Carrefour drops PepsiCo products in pricing dispute

French supermarket chain Carrefour has said that it will stop selling PepsiCo products over their “unacceptable price increases.”

On Thursday the company said that it would stop stocking products ranging from soft drinks like 7Up to snack foods including Doritos across its stores in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.

In comments to the Financial Times, a spokesperson for the retailer said: “The negotiations with PepsiCo have been complex, to put it politely. We are looking to lower prices this year in line with global trends, but PepsiCo are demanding price increases instead.”

Carrefour did not state how much of an increase was being demanded by PepsiCo, but the spokesperson said that the company’s main rival Coca-Cola wants to increase its prices in France by seven per cent.

Food retailers and industrial producers in France engage in annual negotiations to set food prices, with the government mandating that talks be wrapped up by the end of January – two months earlier than usual – so that consumers can benefit from lower prices.

French supermarket operators have complained of profiteering from product manufacturers who have been accused of using inflation as a smokescreen to increase prices, often significantly in excess of the rate of inflation. PepsiCo, for example, increased its 2023 forecast for the third consecutive time after rising prices by an average of 11 per cent in the three months to September.

This process of targeting manufacturers is not an uncommon occurrence in France. Carrefour last September started putting “shrinkflation” labels on products to indicate that they had shrunk in volume but maintained or increased in price. Carrefour’s rival Leclerc meanwhile in the summer said that it would stop carrying Pernod Ricard products over a similar pricing dispute.

Across the Channel, Tesco famously stopped stocking Heinz products for a time over price increases to beans and Ketchup.

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