Grocery Giant Drops PepsiCo, Lay’s Over High Prices

Carrefour, France’s largest food retailer, which runs thousands of stores in 30 countries, announced it will stop selling PepsiCo products in France, Italy, Spain, and Belgium because of “unacceptably” high prices, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Goodbye, PepsiCo!

PepsiCo products are disappearing from the shelves of a major supermarket in France, and it’s not because the product is selling out due to high demand. Supermarket chain Carrefour in France has decided to halt sales of popular PepsiCo products such as Lay’s, Doritos, Lipton, Quaker products, etc., due to high prices.

The supermarket chain began hanging up signs in its stores in France on Jan. 4 in areas where PepsiCo products are sold that read: “We are no longer selling this brand due to an unacceptable price increase,” according to a report from The New York Times.

Once the products sell out, they will not be replaced on shelves.

PepsiCo told CNN that it had been in discussion with Carrefour for many months and would “continue to engage in good faith in order to try to ensure that our products are available.”

The move marks an escalation in Carrefour’s attempts to pressure some of the world’s biggest consumer goods companies to cut their prices after hiking them over the past two years in response to soaring energy, commodity, and labor costs.

Carrefour’s move impacts more than 9,000 stores across the four countries, amounting to two-thirds of the retailer’s global footprint of 14,348 stores, according to its 2022 annual report.

Grocery retailers in several countries, including Germany and Belgium, have similarly stopped orders from consumer goods firms, a tactic in price negotiations that have become more fraught due to inflation.

Some PepsiCo products, such as Cheetos and 7Up were not available at a Carrefour supermarket in Paris’ posh 16th district on Thursday, while others, including Pepsi, were still on the shelves, next to the sign.

Some Customers in the supermarket broadly cheered the move.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” shopper Edith Carpentier told Reuters. “I think there will be lots of products left on the shelves because they have become too expensive, and they are all things we can avoid buying.”

France is unusual in Europe in that it strongly regulates the retail sector, forcing supermarkets to negotiate prices only once a year with food and drink producers, in an attempt to protect its farm industry.

But the last negotiation round early last year, at the peak of the inflation crisis, locked in very high price increases across the board, which has hit turnover at supermarkets and spurred them to negotiate price cuts this time round.

“The French supermarkets, we know, are very, very ready to de-list people if they don’t like the deals that they get,” said James Walton, chief economist at the Institute of Grocery Distribution.

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