It is enough to make Paddington Bear contemplate a return to darkest Peru: marmalade, once a staple item on every British breakfast table, has fallen so far out of fashion that nearly 500,000 households stopped buying it altogether last year.
Latest sales figures from the market analyst TNS show that sales of marmalade dropped by 4.4%, representing some 441,000 households, to £53.9m in the year to November 2006.
Meanwhile, honey and jam, marmalade's rivals on the nation's toast, both increased their sales last year, with honey rising by 5.7% to £66.9m and jam growing by 1.4% to £88.3m.
Marmalade's slide has been attributed to its not being sweet enough for young consumers. Fans of marmalade tend to be older, with 81% of all marmalade sold eaten by the over-45s.
The trade magazine the Grocer says children find the taste of marmalade too strong. "Marmalade is suffering from an image crisis that manufacturers have failed to address during the past 12 months," it says. "The challenge for both retailers and manufacturers is to bring more children to the category."
Meanwhile, spending on organic jam was up 25% on 2005.