Not everyone is a fan of Marmite. However, as South Africans we can probably agree that the percentage of our population who are, are die-hard fans of the spread. But the shortage of a local favourite, admittedly acquired taste, is actually the result of a chain of events.
News broke recently that there is a dire shortage of Marmite in South Africa, again. Again? Yes, this devastation for the marmite fan base happened before, in 2020. According to Business Insider, the shortage happened last year amidst the pandemic. This was because alcohol bans essentially proved to be an obstacle toward the supply of brewers’ yeast.
Beermakers like AB-Imbev and Heinekin existed as the champions, of the yeast of the brew.
If you didn’t know how the spread was made, here’s a treat of knowledge. The spread is made from “concentrated extract” from the byproduct of making beer.
Initially, when we consider bans and regulations, the impact is somewhat surface level. When we think of alcohol restrictions, we may consider the impact firstly on the brewers, suppliers and consumers. Going further, there are bars and restaurants that are impacted, your dear friend’s coping mechanism is thrown off, the social aspect that alcohol makes room for dwindles, etc.
However, seeing the impact of something like Marmite creates a whole other dialogue centred around just how far and widespread (quite literally) various bans impact sectors of our lives.
In 2021, the Marmite crisis is upon us again.
According to Pioneer Foods, yeasts of “sufficient quality” are a scare find currently, causing Marmite supplies to dwindle down into crisis status.
What about Bovril you may ask? Well, Bovril seems to be safe for the time being, despite also using yeast.
Apparently, Bovril utilises a mixed kind of yeast that is still in safe supply.
It’s fascinating to notice the series of events that can make or break a product, and perhaps frightening to consider all the ways in which various restrictions, in a chain reaction can manifest chaos of all kinds.
As a nation, we love, hard. Largely when it comes to certain food choices. The struggling soldier of our country right now, brother Marmite, does not go unnoticed.