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Nestlé raises food prices again despite NGO protests

Nestlé ice cream production
The price of some Nestlé products has risen by as amuch as 12% in recent months. Keystone / Martin Ruetschi

Swiss food manufacturer Nestlé has raised prices 9.8% on average for its products, adding further fuel to arguments that the multinational is profiteering from inflation.

Sales grew 5.6% to CHF23.5 billion ($26.5 billion) in the first three months of this year as consumers swallowed price increases of up to 12% for some ice cream, dairy and pet food products.

Last month, Greenpeace International accused the food company of using the Ukraine war and rising energy costs as a fig leaf to boost shareholder returns.

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Greenpeace labelled Nestlé as one of the worst offenders along with 19 other multinational food producers and commodity suppliers.

The complaints from the NGO followed average Nestlé price hikes of above 10% at the tail end of 2022.

But Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider said on Tuesday that the price rises were “responsible” and necessary to meet “ongoing pressures from two years of cost inflation”.

Inflation rates have reached double figures in many parts of the world since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In Switzerland, the price of goods rose by a more modest 2.8% last year but the price of some food staples, such as margarine and cooking oils, rose by 20% in March on an annual basis, according to research from price comparison portal Comparis.

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