Jumbo, the Dutch supermarket group, is reportedly the latest grocer to reject planned price increases by major food manufacturers.
Reports have suggested that price increase proposals from Nestlé and Mars have been rejected by Jumbo, leading to limited availability of its products on retailers’ shelves.
Without referring specifically to a price dispute, a spokesman for the KitKat confectionery and owner of Maggi sauce, Nestlé, confirmed to just food some of their products are in short supply in Jumbo stores.
“It is true that some of our products are temporarily unavailable from Jumbo, as we are currently negotiating with Jumbo about the renewal of the collaboration for 2023. Our goal is to finalize the new agreement as soon as possible,” the spokesperson said.
Roel Govers, director of corporate affairs for Mars in the Netherlands, said the problem is not just about the cost consumers are asked to pay for products. Govers also noted that the problem, from Mars’ perspective, centered around the pet food lines.
“All aspects of the collaboration, including pricing, are part of the contract, but explicitly it’s not just about price,” he said.
“It is in the interest of the consumer and their pets that a new agreement be reached as soon as possible. We are committed to this and look forward to making sure that they too will find their reliable and valuable products at Jumbo again soon.”
Jumbo refused to confirm or deny the dispute when contacted by just food. He said: “We do not make statements about conversations with specific vendors. That’s something between the parties involved.”
However, RTL Newsthe Dutch news outlet that first reported the story quoted Jumbo as saying: “We are facing very high price increases from certain suppliers.”
Jumbo reportedly admitted that sometimes these increases are unavoidable, but added: “Some price increases cannot be explained to us.”
Last month, US retail giant Walmart reportedly drew a line in the sand against CPG makers following a series of price hikes to counter inflationary cost pressures.
As early as last summer, the major US food chain Kraft Heinz stopped supplies to Tesco in the UK due to a price dispute.
Then, in January, Tesco Chairman John Allan, speaking in an interview with British broadcaster the BBCit drew the ire of the food industry by suggesting that manufacturers may be taking advantage of the inflationary environment to raise prices.
Allan said Tesco had “fought” with several suppliers after “heavy” discussions over planned price increases which the supermarket had disputed.
The statement sparked outrage among manufacturers and industry bodies.
Provision Trade Federation CEO Rod Addy accused the Tesco boss of “saber rattling”.