Dutch supermarkets delist major brands after pricing row

By Caroline SCOTT-THOMAS contact

- Last updated on GMT

Olive oil prices paid to producers more than doubled during 2014 after a perfect storm of factors devastated European and North African olive crops
Olive oil prices paid to producers more than doubled during 2014 after a perfect storm of factors devastated European and North African olive crops

Related tags: Supermarket

Dutch supermarkets Jumbo and C1000 have boycotted Bertolli olive oil and products from Ferrero and Douwe Egberts following a pricing row – although Douwe Egberts products returned to shelves last week after it reached an agreement with the retailers.

The products’ delisting has lasted several weeks, after the manufacturers failed to reach an agreement on price with the retailers, both of which are part of the Jumbo Supermarkets Group.

“We can confirm that currently some products of Bertolli (olive oil) and Ferrero are not sold by Jumbo, following some conversations that we have with these suppliers on the purchasing conditions,”​ said Jumbo spokesperson ClaireTrügg.

“At Jumbo, we guarantee our customers the lowest price. Therefore, we want to have the best possible price, where our customers can benefit from. Until then, we offer a suitable alternative for these products, such as our own Jumbo brand,”​ she said.

No one from Bertolli olive oil’s parent company Deloleo responded to a request for comment on the disagreement, but olive oil prices have skyrocketed after the European olive industry was hit last year by unusual weather, bacterial blight, insects and large flocks of starlings, which destroyed swathes of the crop.

According to the International Olive Council, production is at its lowest in 15 years and prices from producers have more than doubled, up 121% in December 2014 compared to a year earlier.

Cocoa prices have also risen in the past year, up 12% in October compared to a year earlier, leading to higher prices for chocolate products across the industry, while coffee prices doubled last year following a drought that devastated production in Brazil.

A spokesperson for coffee company Douwe Egberts told FoodNavigator that it had reached an agreement with Jumbo last Tuesday, meaning the supermarket chains would restock its products, effective immediately. He would not elaborate on the impact the products’ delisting had had on the company, nor on the details of the negotiations.

Ferrero did not respond to a query about the effect of the boycott on its business.

According to Nielsen figures, the Jumbo Supermarkets Group had a 21.7% share of the Dutch grocery retail market in 2012.

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