Rewe boss speaks plain language: "Now we no longer order" - empty shelves in the supermarket
Created: 01/01/2023 13:39
By: Raffaela Maas
Missing products and gaps in supermarket shelves: Rewe boss Lionel Souque now explains what this is all about and the importance of the current price wars with brand manufacturers.
Munich - The negotiations between manufacturers and suppliers are proving to be particularly complicated this year.
Due to the effects of massive inflation, expensive resources, the energy crisis, as well as problems with delivery and logistics, some supermarket chains are currently struggling to agree on prices with food manufacturers.
The price zoff in the supermarket has been causing gaps on the shelves for months now.
Especially branded products are affected by the disputes.
Apart from Kellogg's cornflakes, there was no Jacobs coffee, no Mars sweets and no Mirácoli or animal feed from Whiskas on the shelves at Rewe.
At Edeka, the Mars products were also missing, as well as Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite.
Aldi had no Pepsi products and Kaufland had no Ritter Sport.
Rewe boss on price wars with brand manufacturers and gaps in the shelves
In an interview with
, Rewe boss Lionel Souque commented on the current friction with the brand manufacturers.
The US group Mars, for example, is increasing its prices, but Rewe is one of the supermarkets that is not going along with it.
"We check whether price increases are appropriate and if they aren't, we don't go along with them," says Souque.
But it is not only with Mars that there are disagreements now.
"We're going to have stress with Pepsi," reveals Souque.
As of January 1st next year, Pepsi confronted Rewe with unbelievable price increases for the energy drink brand "Rockstar", which the food retailer will not accept.
"And honestly, who needs "Rockstar" anyway?
There are plenty of other energy drinks out there,” teases Souque.
Rewe: price dispute with Nestlé - "Now we no longer order"
Sunflower oil, which is extremely popular at times, also continues to cause problems.
After the start of Putin's war of aggression against Ukraine, vegetable oil prices exploded and many shelves were empty due to additional supply bottlenecks.
Although prices are currently lower again, the problems with the oil remain.
"Many of our suppliers have now lowered prices again, but others want to remain at the high level," explains Souque.
This includes Nestlé with the Thomy brand.
Rewe expected that they would lower the prices by at least one euro, but the reduction did not come.
"Now we no longer order Thomy," says Souque, "You can't say that the raw materials are getting more expensive, that's why I'm raising the prices.
And if the raw materials then become cheaper, don't you lower the price?"
Rewe: Mainly problems with international companies
As the Rewe boss explains, the greatest difficulty is in reaching agreements with international companies.
On the other hand, Rewe has agreed almost all price increases with German suppliers.
"They think they didn't earn enough in Germany," Souque shares his assumption.
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Food prices in Germany are very low compared to other European countries, from which German customers are said to have benefited.
“Big public companies are now trying to ride the wave and make money.
Therefore, they increase the prices disproportionately.
They probably thought that the war overshadowed everything and nobody noticed how they were getting hold of it.
But that's not the case," says the Rewe boss.
As a result, customers are increasingly turning to private label products.
But if Edeka doesn't have Coca-Cola, people go to Rewe and if they want Mars, they shop at Aldi or Lidl.
"Yes, it hurts us, we want to come to an agreement," admits Souque.
You have around 10,000 suppliers and only a few conflicts.
"But we have to show them that we won't allow ourselves to be blackmailed." While some manufacturers had already raised prices two or three times this year, Rewe was able to prevent around half of the price increases.
Recently, a supermarket customer triggered a discussion on Twitter about a supposedly scarce product.
She shared her desperate search for the missing articles on the web and received a variety of responses.