One of the casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the supply of Marmite. Production of the spread was dramatically affected when the UK went into lockdown last march due to a shortage of brewer’s yeast a key ingredient in the product.
With pubs closed across the country, production of beer took a dive as demand dropped off the map almost overnight.
Marmite confirmed that they had limited production due to the pandemic – for a period of time, the manufacturer was only able to produce 250g jars due to the shortage.
Approved Food managing director Andy Needham said the Marmite shortages were a prime example of the knock-on effect that COVID-19 restrictions have had on manufacturers around the world.
“The limited re-opening of pubs this week is fantastic news,” he added. “It means that not only will the hospitality sector be able to start recovering but production of by-products, such as brewer’s yeast, will receive a much-needed boost, allowing firms to ramp up production levels and get their products back on our shelves.”
“We are hopeful that once the economy starts reopening, availability of these products will follow suit and hopefully many will be produced and sourced locally once again.”
Return to business as usual
Mark Lynch, partner at corporate finance house Oghma Partners, said it was likely that only half of UK pubs would open due to lack of outside space – and perhaps an even lower percentage of restaurants. However, 12 April should mark the first steps in the return of the industry to business as normal, he added.
“At this next phase of the crisis however, the focus is likely to be very much on supplying the customer and getting back to ‘normal.,
“What may surprise is the number of lessons learnt around cost and the positive implications that this could have for profitability which will, no doubt, emerge in due course.”
Meanwhile, the Government must recognise the impact of the hospitality sector's shutdown on its suppliers, and act urgently to support the supply chain, according to a House of Commons committee report.