Chocolate crisis at Rewe: Why Milka is disappearing from the shelves

Published On: 07.May.2024Categories: Legal2 min read
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Nora Wölflick writes about interesting, topical issues for the Love & Law Blog at Recht 24/7.

A conflict over chocolate prices

Rewe customers and Penny visitors who wanted to grab their favorite chocolate were recently faced with empty shelves. The reason: a fierce dispute between the supermarket chains and Mondelez, the manufacturer of popular brands such as Milka, Oreo and Tuc. The conflict revolves around a planned price increase by Mondelez, which is rejected by the supermarkets. This development has led to a shortage of particularly popular products such as the 100-gram bars of Milka Alpine Milk Chocolate.

Price policy as a bone of contention

Mondelez has demanded higher prices for its products due to the rise in cocoa prices, which have now almost tripled. The supermarket chains, however, see the passing on of these prices to customers as a risk of undermining their pricing policy and straining customer relations. In the hope of increasing the pressure on retailers, Mondelez has responded by stopping deliveries.

Effects on shelf design

In the affected stores, attempts are being made to fill the visible gaps with products from competitor brands. Items such as “Rewe Beste Wahl”, “Rewe Bio”, “Schogetten”, “Knoppers” and “Kit Kat” are now taking up the space that was otherwise occupied by Mondelez products. This tactic illustrates the tense situation and the need for supermarkets to react flexibly to stock shortages.

Customers and retailers are frustrated

The situation is causing resentment among many. One independent retailer expressed his frustration with the words: “It’s just annoying.” The so-called “chocolate inflation” in the chocolate segment is putting manufacturers under considerable pressure to somehow compensate for rising costs.

Escalation despite previous agreement

Interestingly, it briefly seemed as if the retail chains and Mondelez had reached an agreement. However, the surprising escalation of the situation shows how fragile such agreements can be, especially in a market environment that is influenced by strongly fluctuating commodity prices.

The current chocolate crisis at Rewe and Penny is a clear example of how global market changes and pricing policies can have a direct impact on consumers. As negotiations continue, it remains to be seen how the situation will develop and when the popular Mondelez products will be back on the shelves on a regular basis.

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