Intermarché today (19 January) confirmed Unilever is to take the French retailer to court in the latest row in the country between grocer and supplier over prices.

The FMCG major is contesting a marketing campaign made by the supermarket for the former‘s Magnum and Carte d’Or ice-cream brands where Intermarché had insinuated ‘shrinkflation’ had occurred, according to L’Informé.

Food journalist Olivier Dauvers wrote that the retailer had placed posters in front Carte d’Or products mocking their recent supposed quantity decreases and price hikes.

Unilever has consequently summoned several Intermarché stores to stop these displays due to their “denigrating” nature, according to Dauvers.

Intermarché told Just Food in a statement it had received a “surprising subpoena from Unilever”.

The retailer confirmed a hearing has been set for 31 January and the “procedure is currently underway”.

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By GlobalData

The tribunal comes amid tensions in France between retailers and suppliers over prices.

Carrefour has recently delisted PepsiCo products in stores in France, Spain, Italy, Belgium and the latest Poland.

The France-headquartered supermarket giant has put up banners in the outlets saying “we no longer sell this brand due to an unacceptable price increase”.

Intermarché said it has been “denouncing the practice of shrinkflation for several weeks now” and that Unilever’s move “comes in the home stretch of the trade negotiations”.

“We were the first to do so, and we take full responsibility for it. With double-digit inflation over two years, this type of practice was no longer tolerable. It is our responsibility to inform our customers of unjustified price increases and of this drift, and we hope that this type of campaign will enable the manufacturers concerned to demonstrate greater transparency and moderation.”

Just Food has contacted Unilever for comment.

France submitted plans for new rules to require the country’s retailers to alert shoppers to so-called shrinkflation earlier this month.

Paris has asked the EU to clear a move that would oblige grocers to tell consumers if a product has been reduced in size but its price has stayed the same.