Discussions between manufacturers and distributors end, against a backdrop of rising prices

At the Salon de l’Agriculture, on supermarket shelves, at the pump… Inflation is everywhere and continues to upset the habits of the French. In February, the rise in prices was nearly 6.2% over one year, and even 14.5% for food products alone. And these increases are not expected to end anytime soon.

In discussion for six months, manufacturers and suppliers have fought over the future prices of everyday products on supermarket shelves. Strong discussions that ended Wednesday evening, at least, officially, because all the negotiations were unsuccessful.

A windfall effect?

Contacted by Europe 1, a representative of large agri-food groups confided that only two out of three contracts had been signed at home. Because for the first time, manufacturers have asked for double-digit price increases, i.e. increases five times greater than in normal times. A request which tensed the discussions with the distributors from the start, like the boss of the E.Leclerc supermarkets, Michel-Edouard Leclerc who denounced in mid-February the “enormous increases” demanded by the manufacturers.

For his part, the head of System U foresees a 10% increase in prices on the shelves in the coming months, in the face of inflation but also in the face of “the windfall effect of a certain number of players ( editor’s note)”. An increase confirmed by the first contracts signed, which is added to the 14% food inflation already recorded.

Negotiations still ongoing

For the others, we will still have to discuss. In theory, if there is no agreement, the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) must intervene because the consumer would be harmed. Except that this consumer policeman will not do so for two or three days, which gives manufacturers and distributors time to talk to each other.

But in the end, tensions should remain on certain products. Products that could eventually disappear from the shelves of supermarkets.