Knorr soups-maker Unilever said it will increase prices on some of its products in a bid to recoup higher commodity costs.

A spokesperson for the firm told just-food today (17 November) that globally, its prices will increase between now and the end of this calendar year, partly due to an increase in input costs.

“For 2010 overall, we are expecting commodity cost inflation of about 2%,” the spokesperson said. “Every business within the consumer goods industry will be affected by these volatilities in input costs, but they will be affected in different ways and to different degrees, depending on the particular make-up of their product portfolio”

The spokesperson added that, in the same way that it passed the effects of lower input costs in 2009 and the first part of 2010 on to retailers and ultimately consumers, it is now having to pass on the current increases that it has not been able to absorb in increased prices for its retail customers.
“It is up to the retailers of course, as to what they charge consumers in-store,” the spokesperson said.

He declined to give further detail on which categories and countries the increases will take place, “for commercial sensitivity reasons”. However, he added: “Ice cream in the UK is one example where we have increased our prices recently as a result of an increase in the price of sugar.”

Unilever this week set out its sustainability plans with a target to halve the environmental footprint of its products.

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