Tuesday, February 23, 2016

That's a lovely biscuit, gov'ner

OMG. The biscuit people are running out of bloody biscuits.

If you don't believe me, check out this apocalyptic headline from Leister:

Britain facing disastrous biscuit shortage

(Pro-tip: In England, biscuits are basically shitty cookies).

The article claims the shortage is coming from a flood last year that closed down United Biscuit!

Which is awesome, but doesn't really explain anything.

Was there a biscuit monopoly in the UK?

Has Big Biscuit blocked the importation of foreign biscuits (let them eat Oreos!!)?

Has Big Biscuit's biscuit advertising been so powerful that the English are brainwashed into only eating United Biscuit biscuits?

Has the British biscuit regulator stepped in and imposed biscuit price controls so the biscuit market is no longer clearing?

I guess the only thing we know for sure is that it's sticky wickets for lovely biscuits in Albion!

1 comment:

Simon Spero said...

Oreo production is not affected. That doesn't do much for people who actually like biscuits.

Since the disruption only affected one facility, other production sites remain in operation, including the main London plant which services export markets like the United States. Availability of milk chocolate digestives in Durham supermarkets remains unaffected. Availability in my kitchen has been impacted by me eating them all.

This particular kind of supply shock is of the kind that I would expect to see lead to shortages. The expected duration is known, and relatively short. The ability to increase production in the short term is limited, as is the ability to adjust prices to the major retailers. It is risky to increase retail prices, since this can damage long-term relationships with customers.

I would handle the mismatch by going with rationing as a marketing strategy. I'm talking printed vintage styled ration books (tied to loyalty cards), black and white commercials on the telly, saying we're all in it together, London can take it, etc.

(it does look like production capacity is being concentrated on higher margin brand name biscuits, at the expense of own-label, so there is some price adjustment, but not enough to clear).

Also, I now want milk chocolate digestive biscuits *and* Bojangles chicken biscuits, and combined thought scares me. More disturbing is realizing that chicken and biscuits are both made from scratch.