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CMA raises concerns over Cérélia’s acquisition of Jus-Rol

The Competition and Markets Authority has found that Cérélia’s purchase of bake-at-home dough brand Jus-Rol could lead to higher prices and lower quality products for shoppers… View Article

FOOD & DRINK

CMA raises concerns over Cérélia’s acquisition of Jus-Rol

The Competition and Markets Authority has found that Cérélia’s purchase of bake-at-home dough brand Jus-Rol could lead to higher prices and lower quality products for shoppers in the UK.

The biggest manufacturer of bake-at-home dough products in the UK, Cérélia produces own brand products for some of the largest grocery retailers. Together, the businesses are the two leading suppliers of bake-at-home dough products to retailers and account for over two-thirds of sales of the products to UK shoppers.

The CMA said its investigation has found that prior to the merger, Jus-Rol branded products competed against private label products supplied by Cérélia for space on supermarket shelves. In addition, Jus-Rol is the best-selling brand in the bake-at-home dough category and faces few branded rivals.

Some of Jus-Rol’s popular products include puff and shortcrust pastry dough, pizza dough and pain au chocolat dough.

The CMA said in a statement: “Following the deal, Cérélia would produce and sell both the Jus-Rol products and private label products, leaving retailers with fewer alternatives. The CMA is therefore concerned that the loss of the Jus-Rol business as an independent player could lead to increased prices to grocery retailers – and ultimately consumers – and lower quality products.”

Sorcha O’Carroll, CMA senior director of mergers, added: “Millions of people across the UK regularly use bake-at-home dough products, whether to rustle up a mid-week pizza for dinner or to make breakfast pastries for their families on the weekend.

“Consumers should know they’re getting value for money and not overpaying for their grocery products, especially as the current cost-of-living crisis stretches people’s budget even further. That’s why we won’t hesitate to refer this investigation further if our concerns aren’t addressed.”

Cérélia now has five working days to submit proposals to address the CMA’s concerns. If suitable proposals are not submitted, the CMA will move to a phase 2 investigation.

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