Ben & Jerry's ice cream is currently unavailable on the Tesco website / Getty Images

It is unclear why customers cannot buy Unilever products on the supermarket's website

As if 2016 couldn’t get any worse, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Pot Noodle and a whole host of other popular products have become harder to buy thanks to an issue with the Tesco website.

An apparent problem on the Tesco website with products by the manufacturing giant Unilever have affected food and drink including Ben & Jerry’s, Pot Noodle, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, Marmite, Knorr, and PG Tips.

And it’s not just food. Household items from Dove to Lynx have also been impacted. 

Customers searching for the products on the Tesco website are currently met with the message: “Sorry, this product is currently not available.” Supermarkets including Ocado and Sainsbury's are not experiencing the issue. 

Ben & Jerry's ice cream tubs are among the products currently unavailable on the Tesco website (Tesco )

Tesco wrote on Twitter that it is “experiencing availability issues on a number of Unilever products. We hope to have this issue resolved soon.”

The cause of the issue remains unclear. However, consumer journalist and Channel 4 Dispatches presenter Harry Wallop suggested that Tesco may have had a "bust-up" with Unilever.

Wallop wrote on Twitter that Tesco had a similar product outage following a "row" with Premier Foods in 2011 after the food supplier tried to push through price increases. "Tesco calls bluff. Empty shelves," he said. 

A spokesman from Tesco confirmed that the supermarket is "currently experiencing availability issues on a number of Unilever products, " adding: "We always work to ensure customers get the best possible prices and we hope to have this issue resolved soon."

A spokeswoman from Unilever told The Independent that the manufacturer would not be commenting on the issue.