Modern Marketing

Tesco and Unilever resolve dispute, meaning Persil, Marmite and Pot Noodles will return to supermarket shelves


By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

October 13, 2016 | 3 min read

The stand off between Tesco and Unilever has come to an end, with the latter saying that it was "pleased to confirm" that the supply situation with the grocer in the UK and Ireland has now been "successfully resolved."

On Wednesday (12 October) reports surfaced that dozens of the FMCG giant's brands were no longer being stocked by Tesco due to an ongoing dispute around the producer raising its prices in the UK to compensate for the decline in the pound's value following the EU referendum.

Though he didn't name names, Unilever's chief financial officer Graeme Pitkethly spoke out on the situation today, telling analysts during the company's quarterly earnings call that he believed the issue would be "resolved really quickly."

Persil Unilever dispute Tesco

Tesco and Unilever resolve dispute meaning Persil, Marmite and Pot Noodles will return to supermarket shelves

The dispute, which saw brand names like Marmite, PG Tips, Persil and Hellman's Mayonnaise ditched from Tesco's shelves and online store, has now been diffused less than 24-hours after it first came to light.

While Pitkethly declined to comment specifically about the row with Tesco, he downplayed any suggestion that it would have a major impact on customers in the long-term.

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The price dispute reportedly stemmed after Unilever demanded a 10 per cent price rise in Tesco products, including British-made ones, in order to offset the higher cost of imported goods. The move from Unilever followed a surge in the pound on Wednesday following a speech made by Brexit secretary David Davis that the UK could potentially leave the EU's single market following the result of the referendum.

Some industry commentators have lauded the move from Tesco, with The Drum's columnist Matthew Charlton calling it a "brave British coup."

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