Marmite restricts supplies due to shortage of brewer’s yeast

Scottish craft beer giant BrewDog has offered to help spread brand Marmite after the latter was forced to restrict supplies due to the Covid-19 brewing slowdown.

Image: BrewDog

Unilever-owned Marmite was forced to temporarily stop production of all pack sizes apart from its 250g jars as a result of a shortage of brewer’s yeast.

Twitter user Tim Robey first highlighted the issue when he contacted Marmite on 7 June. He wrote: “I need Marmite like oxygen and really need more 400g squeezy jars. Can you advise on which retailers stock those at the moment? Thank you.”

In response, Marmite stated that brewer’s yeast, one of the main ingredients in the yeast extract spread, was in short supply and production of the spread had been affected.

The Unilever spokesperson subsequently told The Telegraph: “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.

“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.”

BrewDog also got in touch with Marmite, offering to help out with the supply issue. The brewer posted a picture of a Marmite jar emblazoned with a sticker stating ‘powered by Punk IPA yeast’, a reference to BrewDog’s popular core beer.

It would not be the first time that Marmite has collaborated with a single brewer. In February 2007, the company released a limited edition Guinness Marmite. Produced in a batch of 300,000 250g jars, the yeast extract used was made with 30% Guinness yeast. Two years later, Marmite also released a limited edition Marston’s Pedigree Marmite.

In addition, when the company was founded in 1902 in Burton upon Trent, yeast was sourced from the local Bass Brewery.

Other booze-related Marmite special releases include a Champagne Marmite, released in 2008 for Valentine’s Day. A total of 600,000 jars were produced, exclusively for Selfridges, and the product had 0.3% Champagne added to the recipe.

BrewDog has also been joined by Carlsberg, which is one of the major suppliers of brewer’s yeast to the spread brand. 87% of the yeast used at its Northhampton brewery has been sent to Marmite. The brewer has increased the amount sent to the company (by 46% in March, 79% in April and 112% in May) as demand for Marmite surged. Burton-based brewer Marston’s is another beer maker which has also come to Marmite’s aid.

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