Gro­cery tar­iffs

Canned food com­pa­nies to in­crease prices to com­bat alu­minum tar­iffs

The Western Star - - BUSINESS - BY TARA DESCHAMPS

Soup, soda and beer mak­ers can’t seem to put a lid on the effects of the re­cent alu­minum tar­iffs.

The 10 per cent fees that were slapped on im­ports of the metal by U.S. Pres­i­dent Donald Trump in early July are mak­ing cans more ex­pen­sive and forc­ing food and bev­er­age com­pa­nies that rely on them for pack­ag­ing to con­sider price in­creases and other ways to off­set the costs.

The Camp­bell Com­pany of Canada, which pro­duces canned soup at its soon-to-close Eto­bi­coke plant, is set to jack up prices in late Au­gust on a “broad range of prod­ucts.”

The ex­act amount by which prices will be in­creased is still un­der con­sid­er­a­tion, but the tar­iffs com­bined with rais­ing freight, pack­ag­ing and in­gre­di­ent costs are to blame, com­pany spokesper­son Alexan­dra Sock­ett told The Cana­dian Press in an email.

Mol­son Coors Brewing Com­pany ad­mit­ted on its most re­cent earn­ings call that it might be forced to make a sim­i­lar move.

“We’ve made no se­cret about the fact that alu­minum tar­iffs and freight and the un­jus­ti­fied in­crease in the Mid­west pre­mium (alu­minum sur­charge) are hav­ing a neg­a­tive im­pact on our cost struc­ture and they may fac­tor into fu­ture pric­ing de­ci­sions,” said Mol­son’s pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Gavin Hat­ter­s­ley.

Coca-Cola’s CEO James Quincey sim­i­larly told U.S. me­dia re­cently that it too will raise prices be­cause of the tar­iffs and ris­ing labour costs, but in a state­ment, spokesper­son Shan­non Denny said in Canada the com­pany faces “sim­i­lar cost pres­sures as the U.S.” but isn’t sure if it will im­ple­ment the same in­creases here.

Mean­while, Mis­sis­sauga-based Cott Cor­po­ra­tion, which pro­duces wa­ter, cof­fee and co­las, didn’t seem to be con­sid­er­ing price hikes, but says it has in­stead ap­plied for tar­iff ex­emp­tions for some of its prod­ucts and is look­ing at al­ter­na­tive sup­pli­ers to mitigate costs.

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