Colruyt readmits Coca-Cola products after months of conflict

Coca-Cola cans

Belgian market leader Colruyt has resumed its orders at Coca-Cola, seven months after (partly) suspending them. Despite the long delisting - pointing to one or both parties really sticking to their guns - the war was never an outright one: for example, Colruyt never stopped all of its Coca-Cola purchases.


Temporarily unavailable

After reaching an agreement, the conflict between Colruyt and Coca-Cola is to an end and the products of the latter will soon be available again, Colruyt told news agency Belga. Seven months ago, RetailDetail discovered that a large number of Coca-Cola products were unavailable in the discounter's stores and in its webshop Collect & Go. The retailer confirmed that talks with the soft drinks producer were not going smoothly and that this was the reason that some - but by no means all - products were temporarily unavailable.


With this (partial) delisting, Colruyt joined French Intermarché and German Edeka, both also part of the Agecore purchase alliance. However, it took the biggest Belgian supermarket group longer than its colleagues to reach an agreement with the American giant: Intermarché already "reached a balanced agreement with Coca-Cola in March, while Edeka ended the delisting in August.


The seven months it took both parties to reach an agreement in Belgium is remarkably long, but analysts think the coronavirus crisis may have a hand in that: both retailer and producer may have had more pressing issues. By comparison, the struggle between Colruyt and Douwe Egbert lasted a month and a half, the conflict with Mars took two months to solve and Nestlé took three months to reach a deal - all nowhere near the seven months it took for this delisting to be over.