The nationwide recovery plan to fix South Africa’s Marmite shortage has unfortunately not yielded the desired results. This follows the country’s extended lockdowns and the blanket alcohol ban which impacted the availability of Marmite’s main ingredient: brewer’s yeast.
It is now predicted that it will take Marmite the rest of August and September to build up stock of the 250g Marmite jar. This according to Deborah-Ann Sharwoord, head of communications at PepsiCo Sub-Saharan Africa.
The prediction follows a public outcry from consumers across the country who, for a second time, reported that they could not find the product on supermarket shelves.
According to Sharwoord, “The extended lockdown and alcohol ban has further impacted the supply of brewer’s yeast, one of our core ingredients, and our recovery plan on Marmite.”
Marmite only to come in 250g jars (for now)
Marmite manufacturer Pioneer Foods explained that after alcohol bans disrupted the supply of brewer’s yeast from beermakers AB-Inbev and Heineken, supplies had run low.
At the time, Pioneer Foods said that it expected supplies to normalise over the course of coming months, with on-shelf shortages reducing in August. However, this has not been the case.
Sharwoord now says, “We should start getting suitable yeast from the breweries towards the end of August to start producing Marmite again.”
Marmite intends to focus solely on the production of the 250g jar until this pack size is fully recovered. This, they say, depends on the current yeast supply – while further lockdown measures and restrictions on the sale of alcohol can impact yeast availability and the recovery time.
It will therefore be a while before consumers will get their hands on the 250g Marmite jar again. Deborah estimates that supply will only filter back into trade after the end of September.
Marmite posted a heartfelt message on its social media platforms, thanking consumers for their patience as they attempt to recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.