The question used to be Marmite or Bovril?
I stand firmly and proudly in the latter camp, but if the past 18 months have taught us anything it’s that we have bigger issues to grapple with.
You do you. Just know that if you try and come within six feet of me with a jar of fish paste we will have serious words.
Marmite fans have had it tough during the pandemic, with a shortage in the country making headlines last June.
In recent months, the spread has also been very tough to come by, due to lockdown alcohol bans.
The Daily Maverick’s Bianca Coleman reached out to Pioneer Foods, which owns Marmite SA, for an explanation:
[Marmite SA] wasn’t particularly interested in engaging with me to answer questions, but it did send a press release, in which it refers to “Marmageddon”, ha ha.
“Our yeast supply was constrained with the alcohol ban during lockdown and the production of Bovril (that uses significantly less yeast to produce) was prioritised,” it said.
“Supply has since been restored; however, we are still trying to catchup [sic] on the demand to fill the empty pipeline. In addition to the yeast challenge we experienced a national shortage of one of the other raw materials, which is key to produce these products.”
Look, they prioritised Bovril over Marmite because Bovril is better. It was the responsible, informed production choice.
The news going forward for Marmite lovers is promising:
“Stock on Marmite has started filtering back into distribution depots and Marmite is back on limited shelfs and we will continue to filter back on shelf during October,” it continues.
“We will continue to take the month of October and November to build stock of the 250g Marmite & Bovril Jars. Once 250g stock are fully replenished, the 125g will be targeted for production.
“We are monitoring the process to ensure that stock returns to all depots as soon as possible to service.”
Sphe Vundla, Brand Director at South African Breweries Corporate (SAB supplies yeast to Pioneer Foods), has said that the company does not anticipate a shortage of yeast going forward.
I sense some panic buying in the near future. We don’t have to do this, good people.
Think of your fellow Marmite lovers, buy only what you need to see you through the next six weeks, and then go again.
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