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  • rmacculloch

Price rises are coming to a supermarket near you

The Times in the UK reports that, "The boss of one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies has warned shoppers they face a “once in a two decade” environment of rising prices across almost every household product .... Unilever said yesterday that it had offset huge inflationary pressures by pushing up prices by 4.1 per cent in the past three months. The price increases are already the biggest the business has made in a decade & Unilever warned they would continue to rise. Alan Jope, Chief Executive of Unilever, said the business was facing a “once in a two decade inflationary scenario so we have stepped up pricing.”

Although Unilever is seeking to raise prices in the UK, a retail source there "highlighted that the intensely competitive food retail market meant it was hard for supermarkets to pass on the higher prices as they ran the risk of shoppers deserting them for Aldi or Lidl. Five years ago Tesco delisted Marmite & other Unilever brands in a price row after it tried to push through increases on Britain’s biggest retailer."

However, in NZ we have an intensely non-competitive food retail market. The Commerce Commission reported (below) that "competition is not working well for consumers in the retail grocery sector. If competition was more effective, retailers would face stronger pressures to deliver the right prices, quality and range to satisfy a diverse range of consumer preferences". So expect prices to rise even more steeply here than in the UK.



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