Colruyt now also delists Mondelez

Following a dispute with Nutella, Belgian supermarket chain Colruyt has also delisted dozens of Mondelez products (of brands such as Côte d'Or, LU, Milka and Oreo) as part of a fight over sales conditions.


Constructive talks

At least 27 products of important Mondelez brands are currently temporarily unavailable in Colruyt's Collect&Go webshop and in several stores, Belgian business newspaper De Tijd reports. A spokesperson for the retailer does not want to give too many details to the newspaper (as usual), but commented that “This incident is part of the annual commercial negotiations. We will continue to discuss constructively and are convinced that we will reach an agreement, so this situation is just temporary.”


The reasons for the conflict are obvious: like many other brand manufacturers, producer Mondelez wants to raise prices significantly next year. After all, the costs for raw materials, energy and transport have risen sharply and companies want to pass these costs on to safeguard their margins. This may involve price increases of 5 to 10 %, in extreme cases even up to 25 %.


Lowest price guarantee

Supermarkets are more reluctant to meet this demand to raise rates, fearing that brand manufacturers will want to take advantage of the current situation to raise prices excessively. In the case of Colruyt, the fact that its USP is a lowest price guarantee also plays a role in this conflict: the supermarket chain wants to be sure of the best purchasing conditions and will not be the first to raise consumer prices, especially now that the market share has been under pressure since the outbreak of the corona crisis. A few weeks ago, CEO Jef Colruyt had already warned for falling profit figures.


At the beginning of this month, a dispute between Colruyt and Nutella producer Ferrero over purchasing conditions came into the spotlight, as 400 gram jars were no longer available in the shops and the webshop. “We understand that this is annoying for our customers and we apologise for the inconvenience. We are convinced that this will be resolved quickly and that we will be able to offer those missing products again, at a fair price for the consumer", the retailer responded at the time. In recent years, Colruyt has often removed products from major brands from the shelves to put pressure on the price negotiations.