LONDON — Britain’s largest supermarket, Tesco, has halted sales of a selection of beers from the world’s second largest brewing group, Heineken, after refusing to accept a price hike brought in as a result of Brexit.
Shoppers in Tesco will be unable to purchase beers including Amstel, Sol, and Kingfisher for the “foreseeable future,” according to a report from the Guardian on Wednesday afternoon.
24 of 53 brands produced by the Dutch brewer are currently affected, with eight not being stocked in any Tesco stores at all.
Those brands are Tiger, Amstel, Sol, Kingfisher, Birra Moretti, Blind Pig Cider, Fosters Gold and Fosters Radler. Tesco will also stop stocking larger packs of many of Heineken’s most recognisable beers, like the eponymous Heineken, Fosters, and Newcastle Brown Ale.
Heineken had reportedly proposed an unknown price increase to reflect surging inflation in the UK following the vote to leave the European Union last June. Headline consumer price inflation rose to 2.3% in February, while retail price inflation is at 3.2%.
“We don’t comment on commercial arrangements with our customers,” a Heineken spokesperson told the Guardian. “Shoppers will continue to find a broad range of our fantastic beer and cider brands in Tesco.”
Tesco’s dispute is its second pricing fight with a major consumer goods company since the Brexit vote after it briefly pulled Unilever products — including Marmite, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, and Hellmann’s Mayonnaise — when the firm proposed a 10% increase to prices to deal with increased costs associated with the sharp fall in the pound since the referendum. That dispute, in October 2016, was solved in around a week.
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