Why the prices of compotes and jams are going up

Why the prices of compotes and jams are going up

Fruit processing companies are facing a sharp increase in production costs.

Traditionally more accessible, processed fruits (jams, compotes, jars, etc.) no longer escape inflation. According to the latest INSEE survey, their average price at the end of April for the year increased by 5.9%. These are the supply and production costs faced by companies in this sector of activity. They have been rising steadily for several months.

As a result of the frost episodes in the spring of 2021, they had to pay more for last season’s peaches, cherries, apricots or plums. The increase is all the more justified as farmers also have to cope with rising costs, especially fertilizers. But raw material is not the only cause. Fruit and sugars represent only 30 to 40% of the cost of the finished product. We must also take into account the increase in energy, operate factories and fill the tanks of vans, as well as soaring packaging prices.

“Metal can prices have risen 52%,” Roger Descours, president of the Fruits Group of the French Canned Food Federation (Fiac), said last Tuesday during a press conference. The annual business negotiations with large retailers ended in March with a price increase. Insufficient, provided by the sector.

Very uncertain situation

Saint-Mamet, a specialist in canned fruit, starts production in July, when summer fruit is harvested. When the price increases requested at the annual negotiations in November 2021 were sent to large retailers, “we did not yet know how much we would pay for metal boxes” and were not taken into account. , his boss Stéphane Lehoux explained. However, the price of metal has peaked in the meantime. “We have decided to reopen the business meeting,” he said.

With regard to Andrésy Confitures, it is estimated that a further 4- to 8% increase in store prices would be needed to sustain the sector. Especially because the situation is very uncertain and volatile. “We will have to negotiate prices every quarter,” in the face of rising inflation, said Bruno Cassan, head of the Yvelines family SME, who said he discussed “every week” with his suppliers. “It’s not just a question of money, it’s also a question of flexibility,” added Anne & Laure Jardin, Marketing Director of Compotes Charles & Alice.

Last season, when very few French apricots were harvested, the company was forced to redesign the packaging to remove French origin, so it could continue to sell its apricot-based products elsewhere. With the latest frosty episodes and drought announced for the summer, the question could arise this year as well.

These food industry giants, who make compote, are salivating

Saint-Mamet is about to change owners. Hivest Capital Partners, which has owned a canned fruit specialist since 2018, has entered into exclusive negotiations with Agromousquetaires, the agri-food division of Les Mousquetaires (Intermarché), to sell the shares it holds, a press release announced last April. However, this acquisition project is subject to the approval of the French Competition Authority.

As for Pom’potes, it is already done: the Bel cheese group has recently completed the acquisition of the Mont Blanc Materne (MOM) group, which owns the Materne and Pom’potes brands. The owner of Laughing Cow, Babybel and Kiri acquired 17.44% of the shares, which he still lacked to become a 100% shareholder – he committed to acquiring the MOM group in 2016. This acquisition is in line with the Bel group’s desire to diversify to the plant segment.

Jeremy Bruno BFMTV journalist

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