It is becoming increasingly difficult for buyers in the UK to find Heinz Baked Beans. Blame food price inflation.
Tesco (TSCDF), the country’s largest supermarket chain, has stopped selling some products made by Kraft Heinz (KHC) in a price dispute.
Kraft Heinz is behind some of the country’s favorite food staples, including baked beans and ketchup.
Several Heinz products were out of stock on Tesco’s website, including baked beans, ketchup and salad cream.
The Grocer, the magazine that broke the news of the pricing dispute, visited a Tesco store in the south of England and reported that while some Kraft Heinz products were still available, others were missing.
“With household budgets under increasing pressure, we have more responsibility than ever to ensure customers get the best possible value, and we will not pass unjustifiable price increases onto our customers,” a spokesperson said Wednesday. from Tesco to CNN Business.
The retailer – which has around 27% of the UK grocery market, according to research firm Kantar – said it had “plenty of alternatives to choose from” and hoped to resolve the issue quickly.
Rising global food and energy prices have put pressure on manufacturers, leaving them with no choice but to try to pass on higher prices to retailers and their customers. In the United Kingdom, consumer price inflation reached 9.1% in May, its highest level in 40 years and the highest among the rich countries of the “Group of Seven”.
Kraft Heinz told CNN Business it was “working closely with Tesco to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”
The company said the current economic environment was “challenging” with rising commodity and production costs, meaning consumers were “working with tight budgets”.
“We are always looking at how we can add value through price, size and packaging,” the US company said.
UK retailers are acutely aware of how the cost of living crisis is forcing customers to cut back on spending. More than 44% of adults in Britain said last month they were buying less food – up from 18% at the start of the year – according to a survey by the Office for National Statistics.
Earlier this month, Tesco CEO Ken Murphy said he had seen “early indications” of customers changing behavior due to inflation.
The Tesco spokesman said the business was ‘focused on controlling the cost of the weekly shop’.
— Danielle Wiener-Bronner contributed reporting.