Kraft and Heinz products on a grocery store shelf in New York in 2015. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)
Kraft Heinz and Mondelez plan to raise prices on a number of their classic consumer favorites for retail customers beginning next year due to strong demand, supply constraints and rising production costs.
In a letter to a regional distributor to grocery stores obtained by CNN Business, Kraft Heinz said it plans to raise prices on hundreds of items beginning on January 9, including varieties of Jell-O gelatin and pudding, which will jump from anywhere between 7 percent and 16 percent, and Bagel Bites frozen snacks, which will see an increase of roughly 10 percent. Meanwhile, Cool Whip topping varieties will see an increase of 7 to 10 percent. The cost of EZ Mac will rise 3.5 percent, while a 7.25-ounce dish of Kraft Big Bowl Mac & Cheese will see a 20 percent price hike.
Kraft wrote in the letter to the unnamed distributor that it is facing rising input costs and noted the “upward trend in packaging, transportation, ingredients and labor costs” which are “reaching levels not seen in decades,” as reasons for its decision to hike prices.
As the cost of labor, raw materials, transportation and other expenses have risen, many U.S. companies have raised prices and pared down their offerings.
In a statement to CNN Business, a Kraft spokesperson did not say whether price increases applied to all of Kraft’s customers but noted that the company has raised prices by an average of 5 percent on 80 percent of its products “to help offset the escalating inflation that the entire industry is facing.”
Mondelez — the maker of Oreos, Chips Ahoy and several candies — also plans to increase its prices by 6 to 7 percent in January of 2022 in the U.S.
CEO Dirk Van de Put said during a Tuesday analyst call to discuss the company’s third-quarter results that Mondelez has “been increasing prices, and we plan to increase prices more than we’ve done … probably for quite a while as a company.”
In a letter to a grocery distributor, Mondelez said several varieties of Toblerone bars will see a price increase of about 7 percent, while the price of 9-10 ounce Sour Patch Kids bags will rise 5.9 percent, according to CNN.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has increased demand for snacks and sweets, their costs have not risen as quickly as overall food prices: grocery prices jumped 4.5 percent in September over the same month last year, while snack prices rose 1.9 percent and candy and chewing gum increased 2 percent.
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