Unilever remains locked in pricing negotiations with Irish retailer Musgrave Group as it continues to push through price increases to offset the negative impact that currency exchange is having on profitability.
According to reports, Unilever ice cream brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Carte D’Or, Magnum and Cornetto are still affected by the negotiations, which have seen Unilever deliveries to Musgrave halted.
Agreement over the pricing of other Unilever brands has been reached. In a statement Musgrave said: “Our negotiations with Unilever are continuing. Supply of certain products, where there is no proposed cost price increase, has resumed.”
Musgrave operates the SuperValu and Centra stores in Ireland.
This latest pricing spat follows widely publicised negotiations with the UK’s Tesco. The final agreement reached with Tesco – details of which have not been revealed – saw stock levels return to normal at the retailer’s chain of stores in the UK and Ireland.
Unilever did not respond to requests for comment on the negotiations with Musgrave. However, speaking shortly after the dispute with Tesco hit the headlines, Unilever CFO Graeme Pitkethly said the UK price increase was “a normal devaluation-led cycle”.
He added pricing decisions are made at a local level based on consumer affordability. “We care deeply about customer affordability of our brands. And as a consequence the increases we are taking are substantially less than we would need to cover the impact on our profitability,” Pitkethly said.
According to Pitkethly, the group’s UK price increases “have landed with most of our customers”.