Germany’s largest supermarket chain Edeka is leading a wider charge in the European retail industry against Nestle in an escalating dispute over prices, the newspaper “Sueddeutsche Zeitung” (SZ) reported on Monday.
SZ cited an internal report compiled by Edeka in which the firm complains of preferential treatment for its German rivals Aldi and Rewe, and hence threatens to remove 163 Nestle products from its aisles unless the Swiss-based foodstuffs giant offers better purchasing terms.
Nestle is the world’s largest food producers, recording combined revenue of 90 billion euros (111.4 billion U.S. dollars) in 2017.
In threatening to boycott Nestle, Edeka is acting in unison with its partners in the European retail alliance Agecore, which includes the French Intermarche chain and Coop stores in Switzerland.
Although Agecore members only account for just over 1 percent of Nestle’s global revenue, this would still amount to potential loss of 9 billion dollars for the foodstuff corporation.
Given the small number of major chains which dominate the German retail market, the SZ argued on Monday that Agecore’s leverage in the dispute should not be underestimated.
The newspaper also noted, however, that Nestle could soon face new demands if it gave in to calls for better purchasing terms to avert a boycott of its products.