In a pricing disagreement, Kraft Heinz, the business behind some of the UK’s most popular food brands, has ceased providing Tesco with most of its products.
“We’re sorry that this means some products aren’t available right now,” a Tesco spokesperson said.
Baked beans, ketchup, and tomato soup are among the products that have been identified as potentially contaminated. According to the Grocer magazine, which broke the story first, certain Heinz products are already out of stock.
In recent months, food manufacturers have reported growing expenses, particularly those for energy and commodities, and some have warned that they may need to boost the prices they charge retailers. However, retailers like Tesco are working hard to keep costs low for customers who are experiencing a cost-of-living constraint and are shopping more carefully.
“We will not pass on unjustifiable price increases to our customers,” a Tesco spokesperson said.
According to the grocery chain, customers have “plenty of alternatives to select from.” However, given that Heinz products are staples in many UK households, the store will not want to lose them for long.
“We hope to have this issue resolved soon,” the Tesco spokesperson said.
Kraft Heinz said it was “working closely with Tesco to resolve the situation as quickly as possible” but referred to “today’s challenging economic environment – with commodity and production costs rising”.
According to a Kraft Heinz representative, the company always considers how it can “offer value through price, size, and packing…. at a price point that works within their budgets.”
“We are confident of a positive resolution with Tesco,” the spokesperson added.
According to a Tesco representative, the supermarket chain is “laser-focused on keeping the cost of the weekly shop in check.”
“With household budgets under increasing pressure, now more than ever we have a responsibility to ensure customers get the best possible value, and we will not pass on unjustifiable price increases to our customers.”
Rising food prices have contributed to inflation reaching a 40-year high, and buyers are already reducing their food purchases, according to an Office for National Statistics poll.
Tesco reported that customers were changing their behaviour in reaction to increasing food prices, including shopping less frequently. According to Asda, customers were requesting cashiers to stop checking out items when the amount reached £30 in order to curb their spending.
Colgate toothpaste was removed from Tesco shelves earlier this year following a similar fallout with US consumer products behemoth Colgate-Palmolive.
(Adapted from TheGroccer.co.uk)