Missing Marmite? The end of the dearth is in sight

Something every Marmite lover has been painfully aware of is that there has been a shortage of it, on and off, since 2020. The reason is quite simple: lockdown alcohol bans.

According to a Daily Maverick column, Marmite SA (owned by Pioneer Foods) reports that “Marmageddon”, as it calls it, will soon be over.

“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,” said Pioneer.

“Supply has since been restored; however, we are still trying to catch up 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.

“Based on the above challenges, we are focusing only on the production of 250g Marmite & 250g Bovril until these SKUs are fully recovered.”

SKU is a Stock Keeping Unit, or barcode. 

“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.”….

SAB, says the article, was more forthcoming with information, confirming that yes, during the lockdown it reduced production at its breweries due to the alcohol restrictions which resulted in less wet yeast being available for it to sell to Pioneer Foods (owned by PepsiCo), said Sphe Vundla, Brand Director: SAB Corporate.

“This is one of many examples of the impact of alcohol bans, and demonstrates wider-reaching consequences than one would expect.

“Volumes were only significantly impacted during the first lockdown in March 2020. We made significant strides during the other lockdown periods where yeast was available at lower volumes.” 

Brewer’s yeast is one of the main ingredients for Marmite, explained Vundla. “SAB has been supplying yeast to Pioneer Foods for a number of years. We currently supply yeast from our Alrode and Chamdor breweries, and we see this relationship as one that expresses our efforts at economic recovery through the lives and livelihoods impacted in the value chain.”

The truly excellent news now is that SAB will continue to supply yeast to Pioneer Foods. “At this stage we do not anticipate a shortage of yeast,” said Vundla….

DailyMaverick.co.za: Read the full article here