Inflation Pushes Consumer-Goods Giant Unilever to Accelerate Price Increases


Rising costs for everyday foods like bacon and fruit have raised concerns about inflation. Here’s why you may be paying more for breakfast, and what that says about where prices might be heading in the future. Photo: Carter McCall/WSJ

The maker of Dove soap and Hellmann’s mayonnaise warned of accelerating price increases across a range of products, as it seeks to counter cost inflation across its business.

Unilever PLC said Thursday that it was grappling with higher costs for ingredients, packaging and transportation, which would likely lower its full-year profitability—a warning that sent shares down 5% in early trading.

The London-listed consumer-goods giant said it would step up price increases across the world, having already raised prices 1.6% in the second quarter.

“We are going to have to take a little higher levels of price increase,” Chief Financial Officer Graeme Pitkethly told reporters.

Inflation has continued to pick up pace, rising at the fastest pace in 13 years in the U.S. last month as the recovery from the pandemic gained steam and consumer demand drove up prices of everything from autos to clothes and restaurant meals. Other packaged-food manufacturers, including Procter & Gamble Co. and General Mills Inc., have also warned of rising prices this year.