The UK has been hit by #hummuscrisis and people don’t know how to feel

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Amy Swales

Whether it’s labelled ‘hummus’ or ‘houmous’, people love that chickpea dip. And they’re taking a UK supermarket shortage of it pretty badly.

Described variously as a “quality issue” and a “production issue at our supplier”, a problem last week left branches of Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and Tesco without hummus.

And while M&S says it has restocked, many Tesco stores appear unaffected and Sainsbury’s insists the situation is temporary, social media has exploded with pictures of empty shelves and hashtags including #hummuscrisis, #houmousgate and, obviously, #firstworldproblems.

It appears the issue was sparked in the last few weeks, with customers complaining that the product didn’t taste as good as it used to. One user wrote: “Blurgh @sainsburys . What you done to your #hummus? Ruined my French bread. If it's a new recipe please get the old one back in production”.

To which Sainsbury’s replied: “Hey, we've temporarily removed a number of houmous lines from sale due to a production issue at our supplier. We expect to be fully stocked within a couple of days and are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.”

Another complained: “what has happened 2 your hummus? it used to taste so nice? but i ate some today and it didnt taste nice pls answer i love hummus”.

While one (somewhat apologetic) customer posted: “I'm sorry to have to do this to you. But I love hummus & I buy lots from you. This doesn't taste right. It's like eating plastic”.

Tesco had some complaints, with one customer saying the hummus tasted “metallic” and another saying it “tasted of chemicals”.

M&S was also contacted, with one customer claiming: “@marksandspencer Hi. Often buy your hummus but got one earlier this week, tasted of plastic. May need to check batch?” and another writing, “Send help @marksandspencer - my colleagues are complaining that your hummus recipe has changed. Only topic of conversation in the office.”

And so the offending hummus products were then recalled, with one user tweeting a picture of all the lines affected at Sainsbury’s:

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson told “We've temporarily removed a number of houmous lines from sale due to a production issue at our supplier. We expect to be fully stocked tomorrow and are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.”

A product is not up to scratch and is taken off the shelves – seems pretty straightforward.

But in the days since the recall, everyone’s been getting a bit antsy:

And some of the tongue-in-cheek posts revealing desolate, empty hummus shelves have described it as a “vegan’s worst nightmare”, causing “emotional distress” and “very serious”.

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However, not all was lost as some turned to Asda:

And others were offered handy hints from supermarket staff:

According to, own-brand hummus at Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Tesco is from the same supplier, which confirmed a problem with the manufacturing process, but insisted there were no safety issues.

With Sainsbury’s assuring us the chain would be restocked tomorrow, the question is: do you want hummus now or do you want hummus right?

Image: iStock


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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.

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