Relations between Nestlé and discount retailer Denner took a turn for the worse last week, when Nestlé accussed Denner of resorting to underhand tactics in renegotiating a contract with the food producer, just-food has learnt.

"Denner made an ultimatum," Philipp Oertle, communications director at Nestlé Swiss explained. "They said that unless we entered into a new agreement with them they would go to the press."

Reports suggesting that Nestlé stopped supplying the discount retailer with Cailler chocolate due to Denner's resistance to an 8% price hike appeared in the Swiss and international press today (10 April).

However, Nestlé paint a different picture of the dispute.

"It's a commercial difference about price," Oertle said. "We have delivered products in the last month under a contract agreed with Denner. They now have our products but don't want to pay the price already agreed. Denner are trying to put pressure on Nestlé to renegotiate the contract and are using the press to this end."

As to the 8% price hike, Oertle said that there had been an increase in the agreed price, adding "the consumer price is something for the retailer to decide."

Just-food was unable to reach Denner for comment.