Representatives from the Food and Drink Federation warned the Environment Secretary at a countable meeting the much-loved snack, as well as all confectionary imports to the country, will surge in price in the event of a no deal Brexit. According to a report from BuzzFeed news, they told Michael Gove – who remained in his post following a chaotic week of Government resignations – Mars Bars could disappear within two weeks. The experts warned two of the 21 ingredients used to make the chocolate bar at the company’s factory in Slough only take a few days to go off.
It is feared a no-deal Brexit would cause chaos and gridlock at the port of Dover – effectively shutting down one of the country’s main routes for food imports, and the ingredients couldn’t be stockpiled.
The representatives from the Food and Drink Federation warned this could see the UK’s entire supply of Mars bars run out within two weeks.
A Mars Bar is made up of 21 ingredients, but most of them are sourced from within the UK.
This comes after Cadbury warned in September it will stockpile key ingredients, predominantly chocolate, to protect itself in the event of a no deal Brexit.
Hubert Weber, the European boss of parent company Mondelez, warned the UK is “not self-sufficient in terms of food ingredients”.
He said this would mean the chocolate maker will have to stockpile chocolate, biscuits, and other ingredients to cope with supply demands.
Mr Weber told The Times: “Like the whole of the food and drink industry in the UK, we would prefer a good deal that allows the free flow of products, as that would have less of an impact to the UK consumer.
“However, we are also preparing for a hard Brexit and, from a buffering perspective for Mondelez, we are stocking higher levels of ingredients and finished products, although you can only do so much because of the shelf life of our products.
“We have a contingency plan in place to manage a hard Brexit, as the UK is not self-sufficient in terms of food ingredients, so that could be a challenge.”
The group, also behind well-known brands including Bisto and Oxo, said it was “shortly” to begin building up stocks of raw materials “in the absence of certainty over the arrangements for the UK’s departure from the EU”.
It said this could lead to a working capital hit of around £10 million over the next few months.
The group said: “Like all businesses, for several months, Premier Foods have been planning on a range of scenarios subject to the nature of any Brexit deal that is reached.
“In the absence of certainty for the UK’s departure from the EU, Premier Foods shortly intend to begin the process of building stocks of raw materials to protect the company against a risk of delays at ports.”