Carrefour, a major grocery retailer, has announced the cessation of Pepsi product sales in France, citing what it deems “unacceptable price increases.” The decision, affecting items like Pepsi soda, Doritos, and Quaker cereals, comes as part of Carrefour’s pushback against rising costs and follows the government’s efforts to curb soaring food prices.
The move was communicated to customers through in-store signs, highlighting the supermarket’s stance against the price hikes imposed by Pepsi. The dispute is emblematic of the broader challenge France faces, with government statistics revealing a 7.1% increase in food prices in December compared to the previous year.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire had earlier pressed major food companies to lower prices, threatening special taxes on perceived excessive profits. The government expedited its deadline for price negotiations between food companies and supermarkets to address the escalating issue.
Pepsi, which has faced criticism for both price hikes and “shrinkflation”—reducing product sizes without corresponding price reductions—expressed its commitment to negotiating in “good faith.” The company cited rising costs as a reason for its recent price adjustments and anticipated further increases in 2024.
Carrefour, as France’s second-largest grocer, has been vocal in opposing “shrinkflation.” In September, it issued warnings about product size reductions on items like Lipton Ice Tea, a Pepsi brand. The decision to discontinue Pepsi product sales underscores Carrefour’s resistance to what it perceives as unjustifiable pricing strategies.
While public disputes over pricing are uncommon, they are not unprecedented. In 2022, Tesco faced a similar situation with Kraft Heinz, while German grocers Edeka and Rewe suspended sales of certain Mars products due to price hikes. Disputes between Edeka and Pepsi, as well as Mondelez and Colruyt, further highlight the industry’s struggle to navigate pricing challenges.