For no apparent reason, the cost of a jar of Britain's favorite spread Marmite has gone through the roof over the past five years, with a 500 gram jar now costing more than a gallon of gas. What's going on?

The Telegraph asks that very question, after a jar of Marmite "now costs £5.03 at Sainsbury's and £5.38 at Waitrose." That's pretty steep for something that is barely edible, and the government once gave away at no charge. The paper went straight to an expert, who concluded that Marmite's producer, Unilever, was probably just trying to rip people off:

Adam Leyland, editor of the industry magazine The Grocer, said: "Compared with bread, which has gone up by around 40 per cent in price over the past five years, this is a relatively modest rise.

"But Marmite does not appear to contain any ingredients that have been subject to sharp price hikes. This could be a case of Unilever trying to increase its profit margins."

Whatever the reason is behind this injustice, it doesn't seem to be hurting Unilever's bottom line, since sales of Marmite went up two percent last year. Around 60 million jars of Marmite are sold annually. Gross.

[Images via Getty]