In snapping up the North Wales-based frozen ready meals manufacturer, Kerry Group effectively owns the market, and is now in a very strong position to dictate terms to customers although it insists that it is putting up prices only in order to recover increased raw material costs.
Herein, surely, lies a salutary lesson for supermarkets. If you drive your suppliers into the ground on price, consolidation is essential. And at some point in the cycle, a market might contract to the point where there is no competition.
Though Kerry Group will argue that there are plenty of alternatives elsewhere in Europe, consolidation to this point in the UK clearly isn't good news for the consumer or the environment. It might also catch innocent customers in the crossfire.
And with so many suppliers being run for cash, few seem willing to invest to take advantage.