For four months now, German Edeka customers have had to miss out on their Kellogg breakfast cereals. An ongoing boycott is now culminating in a lawsuit: the retail chain is demanding an eight-figure compensation from the supplier.
Big or indispensable?
Kellogg cereals and Pringles chips are becoming a rarity in German supermarkets. Since a price dispute last year, the American brand has disappeared from Rewe stores, while also refusing to supply competitor Edeka for four months. The manufacturer wants to implement hefty price increases, but the supermarkets stubbornly refuse.
Edeka claims that Kellogg wanted to impose price increases of up to 45 % this summer, according to Lebensmittel Zeitung. Although the supermarket group is said to have since accepted some of the price increases, Kellogg has still not delivered anything.
This constitutes a clear breach of contract, Edeka believes: the retailer is now demanding ten million euros for lost revenue so far, but is already stating that this could at least rise to 34 million if the supply boycott continues any longer. The distributor also cites antitrust law: because Kellogg has such a dominant market position in breakfast cereals, the manufacturer would have an obligation to supply. It is, as of yet, unclear if the latter argument is admissible: this is still being considered by the German competition authorities, to which Edeka turned at the end of September.