Tesco is experiencing shortages of Heinz products due to a pricing row, it has been confirmed.
Two of the biggest brands in their respective fields have collaborated for decades, with the UK supermarket chain stocking Kraft Heinz's various products including its flagship baked beans, tomato ketchup and mayonnaise.
However, amid rising prices including for energy and ingredients caused by a number of factors including Brexit and the pandemic, many food companies are feeling the pressure.
According to Steve Dresser, CEO of Grocery Insight, cost increases have led to a disagreement between Tesco and Heinz.
Taking to Twitter, he wrote: "A few issues with Heinz lines at Tesco… Some out of stock. Believe there are challenges over cost price increases here."
The Grocer also reported that there are gaps in the shelves where Heinz products normally sit, while the supermarket's website is no longer stocking a number of its range including Baked Beans & Pork Sausages 200g, Salad Cream and Salad Cream Light 605g and Heinz Cream Of Tomato Soup Mug Size 300G.
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
In a statement cited by the outlet, a Tesco spokesperson said: "We're 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.
"We're sorry that this means some products aren't available right now, but we have plenty of alternatives to choose from and we hope to have this issue resolved soon."
Meanwhile, a Kraft Heinz spokesperson said: "We are working closely with Tesco to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. In today's challenging economic environment – with commodity and production costs rising – many consumers are working within tight budgets.
"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.
"We are confident of a positive resolution with Tesco."
The news arrives as shoppers are warned about rising food prices amid the cost-of-living crisis, with inflation hitting a 30-year high in the UK.
Prices rose by 6.2 per cent over the last year to February, seeing fuel, food and energy costs spiralling out of control.
In case you're not entirely sure what all this means, here's an example of how inflation works - imagine you're in the shop buying a loaf of bread, and that bread costs £1. If that same loaf of bread goes up by 5p, then bread inflation is now five per cent.
Only time will tell how this will continue to impact British households, but for now it appears the issue is felt across the entire food supply chain, causing rifts between manufacturers and suppliers.
As for Heinz and Tesco, Ged Futter, a former Asda executive and currently the director of The Retail Mind, told the BBC that pricing disputes are relatively common and it's likely a resolution will be found soon.
"Heinz are saying if you're not prepared to take it (at that price) we will stop supply," he said.
"There will be a resolution as Tesco can't afford not to have Heinz products and Heinz cant afford to not be in Tesco. It's just a matter of what that resolution looks like."
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