stop selling jars of the stuff online in response to a pricing conflict with Unilever, Marmite’s producer.

Since the controversial Brexit vote was made nearly four months ago, the value of the pound against the dollar and euro has taken a nosedive. This past week, the British currency hit its lowest point in 31 years. In light of the pound’s poor performance, Unilever wanted to raise wholesale prices on the product by as much as 10 percent. The dispute with Tesco has forced Marmite devotees across the country to flock to their nearest supermarkets and clear the product off shelves.

Like its Australian cousin Vegemite, Marmite is a foodstuff that’s impossible to feel neutral about. The passion surrounding the yeast spread is so strong that #marmitegate might even be capable of connecting people on both sides of the political aisle.

[h/t USA Today]

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