Ben & Jerry’s owner Unilever warns of shoppers buying less as inflation bites budgets
Dove maker Unilever has seen consumers buying less of products after price hikes, as the consumer goods titan has ushered in record price rises.
Prices increased by 12.5 per cent in the period, the brand’s highest ever hike, as consumers battle cost increases in every corner of life.
The London-listed consumer goods giant admitted price increases had had “some negative impact” on volume, after sales volumes dropped 3.2 per cent in Europe. Sales volumes also dipped 1.6 per cent globally across the third quarter.
However, the company saw underlying volume growth improve across four business groups.
Underlying sales growth reached 10.6 per cent in the quarter, with the retail behemoth forecasting underlying sales growth for the full year 2022 of above eight per cent.
Price increases would enable the company “to continue to drive increased investment behind our brands,” chief executive officer Alan Jope said.
He warned the global macroeconomic outlook remained “mixed”, with high inflation anticipated to continue in 2023.
The results signified there are still “big pockets of consumer resilience,” Susannah Streeter. senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown, said.
However, the Marmite manufacturer “risks that shoppers will drift away to cheaper brands.”
The Magnum ice cream maker posted a turnover of 17.8 per cent to €15.8bn, boosted by the sale of global tea business ekaterra last year.
Last month, Unilever boss Alan Jope announced his intention to retire from the consumer goods giant at the end of 2023, after five years at the helm.