Warning that many French supermarket prices are set to rise sharply

The CEOs of both Leclerc and Carrefour predict significant increases for many everyday food products this month but pledge to negotiate hard to reduce the amount passed onto shoppers

9 November 2021
Signs and trollies showing E. Leclerc and Carrefour supermarket logos

The CEOs of both supermarket giants have warned of rising prices, although both have pledged to limit the effect on consumers at the tills Pic: Ricochet64 / Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock

By Hannah Thompson

Prices in supermarkets will surge in France this month and into 2022, two major supermarket bosses have warned – with pasta, oil, coffee, cacao, and DIY products most affected.

The CEOs of the major groups E. Leclerc and Carrefour have spoken out in separate warnings about the almost-certain rise in prices, especially of food.

Michel-Édouard Leclerc, CEO of the E. Leclerc group said in an interview with CNews,: “I anticipate a much higher rise than that announced by [national statistics and economics institute] Insee or forecasters.

“They say that France will see rises of 2.6%, but in Spain it’s been 5.5%, and Germany 5.4%. I anticipate that we will see a major rise in prices this month in all shops and supermarket groups.”

Mr Leclerc said that the rise would affect nearly all everyday items, but especially pasta, oil, coffee, and cacao as well as non-food items such as DIY and cooking materials, and Hi-Fi sound systems.

He said that supermarkets would need to “do their jobs” to limit the effect of these price spikes on consumers. 

He explained: “We are in fight mode; we will negotiate hard [on raw materials]. We know people will want to make savings.”

Mr Leclerc is not the only supermarket boss to warn of rising prices. 

Alexandre Bompard, CEO of the Carrefour group, told FranceInfo today (November 9) that there would be “serious rises” among food products. 

He said: “The risk of inflation on food products is certain for 2022. But so far, we have seen a rise of less than 1% overall, thanks to the work of distributors to limit current inflation on food products.”

He said that there was a disparity in price rises depending on the product, with the current rise in flour prices due to the cost of raw materials.

He asked: “The big question for 2022 is, how are we going to recoup the rises in price demanded by manufacturers?”

Mr Bompard said that ensuring the buying power of his customers was his “main mission”. He said: “I’m not going to recoup these rises with soaring prices at the tills.”

The CEO explained that his goal would be to “revalue prices” that come from “traditional farming partners”, while also seeking to renegotiate on processed products that form a “limited part” of their offer.

He said: “We are going to need [farmers and manufacturers] to make an effort too, to limit rises that they are demanding, to avoid [higher costs] from ending up at the till.”

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