Distribution giant Carrefour (EPA:CARR) will propose to customers of its 5,945 stores in France from March 15 to June 15 a basket of 200 basic products at prices of less than two euros as a device against inflation that fears that it will continue to rise in food.
In an interview published today by Le Journal du Dimanche, its CEO, Alexandre Bompard, explains that this basket will include a hundred food products considered “healthy”, with an A or B rating in the Nutriscore, and another 100 for daily use, such as for hygiene, all with their own brands.
Among the first group there will be yogurts, eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, but also canned, frozen, bread, milk or cereals. In the second detergent, baby diapers, flour or cookies.
They have been selected on the basis of round tables with customers of the chain in response to their demand.
Last December, the Government had raised the possibility of negotiating a common basket for all distribution groups in the face of escalating prices, but most opposed it, and the alternative that seems to emerge is that each one presents its own.
Year-on-year inflation of food products in France reached 14.5% in February and this dynamic could increase in the coming months in view of the evolution of annual tariff negotiations between the industry (which demanded increases of around 20%) and distribution groups.
Bombpard predicts that “the level of food inflation will remain in double digits until this summer and will probably rise above what it currently is.”
The CEO estimates that the cost to his company of the price lock for the products in the basket will be “several tens of millions of euros”.
But he considers it pertinent with the argument that “we do everything possible so that inflation is not synonymous with regression in the quality of food.”