Heinz and Tesco have come to loggerheads over price increases – leaving the retailer’s shelves stripped of Beanz and Ketchup products.
It is understood the fmcg giant has paused supply to the retailer, leading to gaps on shelves across the entire Heinz brand, which spans a number of categories.
At the time of writing, a vast range of Heinz SKUs, including Beanz 4x415g, Sticky Barbecue Sauce 500g, Salad Cream 605g, Baked Beans & Pork Sausages 200g, Beanz No Added Sugar 4x415g Snap Pots 4x200g, Beanz No Added Sugar 200g and Chicken Noodle Soup 400g, were unavailable on the retailer’s website.
At Tesco’s Crawley Extra store, visited by The Grocer, there were still some Heinz products available, but many shelves were empty.
A Tesco spokesman told The Grocer the retailer was “laser-focused on keeping the cost of the weekly shop in check, offering customers great value through our combination of Aldi Price Match, Low Everyday Prices and Clubcard Prices”.
“With household budgets under increasing pressure, now more than ever we have a responsibility to ensure customers get the best possible value, and we will not pass on unjustifiable price increases to our customers,” he added.
“We’re sorry that this means some products aren’t available right now, but we have plenty of alternatives to choose from, including Branston Baked Beans and our own-brand ranges, and we hope to have this issue resolved soon.”
Research by The Grocer using Assosia data shows prices have surged across the entire Heinz range in the other mults over recent weeks, with rises for more than 230 SKUs across Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda since the beginning of June [10 w/e 28 June 2022].
The price of a 4x400g pack of its Cream of Tomato Soup, for instance, has risen from £2.50 to £3.50 in Sainsbury’s, while a 4x200g pack of Beanz Snap Pots has risen from £2.50 to £2.99 in Morrisons. A single 415g can of Beanz in Asda has risen from 90p to £1.20 [Assosia].
The potential dispute came to light in a tweet from Grocery Insight CEO Steve Dresser, who speculated that it was related to “challenges over cost price increases”.
A few issues with Heinz lines at Tesco… Some out of stock.— Steve Dresser (@dresserman) June 27, 2022
Believe there are challenges over cost price increases here. pic.twitter.com/8tfuKdQgKs
A Kraft Heinz spokesman suggested price had been at the heart of the issue. “In today’s challenging economic environment – with commodity and production costs rising – many consumers are working within tight budgets,” he said.
“We always look at how we can provide value through price, size and packs so consumers can enjoy the products they love and trust at a price point that works within their budgets, without compromising on quality.”
Kraft Heinz was “working closely with Tesco to resolve the situation as quickly as possible” and was “confident in a positive resolution”, he added.
Earlier this year Colgate products almost entirely disappeared from Tesco in a similar trade dispute. The retailer tweeted at the time it was down to a “supplier issue”.
However, when many Colgate products returned to Tesco weeks later, some had higher prices.