Tesco removes Heinz beans and ketchup from shelves in row over ‘unjustifiable’ price rises

LBC News

Heinz beans and Ketchup have been removed from Tesco’s supermarket shelves in a row over “unjustifiable” price hikes.

Tesco shoppers may notice gaps on shelves after the supermarket chain failed to resolve a dispute with Heinz over soaring prices.

The US supplier has paused its supply, affecting products such as Heinz baked beans, salad cream, chicken noodle soup, Ketchup and BBQ sauce.

Tesco said it is focussed on ensuring customers get the best value possible amid the rising cost of living, which is forcing some families to choose between heating their homes or putting food on their plates.

Many people are choosing to shop for own brand goods as a result of rising costs, to help keep extra cash in their pockets.

Tesco apologised to customers yesterday for empty shelves where the products would normally be, saying it would not pass on “unjustifiable price increases”.

Meanwhile, Kraft Heinz, the American company that owns the Heinz brand, said it was “working closely with Tesco to resolve the situation as quickly as possible”.

In a statement, Tesco said: “We’re laser-focused on keeping the cost of the weekly shop in check, offering customers great value through our 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 and we hope to have this issue resolved soon.”

Tesco’s website shows that products including Beanz 4x415g, Sticky Barbecue Sauce 500g, Salad Cream 605g, Baked Beans & Pork Sausages 200g, Beanz No Added Sugar 4x415g Snap Pots 4x200g, Beanz No Added Sugar 200g and Chicken Noodle Soup 400g are currently unavailable.

Research by The Grocer trade publication, which first reported the dispute, said data showed prices had surged across the entire Heinz range over recent weeks.

The price of a 4x400g pack of Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup, for instance, had risen from £2.50 to £3.50 in Sainsbury’s, while a 4x200g pack of Beanz Snap Pots had risen from £2.50 to £2.99 in Morrisons.

A single 415g can of Beanz in Asda has risen from 90p to £1.20, according retail researchers Assosia.

A Kraft Heinz spokesperson said: “We are working closely with Tesco to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

“In today’s challenging economic environment – with commodity and production costs rising – many consumers are working within tight budgets. We always look at how we can provide value through price, size and packs so consumers can enjoy the products they love and trust at a price point that works within their budgets, without compromising on quality.

“We are confident of a positive resolution with Tesco.”

Published on LBC News, 30 June 2022