BELGIUM – Dairy giant, Danone is facing greater resistance to its price increase in products as seen in supermarket chains like Delhaize and Lidl, which are currently not selling Danone products, citing “unacceptable” price hikes” from the French producer.

Instead of yogurts and milk products, customers at Delhaize supermarkets see little notice when they look for their Danone products.

“Dear customer, Delhaize wants to offer its customers products at competitive price levels at any time. Due to difficult negotiations with the supplier, several products are not available for now. We apologize for any inconvenience caused”, it says.

Spokesperson Roel Dekelver admitted that difficult negotiations are the reason for these empty shelves revealing that suppliers have come to negotiate price hikes more often than usual this year.

While Delhaize is not blind to the situation, Dekelver added that the retail chain could not match Danone’s demands with the current reality.

As such, the chain decided to take the move of not stocking up the Danone’s products which have unrealistic increases as compared to other dairy suppliers who do not demand such high price increases.

“We know this is not convenient for our customers, but we have a wide offer of dairy products and there are alternatives aplenty. This is an extraordinary situation for everyone, but the only solution is to work together. Charging such price hikes unilaterally is out of the question”, Dekelver concluded.

At Lidl too, empty shelves are found instead of Danone references, RetailDetail has noticed: “In the current market situation, price negotiations are challenging”.

Its rival Aldi also has a problem with Danone’s new price demands, the German discounter’s spokesperson Jason Sevestre told Belgian newspaper De Tijd.

Danone’s spokesperson Nathalie Guillaume responded by saying, as price negotiations with Delhaize and Lidl are still ongoing, the company is unable to continue its operations, as usual, leading to an out-of-stock.

He revealed Danone is confronted with unprecedented market situations, especially the inflation of prices for raw materials and energy.

In this context, the French dairy is working together with its suppliers and retail partners to optimize costs and reduce the impact on consumers as much as possible, however, it is noted that in the end, it is the retailers who set the price.

Guillaume pointed out that several other retailers including market leader Colruyt, are still selling Danone’s products.

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