What is #MarmiteGate? A Look at the Latest Brexit Controversy

#MarmiteGate is currently the top trending topic in the UK, but if you have just ventured onto social media then you’re likely a little confused about the controversy surrounding the notoriously divisive food spread.

#MarmiteGate began to spread online following reports that Tesco was running low on Marmite, along with Pot Noodles, Ben & Jerry’s and PG Tips, as a result of brand owner Unilever requesting that the supermarket up their products’ prices by 10 per cent. Unilever’s demands are due to Brexit putting a dent in the company’s financial bottom line, with the decline of the Sterling’s value leading to the consumer goods organisation wanting the chain to increase the pricing of its brands. Tesco said no, so now it won’t be able to receive further stock of the company’s products for as long as the supermarket chain stands by this decision.

Unilever’s CFO Graeme Pitkethly said that he believed the dispute would be “resolved pretty quickly”, describing the outlined price increases as “normal” as the pound’s value continues to decline against the euro and the dollar in the wake of the EU referendum results. It is understood that Unilever has now ceased delivering items to Tesco, leading to shortages of the aforementioned products, along with other items such as toothpaste and soap.


Is this the end for Marmite in the UK?


Image Credit: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

Before you start believing that this is the harbinger of the Marmite apocalypse, rest assured that it and other Unilever products won’t be departing from the UK altogether. Despite Tesco making a stand against this proposed price increase, in reality the chain will likely be forced to cave under pressure if other stores agree to it.

Although supermarket chains such as Sainburys, Morrisons and Waitrose have declined to comment on this incident, it is likely that Tesco will find itself in the minority when it comes to refusing to agree to this deal, and will therefore be forced to stock Unilever products once again. However, it could also mean that Tesco is looking to reduce the 10 per cent price increase proposed by the company, which would be beneficial to all those yeast extract lovers out there who don’t want to pay through the nose in order to tuck into that gooey, brown goodness.

So there you have it – #MarmiteGate doesn’t mean the end of Marmite, it just means that like pretty much everything else in the UK following Brexit, it’ll be getting more expensive in the future. Hooray..?

Top Image: Newcast / Getty Images