More than two weeks after the food maker Unilever and the Supersol supermarket chain agreed to end a bitter commercial dispute, most Unilever products have yet to return to the shelves of Israel’s biggest food retailer, a check by TheMarker has found.
An informal survey of a large number of Supersol stores by TheMarker found few Unilever products available. Food industry sources ascribed the shortage to the Anglo-Dutch company’s Israel unit decision to cut back on import shipments before the dispute was resolved.
Regular shipments have not yet resumed and the company doesn’t have enough merchandise to stock shelves at Supersol and other food retailers at the same time. In addition, Supersol needs time to sell off inventories of rival products.
Both sides said there were no lingering disagreements. “In the coming days, inventory will be restocked,” Supersol said. Unilever, likewise, promised: “The parties are working diligently to ensure Unilever products reach Supersol shelves as quickly as possible.”
Unilever cut off deliveries to Supersol in August in a commercial dispute, causing the grocery chain to retaliate by urging customers to buy competing products. The two sides patched up their differences at the end of September, although neither would detail what the terms were.
Unilever, whose products include the popular children’s breakfast cereal Kariot, Klik chocolates, Dove soaps, Lipton tea and Knorr instant soups, saw its sales and market share drop after the Supersol boycott, according to data from market research company Nielsen.
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