Romain Rouillard 16:04 pm, May 30, 2023Guest of "La France bouge" this Tuesday, Thierry Cotillard, CEO of the group Les Mousquetaires, including Intermarché stores, announced the holding of new negotiations on the price of pasta this summer. Good news for the wallet of the French while inflation on food products has reached nearly 15% in one year.
Will the fall in wheat prices have finally convinced pasta suppliers? The latter have, in any case, agreed to resume a place at the negotiating table with distributors, announced this Tuesday on Europe 1 Thierry Cotillard, president of the group Les Mousquetaires, including Intermarché. It must be said that the cost of certain raw materials - especially wheat - has been plummeting for several weeks, without the prices displayed on the shelves following the trend. Enough to push Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, to convene in turn distributors and then manufacturers to convince the former to extend their anti-inflation measures and to urge the latter to reopen a round of negotiations.
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What pasta suppliers - Panzani and Barilla in the lead - have obviously accepted. "There will be declines on products such as pasta from September," confirmed Thierry Cotillard, at the microphone of Elisabeth Assayag in La France bouge. "I welcome the approach because it is, somehow, voluntarist. There is no legal obligation to come back to negotiate. This is a responsible approach and I also think they know that the justice of the peace is the consumer. And that at some point, they will have volumes going up if prices go down," he continues. Bruno Le Maire, however, brandished a tax threat to industrialists who would not play the game of renegotiation. And had also reserved the right to proceed with "name and shame", in other words to publicly denounce the companies concerned.
What price reductions?
Regarding pasta suppliers, Bercy will not have to carry out its threat. For distributors, it now remains to negotiate the extent of these price reductions. "It will be between 0 and 10%. I'd like seven or eight, that would be great. This will mean that we have erased inflation this year," said Thierry Cotillard.
On the other hand, these reduced rates will not concern all the products offered. "There will be no significant drop in inflation by the end of the year," warns the boss of the group Les Mousquetaires. Because if the prices of wheat, butter, rapeseed oil or electricity have contracted in recent months, it is difficult to say the same for sugar. "And then, you have a reality: you have companies that have, indeed, noticed a drop in the price of electricity but our industrialists are committed to an annual contract," adds Thierry Cotillard.
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To see prices drop significantly on the shelves, it will be necessary to arm yourself with patience. "In March 2024, it seems far away but it will come quickly, the negotiations will make it possible to pass on the actual decreases on electricity, gas, plastic and other raw materials," says Thierry Cotillard. As a reminder, the prices displayed in supermarkets are negotiated annually between manufacturers and distributors. Talks are usually held at the end of February.