Supermarkets

Mars Petcare latest to halt supplies to Tesco amid price dispute

Mars Petcare, which produces brands such as Whiskas, Dreamies, Pedigree and Cesar, has paused supplies to Tesco until an agreement can be reached on the price of its product

Mars Petcare has halted supplies to Tesco as the supermarket faces its second dispute amid rising costs, as inflation continues to impact supplier and retailer relations.

Mars Petcare, which produces brands such as Whiskas, Dreamies, Pedigree and Cesar, has paused supplies to Tesco until an agreement can be reached on the price of its products, as Tesco said it did not want to pass on “unjustifiable” price rises to its customers.

While Mars said it “cannot comment on individual commercial relationships or situations”, it acknowledged that “wide-ranging inflationary pressures” were continuing to impact the pet food industry.

While gaps on shelves have been reported across Tesco stores, Mars reassured customers that its products were still “widely available” elsewhere. 

The news comes shortly after Tesco faced a similar dispute with Heinz, who has stopped supplying Tesco after a similar row between the two companies regarding price increases on baked beans, tomato ketchup and other products.

In a statement reported by the Financial Times, a Tesco spokesperson 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.”

They added: “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.”

In a statement to Retail Sector, a Mars spokesperson said: “We are aware that some of our Petcare products are currently out of stock at Tesco stores. We want to reassure pet owners that their favourite products are in supply and remain widely available in the UK marketplace. There are many reasons why our products may be out of stock in certain stores from time to time. We cannot comment on individual commercial relationships or situations.

“The pet food industry, like many others, is operating in a volatile context marked by wide-ranging inflationary pressures, and we continue to absorb these rising costs as much as possible.”

They added: “The in-store price continues to be at the sole discretion of the retailer. Our priority remains to carry on investing in meeting the growing demand for our products, and to serve pet owners with the highest quality products, to give their pets healthy, balanced and nutritious diets.”

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