Cost of living: Tesco boss warns of spike in food bank use
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The supermarket giant is refusing to “pass on unjustifiable price increases” to customers as suppliers escalate their prices amid soaring inflation. Mars Petcare products, which include pet food favourites Sheba, Cesar dog food and Iams, will also not be available to customers. The latest supply row comes after Heinz ketchup and baked beans were pulled from Tesco’s shelves last week as the cost-of-living crisis continues.
Suppliers are trying to up their prices to offset the impact of soaring cost inflation on their own operations.
The impact of the supply row is already being seen with cans of pet food running low in stores and online today.
Retail analyst Steve Dresser, chief executive of Grocery Insight, shared photos of empty shelves on his Twitter account.
He said on Twitter this evening: “Gaps definitely opening up on shelf, with the labels indicating no stock arriving to store until July 23.
“All on Mars brands – Cesar, Whiskas & Pedigree.”
A spokesman for Tesco said: “We’re laser-focused on keeping the cost of the weekly shop in check, offering customers great value through our combination of Aldi Price Match, Low Everyday Prices and Clubcard Prices.
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“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.
“We’re sorry that this means some products aren’t available right now, but we have plenty of alternatives to choose from and we hope to have this issue resolved soon.”
A spokeswoman for Mars said: “We are aware that some of our Petcare products are currently out of stock at Tesco stores.
“We want to reassure pet owners that their favourite products are in supply and remain widely available in the UK marketplace.
“There are many reasons why our products may be out of stock in certain stores from time to time.
“We cannot comment on individual commercial relationships or situations.”
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Social media users have expressed their thoughts on the latest supply row on Twitter.
Roger Kline said on Twitter: “No baked beans. Now no pet food. We really are going to the dogs.”
Chris-anth said: “Tesco have stopped dealing with Heinz announcing that Tesco will not be selling that brand in the future.
“Are they becoming own brand exclusive as they can keep the prices down? Pet food? This is a price war Tesco know. It’s all about survival of the fittest.”
Suki Hothi tweeted: “Cat and dog owners will be buying them up like toilet rolls at start of pandemic!”
Last month, Kraft Heinz paused its supply to Tesco leading to gaps on shelves across the brand’s products.
British favourites unavailable on Tesco’s website included: Beanz 4x415g; Sticky Barbecue Sauce 500g; Salad Cream 605g; Baked Beans & Pork Sausages 200g; Beanz No Added Sugar 4x415g; Snap Pots 4x200g; Beanz No Added Sugar 200g; Chicken Noodle Soup 400g.
Research by The Grocer, a trade publication, which first reported the dispute, said data showed prices had surged across the entire Heinz range over recent weeks.
The price of a 4x400g pack of Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup, for instance, had risen from £2.50 to £3.50 in Sainsbury’s, while a 4x200g pack of Beanz Snap Pots had risen from £2.50 to £2.99 in Morrisons.
A single 415g can of Beanz in ASDA has risen from 90p to £1.20, according retail researchers Assosia.
A Kraft Heinz spokesman said at the time: “We are working closely with Tesco to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.
“In today’s challenging economic environment – with commodity and production costs rising – many consumers are working within tight budgets.
“We always look at how we can provide value through price, size and packs so consumers can enjoy the products they love and trust at a price point that works within their budgets, without compromising on quality. We are confident of a positive resolution with Tesco.”
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