Tesco shelves are set to be stripped of Heinz products after the FMCG giant paused supply to the retailer over ongoing price disputes.
The pause in supply has left large gaps in some Tesco stores across the entirety of the Heinz brand, including baked beans, BBQ sauce, salad cream and others.
Several items are also listed as being ‘out of stock’ on the retailer’s website due to the shortages.
Food manufacturers have warned retailers that rising costs of energy and supplies will lead to some price increases in recent months. This sits at odds with UK supermarkets’ current drive to keep prices as low as possible for customers facing squeeze on their household incomes.
At Tesco’s Billericay Extra store, visited by Grocery Gazette, all Heinz products were still available and there were no obvious signs of missing stock. However, customers could likely expect shortages of Heinz products in the future.
A Tesco spokesman told Grocery Gazette that its is “laser-focused on keeping the cost of the weekly shop in check” as it offers customers great value through its combination of Aldi Price Match, Low Everyday Prices and Clubcard Prices.
“With household budgets under increasing pressure, now more than ever we have a responsibility to ensure customers get the best possible value, and we will not pass on unjustifiable price increases to our customers.
“We’re sorry that this means some products aren’t available right now, but we have plenty of alternatives to choose from, including Branston Baked Beans and our own-brand ranges and we hope to have this issue resolved soon.”
For its part, a spokesperson for Kraft Heinz told Grocery Gazette it was “working closely with Tesco to resolve the situation as quickly as possible”, adding that the firm always looked at how it could “provide value through price, size and packs…. at a price point that works”.
Despite the “challenging economic environment” which sees both commodity and production costs rising, the spokesperson remained “confident of a positive resolution with Tesco”.