You think we’ve got it bad now (and in all honesty, we do), but do you remember when the UK suffered from a shortage of crumpets?!

Those beautifully buttery treats that we’ve all come to enjoy at breakfast time (and probably teatime too) suddenly went into short supply. Stock dried up and shelves became sparse.

Photo by malcolm garret on

According to BBC News, at the time of the shortage, Warbuton’s – the largest producer of crumpets – stopped production at two of its four factories!

The reason? It was due to a shortage of CO2 – an important component in packaging crumpets (apparently).

For a period of time, CO2 was in short supply because both UK and European producers had closed their facilities at the same time, to undertake maintenance.


Back during those dark days of 2018, a spokeswoman for Warburton’s said: “We’re probably running at about 50% of what we can normally make.”

ABOUT 50%!!!! That was a serious reduction in crumpet output.

The good news was that things did get back on track pretty quickly, but for a while, crumpet consumers were urged to make the most of the supplies they had. They didn’t know if they were (temporarily) eating their last crumpet, so they had to treasure each mouthful.

But it didn’t just stop at crumpets.


In addition to a shortage of crumpets, the lack of CO2 also (briefly) caused a beer shortage, as well as a shortage of fizzy drinks.

I swear I’m not making this up.

This is what we had to contend with in 2018, and it was something that seemed pretty worrying for a hot minute.

For some reason, lettuce was also in short supply back in 2018 (although this had nothing to do with CO2). But as lettuce is pretty crap, no one really cared – or even noticed – so we just accepted that minor inconvenience and just got on with our lives.

And you thought climate change, economic ruin, a deadly pandemic, social distancing, panic buying, inept officials, and social and financial inequality were the biggest problems we have faced in recent years! You have no idea.

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