Swiss supermarket chain Coop is refusing to stock products from food producing giant Mars in a dispute over prices. The retailer is part of a European buying consortium whose other members will also boycott Mars, Twix and Bounty confectioneries.
The dispute is over how much retailers must pay for the good they stock on their shelves. The supermarkets believe Mars is charging too much for its popular branded goods, which also include Whiskas cat food and Uncle Ben’s rice.
Supermarket chains Edeka in Germany and Intermarché in France, also members of the same buying alliance, have also turned their backs on Mars. Coop declined to comment to Swiss public broadcaster SRF on the move.
Last year, Coop took part in a similar boycott of Swiss food producer Nestlé, which makes such household name products as KitKat. That ended after two months with Nestlé agreeing to lower its prices to retailers, but it is not known how much of the savings were passed on to shoppers.
In 2017 Coop made CHF29.2 billion ($29.8 billion) in sales. That year Deloitte rated the company as the 43rd largest global retailer by sales volumeexternal link. Coop joined a buying alliance with other European companies in 2006 that gave retailers greater leverage when negotiating prices with food producers, before moving to a different consortium some years later.