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Marmalade sales surged as mourners left sandwiches for Queen Elizabeth II

People watch a video of Queen Elizabeth II having tea with Paddington Bear during a Platinum Jubilee celebration in front of Buckingham Palace on June 4. (Victoria Jones/AP)
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LONDON — Sales of marmalade spiked last month following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who publicly professed her love for the fruit preserve in a widely viewed, elaborate skit with Paddington Bear just months before she died.

Demand for the product — which is usually made from citrus fruit such as oranges, lemons or limes — grew almost 20 percent following the monarch’s death on Sept. 8, according to data and consultancy company Kantar.

The company linked the surge to people paying their respects to the 96-year-old — when throngs of people left pots of marmalade, and marmalade sandwiches, as tributes, prompting officials from the Royal Parks to beg visitors to leave only flowers.

Kantar made the discovery as it investigated behavior of British shoppers amid a national cost-of-living crisis, during which grocery price inflation soared to 13.9 percent — a record high since the company began its method of tracking prices during the 2008 financial crash.

“One standout from the data this month was the surge in marmalade sales by 18% as the nation paid its respects to the Queen,” the company said.

Queen Elizabeth II’s line of succession, visualized

It was during the queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June that the world came to hear about her penchant for the fruity snack.

“Perhaps you’d like a marmalade sandwich. I always keep one for emergencies,” Paddington said to the queen as the pair sat down for tea to mark her 70 years on the throne.

“So do I,” the queen replied to the fictional bear, before opening her famous black handbag. “I keep mine in here,” she said as she lifted out a sandwich, adding, “for later.”

Those words — “for later” — were quickly adopted by many people mourning the queen. Many scrawled the phrase on handwritten notes with marmalade and sandwiches they left for the queen.

The marmalade tributes in part sparked the Royal Parks charity responsible for looking after London’s eight royal green spaces to issue an appeal: “We would prefer visitors not to bring non-floral objects,” the charity wrote on its official website at the time.