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Tesco are to stop selling Heineken, Amstel, Sol and Tiger Beers due to Brexit

Shortly after releasing its intent to acquire Booker Wholesale UK Tesco has scrapped more than half of its Heineken beer and cider range, after the brewing giant unveiled plans to hike prices in response to the pound's decline following the Brexit vote.

According to the Times, Britain's largest supermarket has reduced the number of Heineken products on its shelves from 53 at the start of the year to 22. Tiger, Amstel, Sol and Kingfisher are among the beers to have disappeared from Tesco's stores.

Sources at The Grocer say, Fosters Gold, Radlers and Rocks have also all been axed.

The review of the Heineken range is said to be part of the supermarket’s programme to replace mainstream brands with craft beers and lager.

Although it is also believed to be connected to price negotiations.

A spokesperson for Tesco was quoted as saying the decision was motivated by the intent to better match the ranger of beers and ciders to customers' needs : ‘We frequently review our ranges to ensure they meet the needs of customers.

‘We continue to offer customers a great range of beer, lager and cider.’

Heineken refused to comment on the matter stating: ‘We don’t comment on commercial arrangements with our customers.

‘Shoppers will continue to find a broad range of our fantastic beer and cider brands in Tesco.’

In January, Heineken said it would raise prices by an average of 6p per pint, blaming its decision on "prevailing economic conditions", chief among them being sterling's 16% drop in the months following Britain's vote in favour of leaving the European Union.

A weaker pound makes imports more expensive and even though the majority of beers brewed in Britain are made with home-grown ingredients, brewers have been hit by higher transport and energy costs.

It is not the first time Tesco and one of its major suppliers has become embroiled in a price row.

In October last year, a squabble blew up between the retailer and Unilever, when the Anglo-Dutch firm raised wholesale prices by 10% forcing the supermarket to cover the rising costs of goods made abroad since June's Brexit vote.

However, Tesco, which has 28% , the largest share of the UK grocery market, refused to accept the increase, pulling popular Unilever products such as Marmite, Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Persil detergents off its online shopping platforms.

The corporate row, dubbed Marmitegate at the time, was soon resolved and Unilever products returned to all Tesco stores but only after the government was forced to intervene.

With their intended takeover of the UK's largest wholesaler what does this market share and buying strength mean for the UK wholesale and retail markets future?

 

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