Sales of Marmite, the concentrated yeast extract spread which was recently at the centre of a high profile dispute with UK retailer Tesco over its pricing, rose by £335,000 in the week ending 15 October. That represents an increase of 61% over the same week last year, according to FMCG market analysts IRI. Tesco and Unilever resolved the dispute within 48 hours but the resulting publicity for the much loved (or hated) 100-year-old brand meant that retailers sold 129,000 more jars, a 60% increase.
IRI’s analysis was done using its Retail Advantage market measurement data, the fastest read on actual sales of FMCG products across the UK’s nine leading supermarkets. The measured sales are for the week ending 15th October 2016.
With yearly sales of £28m and 11.6m jars, Marmite is a favourite among British shoppers with its well-known ‘love it or hate it’ advertising slogan.
Martin Wood, head of strategic insight, retail, at IRI, said: “Such huge sales increases are unusual. It’s higher than we’d usually see after major TV advertising campaigns but less than we’d expect if people are panic buying. The publicity clearly made Marmite top of mind for regular buyers. Marmite is one of those irreplaceable brands that is as much loved as it is hated. Last week shoppers were showing how much they loved it. “