How have we coped without biscuits?

By Francesca Williams BBC News 6 March 2016  From the section Cumbria

Britain has been experiencing a severe shortage of biscuits - an unforeseen and yet, for some, very serious impact of the recent Cumbria floods. How have we coped?

Storms Desmond and Eva left swathes of Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire under water, causing widespread personal pain and huge economic cost.

They also submerged Carlisle's McVitie's factory ovens, halting production of custard creams, bourbons, ginger nuts and table water biscuits. 

Biscuits started disappearing from shop shelves. A nation which had looked on in sympathetic disbelief began to feel the crisis bite closer to home.

Dire circumstances demand a restorative cup of tea and a cup of tea demands a biscuit.

Used to consuming about 34,000 tonnes of biscuits a month, the British public were suddenly facing gaps on shop shelves.

Several brands were now no longer available. Boasters, water biscuits and other McVitie's, Jacob's, Carr's and Crawford's brands had all suffered one dunking too many.

Twitter panicked. Words like "emergency" and "crisis" were used. Hoardingseemed the only sensible option.

However, there is now some hope for the British public - production of ginger nuts has restarted and should be back on the shelves by mid March.

Convenience store Nisa's trading controller Julian Smith has apologised to ginger nut-deprived customers for the inconvenience and thanked them for their patience.

McVitie's parent company, United Biscuits, told him the affected lines would be "resurrected in stages" over March and April.

It said previously the complete resumption of production was its "absolute priority".

Sainsbury's, which put signs up in its stores to apologise for supply shortages, has welcomed the good ginger nut news.

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