Lidl can't 'bear' Haribo price hike, leaving Czech market in short supply

The Czech discount retailer and German candy maker find themselves in a sticky situation over prices. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 23.05.2023 10:00:00 (updated on 23.05.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Fans of affordable gummy bears are in for some disappointment. Retail chain Lidl and soft candy maker Haribo have come to an impasse over prices and have stopped doing business with each other.

Gummy bears are still available at other stores but are typically more expensive than they were at Lidl, which has some of the lowest prices on the Czech market. There are also other brands of fruit-flavored gelatin-based candy, but for Haribo connoisseurs, there is no substitute.

The situation affects all of Europe, including Czechia. "In the case of Haribo's products, purchasing is handled by Lidl's German headquarters. As a result, these products will be temporarily unavailable to customers in the country," Lidl Česká republika spokesman Tomáš Myler told news server iDnes.

A spokesman for Haribo told the German news server WirtschaftsWoche (WiWo) that prices for gummy bears have been hit by inflation. "It's true that you won't find our products on the shelves at Lidl at the moment. We consider price increases to be justified against the background of immensely increased prices for logistics and raw materials," the spokesman said.

Déjà vu all over again

This is not the first time the two companies have come into conflict over prices. Haribo products were missing from Lidl shelves from the middle of 2020 until the summer of 2021. At that time, Haribo increased the price of a 360-gram package of gummy bears by EUR 0.20 to EUR 1.29.

This time, the dispute may last longer, according to experts. Haribo has seen a sharp rise in demand and is not lacking customers. It could sell even more of its signature Goldbären and Soft-Rado if its plants could produce them. Retail experts cited by WiWo say that Lidl will eventually have to give in and accept higher prices, as Haribo is not affected by Lidl’s failure to buy. “It seems bearable that Lidl is not a customer until further notice,” WiWo stated.

Retailers trapped by inflation on two sides

Retailers admit that there is inflation, but claim that manufacturers are using that as an excuse to raise prices more than is necessary so they can boost profits, WiWo reported.

Consumers are also hit with inflation on many fronts, and save money by cutting back on unnecessary items. This puts retailers in a tough spot, as they are faced with higher costs but want to maintain low prices so as not to lose sales. In Germany, the supermarket chain Edeka has been in similar price disputes with 17 manufacturers including the makers of Mars brand chocolates.  

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