Tesco has stopped selling Marmite and other Unilever products to online shoppers amid a price row, as the UK’s upcoming exit from the European Union begins to impact the world of marketing.
Unilever, which receives less than 5% of its business from the UK, reportedly insisted on a 10% price rise due to the collapse in the value of sterling, with chief financial officer Graeme Pitkethly commenting that price increases to offset rising costs in the wake of Brexit were a normal part of business.
“We are taking price increases in the UK. That is a normal devaluation-led cycle,” he said in an interview with The Guardian, adding that he was sure the dispute would resolve relatively quickly.
Unilever has also reportedly tried to charge more with other UK retailers including Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s, with a source commenting that “Unilever is using Brexit as an excuse to raise prices, even on products that are made in the UK”.
The news has been a blow for British Marmite fans, who took to Twitter to voice their concerns under the hashtag #MarmiteGate.
The dispute comes shortly after Unilever launched a sustainability-themed campaign to position the company as a “global force for good”, showing how its brands are contributing to making the world a better place.
Shares in Unilever and Tesco were both down on 13 October, 2% and 2.5% respectively.